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 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 and Pedestrian- and Transit-Oriented Design.
We custom design each book based on our undertstanding of the subject, the market, and a client's branding requirements.
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 are excited to announce the launch of our largest online project to date, the redesigned Mind & Life Institute website (www.mindandlife.org). The launch marks the culmination of a 15-month process that began with a thorough discovery phase led by the Institute's Communications Director, Brendan Tapley.
During this series of small-group sessions with inhouse stakeholders, we listened and learned about the organization's goals and priorities for a revamped site. The group studied and researched dozens of other websites to determine what type of structure, design, and user-interface elements were appropriate to achieve their vision. We then went to work on developing a general visual design direction through a series of static comps that incorporated the ideas that emerged from these sessions.
Once the general design aesthetics were agreed upon, we contracted with local development firm Pixelslam to begin the development phase, and with the user-experience firm Nimble Partners to help us refine the site structure and advise on best-practices of user-experience.
With the help of these partners, we honed the design, and worked with the client to organize and structure the content and secure images. We then developed detailed Photoshop layer comps, and guided the visual design through the development stage.
The new site, which was built on the Wordpress platform, represents a major shift for the Institute, not just in its design, but also in its content strategy. Where the previous site presented primarily institutional news with a traditional navigation structure, the new site frontloads original editorial content, indepth research, and essays that explore the Institute's core themes. The primary visual impact has been shifted to highlight this content with a dramatic homepage slideshow front-and-center.
The more institutional content—which is still important—is never more than a click away, however, thanks to a novel visual dropdown navigation. In addition, a distinctive self-contained blog creates a place for the reader to explore the Institute's main themes in a more timely and personal manner.
With these changes, Mind & Life now has a website that will become a hub of thought-leadership in the field of mindfulness and contemplative science. The site is also now fully aligned with the new visual design direction that we have established for the organization's print materials over the past two years.