We are a multidiscipline graphic design studio that specializes in content-rich print and web-based media. Our extensive background in print publication and marketing/communications design is matched with a passion for new technology and online media. We work with businesses and institutions to create designs that integrate words, images and interactivity to produce compelling, well-organized publications and web environments.
We design and produce illustrated books and book covers for publishing companies and institutions such as Rockport Publishers, McGraw Hill, and the Urban Land Institute. Recent book projects have ranged from arts and crafts titles Paper Puppet Palooza, and Who's Your Dada, to architectural and urban development books such as Getting Real About Urbanism, Pedestrian- and Transit-Oriented Design and Building Healthy Places.
Each book design or book cover design is unique and based on our understanding and research into the subject, the market, and a client's branding and style.
Magazine design was our first love. John has held art and design director positions at several national magazines including Running Times, Experience, and the inflight magazine of Continental Airlines. He served as Advertising Art Director of the weekly alternative newspaper The Boston Phoenix, where he also art directed custom magazines including the official yearbooks of both the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics.
The studio has designed and art directed alumni magazines for several top educational institutions including Babson College and the University of Northern Colorado, and recently launched a new semi-annual magazine for the Mind & Life Institute.
Our newsletters run the gamut from colorful arts journals to data-heavy financial publications. We produce a semi-annual newsletter for the world-renowned MacDowell Colony. The publication showcases the cutting-edge artwork produced by the Colony's fellows in a four-color, oversized design.
At the other end of the spectrum is The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors, a monthly two-color mutual fund advisory, full of complex charts and graphs, that we produce for financial publisher InvestorPlace Media.
We are currently redesigning the semi-annual newsletter for the Mind & Life Institute.
Annual report design is a natural extension of our editorial design experience, coupled with our financial publishing background. We have designed the annual President’s Report for Babson College, and annual reports for the MacDowell Colony, the Urban Land Institute, and the Mind and Life Institute.
We also produce the annual Independent Guide to the Vanguard Funds, a nearly 300-page guidebook chock full of charts, tables, and graphs for InvestorPlace Media, as well as corporate white papers and case studies for Pearson Education.
We offer design services for a wide-variety of marketing collateral and advertising projects, including brochures, catalogs, programs, media kits, white papers, and direct-mail marketing. For many of our marketing clients, such as Boston-based Adviser Investments, we function as their inhouse art department, creating a wide-range of marcom materials from high-end company brochures to data sheets. By maintaining long-term relationships with clients, we are able to understand and help to evolve their brand.
Other marketing clients include Pearson Education, Mind & Life Institute, and Wolters Kluwer.
We create logos, and develop identities for a variety of small businesses and institutions. We developed a school seal that was cast in terrazzo for the lobby of the new high school in our home city of Beverly, Massachusetts, and subsequently became the official school logo.
We also are adept at working with the existing corporate branding guidelines of larger companies. Wolters Kluwer, Lincoln Financial, and Pearson Education are examples of clients with strict branding guidelines that we have to interpret when producing marketing materials.
Our web design Projects combine our print editorial sensibilities with our strong information organization skills, to create dynamic and engaging online environments. Our sites are smart, attractive, and well-structured, but we don't let flashy graphics get in the way of the content.
We recently directed the visual design for the relaunch of the Mind & Life Institute website. This 15-month-long project—which included a team of editors, user interface experts, and developers—added considerably to our online media portfolio, and gave us additional experience working with a team of experts in creating a robust content-rich website with a well-structured user interface.
We previously designed websites for a variety of smaller businesses and institutions that were developed inhouse using CMSs such as Wordpress and Concrete 5.
We also provide social media and content management consulting services. As early adopters of blogging and social media on a community level, we can advise clients on the technology, message, strategy, and design of their social media efforts. We are well connected to the social and hyperlocal media network in Boston and on the north shore.
We approach projects from a journalistic perspective and curate strong archives of news and facts on a particular topic in order to build communities with a shared interest. John has created and led several community networks centered around local issues such as education and development. He recently managed online media for the winning Mayoral campaign in his home city of Beverly, Massachusetts, and is advising the Mayor's office on its efforts to increase the city's web and social media presence.
We have been busy this month designing, painting, and furnishing our new space at Studios of Porter Mill, where we moved in late December. Although only three doors down from our previous address on Rantoul St. in Beverly, and in a building with a similar history—both are former mill buildings—the internal vibe at Porter Mill could not be more different. The building is home to more than 50 artists and creative businesses, ranging from photographers, to print makers, to sculptors and painters. The first floor is home to a gallery and paint bar. Twice a year the building hosts an open studios, where the public is invited to tour all the building's studios.
Its a fun and creative vibe, and has energized us to create a more colorful space for the studio. The photos on our news page show the transformation. The drab ceiling and floors were brightened; the primary white wall became a deep gray that would act as a canvas to display some of our colorful cover designs; a chartreuse accent wall gives the space a bit of techie cool; and the blood orange door adds the final punch—and ties the space to our online branding. Was fun playing interior designer, and gave us a new understanding of the usefulness of Pinterest.
The new studio is up and running during what is traditionally our busiest month of the year. With considerably more space than our previous home, we are still working to create a lounge/conference/hangout area. And next up is a much needed lighting upgrade.
Rantoul St. remains an area in transformation, but one which we still believe has great potential. We love its mix of industrial, transit, & marine history. The city's lack of vision for the street, and the type of development that has been permitted and built recently has been disappointing. Mixed use is not a bargaining chip to allow developers greater profits. Its an important urban development principal. Apartments alone will not transform the street, if there is nothing else for the new residents to do in the area, and no streetscape to encourage pedestrian activity. And the historic structures in the area should be at the core of any revitalization plan.
The mix of creative businesses and residences at Porter Mill, and the creative reuse of an industrial structure should serve as a model for other buildings in the area. We are cautiously optimistic that the new city planners get this better than their predecessors, and are excited to be a part of it.