Author Archives: mike

June 3, 2020

The Rise of Anti-Tech Tech

The title of this post may sound like a song lyric, but it’s actually a reaction to the ever-deeper reach companies have into our homes and workplaces through smart devices like the Google Home and Amazon Echo. While this type of technology can be very helpful, there’s growing concern about what these virtual assistants are hearing and who might be listening on the other side.

And those concerns go beyond auditory eavesdropping. You can almost feel a shiver in our collective consciousness when a news story breaks about an incident such as travelers discovering that that the home they’ve rented has hidden webcams that the owner uses to monitor the property. Or worse, that those cameras are in unacceptable places like bedrooms and bathrooms, and have been “hijacked” by hackers who are now making the video feed available to viewers around the world.  

Privacy on Demand: Having the Best of Both Worlds

You could argue that if you don’t want to have devices spying on you in your home, you shouldn’t have devices in your home. This is especially true since most have a so-called wake word (“OK, Google…” “Alexa…” etc.), but studies have found that similar-sounding words—even those emanating from a TV or radio—can wake a sleeping assistant. But, of course, getting rid of devices means losing all the benefits they provide, from hands-free access to information and entertainment, to home security. 

This is where anti-tech tech comes in. A growing number of companies are developing devices that serve as a buffer between humans and their virtual assistants. Project Alias is a prime example. What the makers refer to as a “teachable parasite” attaches to a smart speaker and controls when the device is able to hear you and when it’s effectively “paralyzed” using inaudible sound that interrupts its microphones. Then, when you give the buffer device a command, it stops its jamming and plays a recording of the assistant’s wake word to reactivate it. 

Another example of anti-tech tech is a wearable created by three professors at the University of Chicago. Profiled in the New York Times, this “bracelet of silence” jams nearby microphones using high-frequency sound waves, and can be turned on or off by the user. 

With either the parasite or the bracelet, the result is that you get the best of both worlds: an open conduit to the internet when you want it, and reassuring privacy when you don’t. 

It’s All About Balance

The rise of anti-tech tech is interesting, though not surprising. It seems that this is how technology tends to advance. We unveil amazing capabilities. We adopt and get to know them. We implement restrictions to keep them under control.

Light bulb > Dimmer switch. Alarm clock > Snooze button. Email > Spam filter. iPad > Screen-time app. 

Ultimately, it’s about reaching a state of equilibrium. The key is to embrace the positive aspects of new technology while simultaneously identifying and managing its negative consequences. Anti-tech tech is reining in the incredible power of home assistants and other devices so that we can continue to enjoy all the advantages they provide without losing our sense of privacy and control. That’s a real win-win from our perspective. 

Now the only question is whether Alexa will comply if we say, “Tell us where we can get one of those teachable parasites.” 

April 7, 2020

The Power of Saying “No.”

We live in a time and a culture that puts a premium on saying “Yes.” Just do it! Seize the day! Challenge accepted! There’s definitely an allure to the romanticized notion of throwing caution to the wind and forging ahead more or less blindly. Unfortunately, society tends to focus on examples of positive outcomes when pushing for this kind of approach and to ignore or downplay the many cases where it has produced negative consequences. 

When we founded Monomyth and were looking to grow our client base, we were tempted to take any and all projects offered to us. After all, these were paying clients and getting paid is a good thing! Fortunately for our agency and the companies we’ve collaborated with through the years, we didn’t (often) take the bait. Instead, we learned from others who had gone down that path and we opted to embrace the power of saying “No.”  

Saying “Yes” to the Right Engagements

Not surprisingly, we’ve had people say to us, “Isn’t focusing on ‘No’ a negative way to run a company?” To address that question, maybe we need to look at our business model from a different perspective. By declining to work with clients who aren’t a good cultural fit for us or who don’t have products or services that we believe in, we free up time and resources that enable us to say “Yes!” to clients who do meet those very important criteria.

