As design and business thinkers, we share a vision to ignite positive transformation and create the unseen.
We are idea people, researchers, strategists, designers, and business enthusiasts, but above all, we’re innovation catalysts with a shared desire to ignite positive transformation.
For more than two decades, we’ve lived at the intersection of design and business, creating brands and strategies that propel organizations forward. Today, we’re continuing this tradition with renewed purpose to cultivate future generations as passionate as we are about driving business and social innovation. With this in mind, we invest our creative capital in design ventures – a unique element of our business model where we become partners in new ventures and social impact projects.
Our founders come from two very different worlds – one, working with multidisciplinary teams to create pavilion attractions for World Expos, and the other, steeped in capital markets and financial analysis. This unique combination of seasoned design and business experience helps us create lasting value for our clients across Canada and the US. Drawing on these different yet complementary approaches, we leverage the power of storytelling, experience design, and strategic thinking to produce exceptional results.
In the mid ’90s, an entrepreneur by the name of Anthony von Mandl engaged our expertise to develop a new ready-to-drink beverage product. Our task: create not just a new brand, but an entirely new beverage category – and that’s exactly what we did. After exploring ready-to-drink products, we conceived the Hard Lemonade concept and named the brand Mike’s Hard Lemonade. We designed the packaging, invented the legendary story of Mike, and wrote the tagline “an excellent source of vodka.” We also created all launch and promotional materials for the brand’s debut over the next few years.
Mike’s exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations, becoming an immediate run-away phenomenon that was later launched in the US and Europe. Its success funded a $40 million internationally-acclaimed winery for Mission Hill in BC’s Okanagan Valley and laid the foundation for an impressive family legacy.
We’ve learned that innovation thrives on diversity and creative friction. That’s why we’ve gathered an international team of confident and thoughtful creative professionals with a breadth of industry experience and academic training. Our designers have a keen awareness of business needs and objectives, our business thinkers are innately creative, and our strategists thrive in the midst of complexity and ambiguity. Together, we’re committed to values that remind us to live well, lead well, and create well. These values also guide our mentorship and collaboration with business and design students in our intern lab, Railyard.
If you’re an integrative thinker, who loves to push the boundaries of business and design, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org Please send resumes and electronic portfolios as pdf files or URLs; or if you’re in town, feel free to drop by in person.
We are currently looking for interns for our Railyard program. Application details can be found here.
Our building in Railtown, Vancouver, BC has an interesting history. In 1913, the American Can Company acquired independent company Cliff & Sons, and thirteen years later, a 363,000 square-foot plant was built at the intersection of Alexander and Princess. Architect and engineer Carl G. Preis designed the building, in addition to several others around North America, including Portland and Montreal. Featuring large windows and typically corporate-style design, it was, for many years, one of the largest reinforced concrete structures in the city.
Photograph by Walter E. Frost