Lucky 15



As we approach the end of 2019, bear with us for a moment while we reflect on all that's transpired in the 15 years since we started this little design company. In 2004, George W. Bush was in the White House, SMS texting was just getting its start thanks to the advent of flip phones, the median Seattle home price was $300,000, and three nearly-30-year-olds set off to create a little design studio in the backwater known as Ballard.

No, that's not an album cover for Nickleback, that's a photo of Matt, Ben and Steve walking through an actual turnstile; apparently we were very literal people in 2004. Also, jeans were a lot roomier. (Photo credit: Jeff Culver.)

The three of us met and worked together at Leonhardt:Fitch, which was a 50-person firm that was part of one of the largest marketing conglomerates in the world, WPP. We had great experiences there and worked with amazing people, but having been there for 6-7 years, we were all ready to try something new. We set off to start a boutique studio that was focused on winning the work we really wanted to do, with more of a retail bent, and with a very hands-on approach that's only possible in a smaller shop.

We always knew we wanted to build a group of about 12-15 people, and that's what we proceeded to do over the first 5 years or so. From there, we focused on growing our reputation rather than head count. We've been surprised and delighted at the amazing opportunities we've been entrusted with for clients like DRY Soda, Teague, Microsoft, Nordstrom, The Nordic Museum, the Port of Seattle and so many more.

So as we move forward into 2020, we'd like to say thanks to all of our amazing collaborators, employees, partners and clients.

Turnstyle Launch Party

In this photo from our November 2004 grand opening event, you can see our first office on the corner of Ballard Avenue NW and NW Market Street—right above the Matador Restaurant, one of our earliest and longest continuous clients.

In 2006, we received some early validation that we were heading in the right direction, winning Best in Show and several other awards from the now-defunct Seattle Show. Steve was possibly a little excited.

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After six years, we were bursting at the seams in our first office and moved down the street to the Kolstrand Building, a beautiful urban reuse project designed by Graham Baba Architects. In 2014, we marked our ten year anniversary by hosting a great big party there, culminating with sparklers in the street. (Photo credit: Justin Gollmer)

After twelve years in Ballard, we decided it was time to grow up and build our own building. In 2017, we moved into this purpose-built facility that graces the shores of the Fremont ship canal. Ballard, we miss you, but the view here can't be beat. (Photo credit: Chuck Lyssen)

114 Canal
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We miss all our former colleagues, but we love our current team, shown here (minus Stephanie) at our company retreat in the summer of 2019.

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