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, annual reports for the MacDowell Colony, and several technical annuals for the Urban Land Institute's yearly member meeting.
We also produce the annual Independent Guide to the Vanguard Funds, a nearly 300-page guidebook chock full of charts, tables, and graphs.
We offer design services for a wide-variety of marketing collateral and advertising projects, including brochures, catalogs, media kits, white papers, and direct-mail marketing. For many of our marketing clients, such as Boston-based Adviser Investments, we funtion like an 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, Lincoln Financial, and Red Curve Solutions.
We create logos, and develop identities for a variety of small businesses and institutions. Recently we were contracted to develop a school seal that was cast in terazzo for the lobby of the new high school in our home city of Beverly, Massachusetts.
We also are adept at working with the existing corporate branding guidelines of larger companies. Wolter Kluwer, Lincoln Financial, and Pearson Education are examples of clients with strict branding guidelines that we have to interprate when producing marketing materials.
Our aim in web design is to utilize our editorial sensibilities, coupled 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 have developed and managed websites for a variety of businesses, organizations, and individuals including schools, churches, musicians, and political campaigns. We custom design and code most of our web projects with client and SEO-friendly CMS's such as Wordpress and Concrete5. When more specific technical expertise is required, we contract with outside programmers and developers.
We are currently directing the visual design of a web relaunch project for the Mind & Life Institute. This year-long project, which will go live next fall, involves a team of editors, user interface experts, and developers. It will be our largest web project yet, and has added greatly to our experience working with the different types of experts required to create a well-produced user-friendly website.
We also provide social media and content management consulting services. As an early adopter of blogging and social media on a community level, we can advise clients on the technology, message, strategy, as well as 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.
Over the past 6 months, we have been engaged in a wide variety of design projects for the Mind & Life Institute, a nonprofit organization, cofounded by the Dalai Lama, that studies contemplative practices and the science of the human mind.
Our initial mission was to refresh the orgazinzation's branding and visual identity, establishing a new, more contemporary color palette and typograhic system. We then produced a series of new marketing collateral pieces that began to establish a new communications strategy for the institute.
Working with the organization's communications diirector, we then redesigned and relaunched what was previously a mostly institutionally-focused newsletter, and reimagined it as a more literary and visually inspiring magazine that seeks to explore the core themes of the orgazination in a deeper, and more though-provoking manner. Articles are illustrated more conceptually, with evocative, rather that literal, imagery.
The rusult, as seen above, signaled a major change in the organization's communications strategy, and has been extremely well received. Here is one of MLI's board members reaaction upon seeing the inaugural issue:
"I get a LOT of mail, hard as I try to stem the tide. Huge wasteful catalogues from Bloomingdales, alumni magazines from all over the place strutting their stuff, annual reports and appeal mailings from all sorts of nonprofits, well-heeled, round-heeled, down at the heel, and everything in between ... on and on.
I do not remember ever receiving anything through my mail slot more pleasing to the eye and the mind than the Fall 2013 issue of Mind & Life.
It is a masterpiece. It elevates MLI to a whole new level of excellence in communication."
We are now in the midst of a year-long project to redesign and relaunch the organization's website to reflect a similar change in tone and strategy, while maintaining easy access to the institutional programs and educational materials that MLI members continue to value.