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WHAT DO WE DO?

we humanize brands

We specialize in figuring out your story and then telling it, making it visual and keeping it relevant, so that it reaches the right audience with purpose and impact.   

WE SPEAK PLAIN ENGLISH.

We like to back up our creative with good ideas and thoughtful marketing expertise. Agency gibberish, not so much. 

WE THINK

From websites and online campaigns, to sales presentations, and all things printed in between, it starts with a good idea and plan.

WE WRITE

Concept in hand, we put together a messaging strategy to figure out who we’re talking to, what they want, and how it should sound.

WE CREATE

We don’t cookie-cutter anything. We brainstorm, sketch, compose, write and visualize to develop a customized and final creative product.

we play nice

Not just with our west coast partners at Cookies and Milk (video above + stats below). We’re used to working with YOUR internal teams and vendors too.

CREW MEMBERS

production hours

miles pedaled

beads of sweat

good is a creative passion

In a given year we donate about 15% of our time and resources to helping out socially-minded organizations. If you’re looking to collaborate or just lend a hand, drop us a line. We’ll point you to some amazing do-gooders.

tell your story, stick to it, and build on it

Give them a reason to come back. Great brands always have something to say.

DO WE CONSIDER OURSELVES DESIGNERS, WRITERS, OR IDEA PEOPLE? WELL, YES…

Experience has taught us that while you can do one without the others, the results just aren’t the same. Every client and every challenge is different, all with different audiences and goals. That’s why everything we do, and we mean everything, is custom.

We like to put our heads together and tackle every design challenge with a fresh perspective. It always starts with an idea, large or small, but we think it’s only natural that great visuals go hand-in-hand with great copy. We like to think that makes us different, very different.

Is this the part where you say you do everything?

Nope. In fact, we don’t have one of those giant laundry lists of things you can hire a big agency to do but, whatever the size, shape, or audience of your brand, we know can help. The following are what we consider to be our core creative competencies and foundational areas of practice. You won’t find many bullet lists or declarations of “we do everything.” We look at them as our personal takes or point of view, and we hope that’s ok:

BRANDING
Has your organization evolved or grown through acquisition? Are you outgrowing the technical image that once set you apart? Maybe it’s just time to broaden the horizon and reach out to new markets and audiences. Or maybe, just maybe, the current keeps flowing stronger and stronger and it’s high time you made the move to a premium brand or service—and everything that goes with it. Whatever the situation, your brand image is vital to staying relevant in changing times.

Increasingly, companies, even nonprofit organizations, are faced with the daunting challenge of leveraging today’s technology, nevermind online or social channels, to provide a more honest and personal touch to their customer outreach. In short, many companies have lost the ability to speak plain English and their brands are missing a genuine human element. That’s where we come in.

Over the years we’ve had the pleasure (and challenge) of helping organizations around the world and around the corner, take their products and services into new brand territory. Whether you need a brand new identity or a just a refresh, we can help from concept to finish, including more specialized services like product naming.

Need some help righting the ship? We can workshop the big questions, onsite or off, with detailed brand audits and hands-on consulting. We can even run a day-long brand sprint to get your stakeholders synced up, motivated, and ready to evangelise your new strategic vision.

PRINT
Screens are nice but paper still makes an impression. We can visualize your story on paper in any size, shape, and form. From elegantly crafted collateral and brochure systems to environmental graphics for tradeshows, our passion for branding and design detail gets the best of us. We’ve laid out just about anything and everything you can imagine on paper, including full-length books, magazines, journals—even tournament books and drawsheets for the USTA. Give us a call and we’ll tell you a few good stories.
INTERACTIVE
Nowadays, alot of things can be considered “interactive” but we like to make a distinction between creating static content delivery and the act of eliciting a more active response from your customers.

Our experience here goes back, way back, to the days of architecting and executing “programs” for interactive DVD content and touch-screen kiosks for companies likes of VH-1, Volkswagen, and Showtime Networks. While we apologize (kind of) for name dropping, this point is relevant: back then the technology was buggy, the hardware was quirky, and consumers weren’t instinctively trained, like today, on how to interact with a program. To put it simply, the average user would have benefited from a big green button that said, “Press this button, YES, this one, to get started.” Everything had to work, be intuitive, and engage consumers while driving them to a specific course of action.

Fast forward a couple of decades and our background in interactive design and UX still has to work, be intuitive, and woo your customers into a state of action. Our work in online application interfaces and even interactive quizzes made on marketing platforms like Snap App (not to be confused with Snap Chat) works on the same principles. They have to provide a meaningful experience AND they have to deliver, while creating a connection to the larger brand. It’s as hard as it sounds but the impact is well worth the effort.

WEB
Marketing clichés aside, we believe that telling your story with powerful visuals and meaningful language, and sticking to it, EVERYWHERE, is key.

First stop? Your website. It’s the brand headquarters for your organization and should act as the cultural epicenter of your brand. On top of that, it should function as the knowledge base for your products and services, as well as the bridge to persuasive and relevant content.