What we’ve found is that being discerning about who we collaborate with (in the same way that we hope companies are selective about the agencies they engage with) delivers a wide range of benefits for our clients. This includes:

  • Powerful and effective marketing strategy from an agency that sees the world like they do
  • High-quality deliverables crafted by creatives who care about the company’s image 
  • Ample time and resources dedicated to projects by a firm that isn’t overwhelmed with countless obligations taken on just to pay the bills
  • An agency willing to go “the extra mile” because they share the client’s passion

What’s Good for the Goose…

We adopted our approach to business because, first and foremost, it’s good for our clients. But there’s no denying that saying “Yes” to the right projects is good for our team as well. We’ve learned that doing so has a positive impact on us collectively and individually in that it:

  • Ensures we have the time and focus to do our best work
  • Gives us a sense of purpose as we craft campaigns and the creative pieces to support them
  • Provides a strong sense of accomplishment when the strategy we’ve developed with people we enjoy working with produces exceptional results
  • Results in repeat business and glowing referrals 

In the Office and Beyond It

Saying “No” (and “Yes”) after careful consideration about what really matters and how the choice aligns with our values and goals has benefits that extend far beyond the office, of course. By practicing what we preach at work in other settings, we’ve found that we’re building and maintaining personal relationships on a foundation of honesty, transparency, and respect, and in the process, we’re creating time and space for life to be less stressful and more rewarding.

November 28, 2018

Screens, Self-Esteem, and Creative Confidence

It often goes unnoticed. The steady beat of your workflow going from computer to phone, Facebook to Instagram, back to your work, back to scrolling. Your retinas taking in every glowing pixel it can before it processes each one to form that crippling self-conscious thought: “They’re so much better at _____ than I am.”

Melodramatic? Maybe. But when studies show that people who used Facebook most frequently had lower trait self-esteem that those who used Facebook less or not at all, it’s hard to ignore that there is a clear correlation.

We’ve read the articles and can point to a plethora of other sources and statistics to a very real experience we have while on social networks. We feel the sting of comparison, heightened anxiety and deeper sadness, as the general population.

But how does it affect our work as creatives? As artists do, we can claim that negative feelings or experiences often inspire our designs or written words. But as problem-solvers, how is our self-esteem affected by one of our generation’s most-used resources when we sit down to create? What then can we do about it?

The Creative’s Plight

If you’re in or often around the creative class, we don’t have to do much explaining that this workforce is unique. We’re thinkers and doers. Dreamers and strategists. Heroes and trusty sidekicks. And it’s in the throes of this balancing act that makes collaboration and community crucial to our work. As comrades, we encourage, offer constructive feedback and can brainstorm solutions together. But we can also encounter negative aspects of our co-working.

Results from a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study showed that the more time young adults spent on social media, the more likely they were to have problems sleeping and report symptoms of depression. Instagram, Pinterest, Behance, and other platforms often used for inspiration can truly spark new ideas, but for some might cause unhealthy comparison and negative self-esteem.

The term “Instagram-envy” exists for a reason, but we don’t often associate that with our creative roles, social circles among other creators, and our own sense of confidence. Are we congratulating others on their new client work, while also feeling a tinge of jealousy? That might be a sign that we’re putting too much weight on finding our value in relation to others.

Paying Attention to Our Habits

Being self-aware can be a gift and a curse. But there are some things we can be mindful of when determining if our “harmless” habits are in fact causing us to question our abilities and thus our creative output.

How often do we turn to social media when stressed? It’s a mindless muscle memory we’ve learned. We pick up our phones or open a new tab at the first sign of boredom or to drown out stressors through the day. But what are we looking for? To see what our colleagues are working on to stack up our projects against? If we figure out the reason why we turn so quickly to perpetual scrolling, we can start to change the cycle.

When someone else succeeds, what’s our first internal reaction? When creative counterparts we look up to post a new design, app, rendering, photo, or article, do we internalize it and ask ourselves, “what cool things am I doing?” There’s an angle of healthy motivation and friendly competition, but it can teeter the line of negative self talk.

When we fail, do we immediately assume it’s because of our lack of ability, or do we accept that failures are inevitable and happen to the best of us? This one is crucial. Because it’s something that every single one of us–no matter how experienced–will encounter. The way we fail is more telling than the fact that we have failed.

Reclaiming Our Creative Joy

Truly honor others’ achievements

It’s safe to say others are feeling the same effects of social media as we are. So when much-needed successes come after periods of hard work and diligence, those ‘congratulations’ and ‘nice job’s go a long way for others, too.

• Find positive ways to fuel inspiration that doesn’t involve comparison.

Reading books, looking at architecture, talking with trusted friends, or even going for long walks to clear your mind can fuel our creative work just as much, and arguably better than scouring the internet for inspiration.

• Give yourself some grace.

We all have good days and bad days in our crafts. Give yourself a break and don’t fall victim to the “I’ll never be as good” game.

Regularly recognize your own successes, no matter how small.

It’s a sure-fire way to reignite your motivation. Every now and then, when your creativity is feeling dry, think about how far you’ve come, things you’ve accomplished, and the things you’re proud of. We guarantee your perspective will switch its lens from doubt to gratitude. And that’s a much better state of mind to create from.

Scroll less, think more.

Put the phone down and use your best asset, your mind. When we have time to actually think for ourselves without the input from the rest of the world, we uncover our values, beliefs, motivations and preferences. If you’re facing a creative roadblock, take to pen and paper and work out your thoughts and ideas on analog before you get back to the digital realm.

Screens and our long-spent days of perusing through computers and technology is the norm for what we do. It can’t be avoided. But the one thing we do have control over is how we react and use these tools. Here’s to more kind and intentional use of our glowing screens.

May 16, 2017

Project Highlight: Orsden Web Experience

Orsden is a direct-to-consumer ski apparel start up, aiming to bring style and performance back to the slopes. Sara Segall, a former marketer at Revlon, founded Orsden. Their apparel has been featured in Sports Illustrated and recently wrapped up a Kickstarter campaign to expand their collection.

Orsden’s brand was designed by Anton Anger. The logo features a bear silhouette, which calls out to the meaning of the brand’s name. Orsden comes from the French for snow bear: ours de neige.

We came into the project to design and develop a web experience for Orsden. We needed to create a site that aesthetically balances the quality of their skiwear with the affordability of the direct-to-consumer model. This is a dichotomy that a lot of companies have to work around (Warby Parker, Tuft & Needle) and the key is to create a unique experience that is informative for the user. Because they were only selling two products at the time, we created an experience that felt full with the capacity to grow.

Orsden positions themselves as a lifestyle brand—that their apparel is not just for the slopes but also for après. The photography, custom shot in Chilé, promotes lifestyle imagery compared to the industry standard of aggressive sports photography. We also developed a snow tracker that allows the user to see where it is snowing around the world. Jon Arvizu created a custom illustration of a snow bear for the About page.

Originally, we considered building the website on Shopify. However, we soon realized Shopify wouldn’t allow us the flexibility we needed for custom product pages and a blog. We used Craft to build the custom pages and integrated Shopify for the cart and inventory management. Craft allowed for a tailored experience that is simple to use but fast for the user. We also initiated speed optimization for the high-resolution images and for the code. The site is responsive, thus accessible from all devices.

We wrote the copy for the site, focusing on the lifestyle aesthetic here as well. The main headline “For Those Who Don’t Hibernate” ties together the ours de neige imagery while exciting the user with some initial energy. The copy combines the technical and the experiential. It teaches the user about the research and development of the apparel while celebrating the Alpine lifestyle.

May 2, 2017

Project Highlight: Properties by JADA

As a husband-wife-son operation, JADA renovates historic homes to create unique living spaces for people interested in Phoenix’s central corridor.

We developed a brand and web experience for JADA, creating a cohesive aesthetic that represents their style of renovation.