If the last two paragraphs don’t put a tickle in your spine, they should. Every visit, every click, presents an opportunity. Whether you need a simple site or something more complex and dynamic, we can help. And if you need to dial in a more aggressive content and marketing calendar and everything that goes with it—from driving traffic through online campaigns to blog posts, we can help there too.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Photography, like illustration, is close to our hearts. A well-taken or curated (I know, overused word) photograph can set the right tone for your next campaign. It can add color, emotion, or humor to a well-crafted message. A photograph has the power to comfort or alienate your audience, at a glance.

Creating imagery is part of our craft. We sometimes spend hours searching for the right image, working with photographers to create just the right product shot, or even taking the photograph ourselves.

Either way, the ability to create, pair, and treat images to convey an emotion or brand value is critical in today’s very visual and fast-paced world. It’s one of our healthier creative obsessions…

PRESENTATIONS
While most designers shudder, and worse, at the thought of designing a powerpoint presentation, we consider it a staple of effective marketing and sales.

In fact, we’d loooove to tell you about the different kinds of engaging and high-level presentation systems we’ve created for our clients. Every presentation we create is completely custom. No boring cookie-cutter templates populated with pages of bullets and novel-length copy. We start by interviewing your sales and marketing leadership to figure out what’s working, what’s not, and what we can do to transform your product and sales presentations into elegant and persuasive brand stories.

If you need us to just make it pretty, we can, but in many cases, our clients rely on us to retell and revisualize their presentations. We start by streamlining storylines and supporting copy. Then we brainstorm and create “clean” diagrams and animated graphics that simplify complex or technical concepts. The result? We translate your big ideas and core competencies into something your audience can embrace.

We’ve even created animated video loops to do just that for tradeshows, corporate lobbies, and flatscreen video playback inside libraries throughout the world.

If you’re still reading, we have to ask. How can we help transform your sales and marketing?

UX DESIGN
Nothing kills a sale, or your story, like a poorly conceived or executed user experience. We know that because we started “doing digital” before the web was a thing. Almost twenty years later, our experience in touch screen applications and kiosks continues to inform our work. We can help you build meaningful, storyful, and relevant user experiences for your online applications, dashboards, websites, and service platforms.

Ask us about the touchscreen kiosks we built for VH-1, Showtime Networks, Buell Motorcycles, The American Red Cross, and others, “back in the day…”

CREATIVE COACHING
Not sure where to start? Wondering whether you’re asking the right brand or marketing questions? Maybe it’s time to start humanizing your brand language so you can make better connections, faster, with your customers…

If you need the kind of personalized attention that empowers going to the drawing board and asking the big questions or even challenging your internal status quo, we’re here to help. As much or as little as you need, we can walk you through the paces of rethinking then realizing your vision.

We can offer individual sessions or longer term engagements (with you or your team) to help create and implement “doable” strategies that position your brand to better identify, target, and engage your ideal customer(s).

we solve problems and visualize solutions

We believe brand empowerment comes from making what you do, accessible and engaging to those who need it most. Whether you’re coding new tech or just trying to bring more good into the world, we help translate the breadth and depth of what you do into simple terms your audience can embrace.

From tradeshow-sized infographics to animated presentations, our process is simple and proven:
Step 1:  Listen + Learn + Sketch
Step 2:  Map + Write + Create
Step 3:  Repeat

CRM & FUNDRAISING SOFTWARE

“I needed a creative partner who could take rough concepts and ideas and turn them into reality fast. J.C. did all that and more. He was able to understand our buyers, our markets, and our business and make those “rough concepts” so much more than we even asked for. He and his team were able to quickly turn creative, beautiful and smart multi-channel campaign elements for every stage of the buyer’s journey – which directly led to more leads and more sales.”

Mary Pat Donnellon, Vice President, Marketing
Blackbaud Inc.

CRM & FUNDRAISING SOFTWARE

“Working with JC is like working with an extension of your favorite in-house marketing team. From building email campaigns, content creation, animated info-graphics etc., JC and his team can do it all. The team is with you from conception to launch and help tweak along the way to ensure you get the most out of every deliverable.”

Amy Kellinger, Senior Director, Global Brand Marketing
Blackbaud Inc.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

“As the Vice President of Global Marketing at D+M Group our brand is our most important asset. There is no one that we trust more than JC to represent our brands in the best light. He is a pro in everything he does and without question has helped us to grow our business by developing creative for our tradeshows, campaigns, and the websites that represent who we are.  He is the sharpest and most creative talent we have worked with.”

Don Freeman, Vice President, Global Marketing & Product Development
Sound United (formerly D&M Holdings)

GLOBAL PUBLISHING

“I have worked with Juan Carlos on a range of projects from print magazines to infographics and online advertising. He consistently exceeded expectations and was more of a collaborative partner than vendor – as vested in the success of my projects as I was. I would highly recommend him for his deep experience, creative vision, ability to execute, and natural enthusiasm.”

Colleen Delory, Director of Community Marketing
Elsevier Publishing

SOCIAL GOOD ORGANIZATIONS

“Juan Carlos volunteered his services to the YWCA Greater Charleston for its inaugural #WhatWomenBring event. He developed an awesome logo system that reflected both the YWCA brand and the important conversation the YWCA wanted to have. The event was a huge success and J.C. was a huge part of it!”

LaVanda Brown, Executive Director
YWCA Greater Charleston
#whatwomenwant

red means go

We’re looking for organizations that are passionate about taking their brands and customer relationships further. Alot further. If that’s you, drop us a line… 

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