Because they restore historic homes in Phoenix, we needed to create a brand that has a historic appearance while still catering to a contemporary audience. Most of Phoenix’s historic districts hold homes built between 1915 and 1950. We created a brand that featured early mid-century traits. Their logo is built with shapes and geometric forms that show the letters of the brand name. The mark is contained and easily expanded to other applications.

Their color palette is strong and modern without being overtly masculine. The photography and colors blend the feminine aspects of the brand with the masculine, creating an aesthetic that is accessible for everyone.

The web experience is simple. They are a relatively straightforward company with a simple goal: creating homes they would want to live in. Their website is mimetic of this model. It is clean and straightforward, offering the information you need to know about them up front. Unlike many other companies in their industry, their web experience is not overtly elegant or hyper-modern. It is simple and content-forward.

We developed the site on Craft, which allows for a clean development process. It also provides an easy control system for JADA to access and adjust the content on their site in the future.

The photography is a critical piece of JADA’s web experience. Because what they do is so visual, their potential consumers want to see the homes they restore. The photography defines their aesthetic and the work they put into the homes they restore.

March 15, 2017

Project Highlight: My Birthday Playlist

My Birthday Playlist collects the #1 Billboard hits from your birthday every year since you were born. It populates a timeline of all the songs and allows you to export your playlist to Spotify.

We developed this little web application as a holiday project after returning to the studio the first week of January. The idea was to develop something that fostered a sense of nostalgia, something that would encapsulate your life in a simple playlist.

My Birthday Playlist


It seems simple, but logistically, creating My Birthday Playlist proved more complicated than we had anticipated. First, Billboard doesn’t offer an API, so we had to use a service called Apifier to crawl their site. This provided the data set we needed, but it wasn’t formatted in a usable way. We wrote a Ruby script that took in a file, parsed it, and put it into a meaningful format, which was then put through a JS script that grouped the tracks by year. So, we had the data (finally), but then we had to work through it.

The lifeblood of the app was the ability to integrate the playlist with Spotify. We created a Javascript function that looks through each song and queries against Spotify’s API. Because Spotify’s API is amazing, it was easy to set up the authentication feature.

My Birthday Playlist results


We designed a minimalistic interface that would be not only simple to use, but also focus its energy on the content. With simple text and functionality, we used the bright colors as the significant visual element of the site. We created an original experience through the type, livening up a relatively straightforward input field.

The visual aesthetic, influenced by Spotify’s use of bright colors and gradients, emphasizes the Spotify playlist integration.

January 23, 2017

An Interview with David Hildreth and Silas Kyler


David Hildreth and Silas Kyler are the creators of Felled, a documentary film about urban lumberjacking. In conjunction with the movie, they created a book called The Art and Craft of Wood.

Could you tell us a bit about how Felled came to fruition?

David: Felled is the story of saving a dead neighborhood tree that was headed for the landfill and giving it new life and purpose. It’s about finding worth and beauty in something that everyone else sees as trash. Silas and I worked together on a bunch of different video projects over the years and talked about making a documentary together. After a big monsoon storm Silas told me that he thought he’d stumbled upon a good story for a short documentary. Silas and his friend James found a big tree that came down in the storm and started on a journey to turn the tree into lumber for furniture. I think Silas just had a good intuition for the topic and realized that he was meeting really interesting people along the way. It turns out that when a tree comes down in someone’s yard the wood generally just goes to the landfill. That’s a huge waste of resources that could otherwise become beautiful furniture or art. So we started shooting the process and after a while it was pretty clear that we could make a feature length piece about the whole issue. We happened upon a subculture of people who are fundamentally offended by that waste and were doing great work to turn trash into something more meaningful.

Is there a community of urban lumberjacks in Phoenix? How did you access this community?

Silas: Yes! Discovering that people were doing this work around the Valley was one of the main things that pulled David and I into this story initially. Starting out, I really wasn’t sure if recycling urban trees was a thing in Phoenix or not, but after doing some searching, mainly through Craigslist, I got in touch with a couple local sawyers. As it turns out, there are a bunch of mills in the valley that use local wood, all working pretty much autonomously. Through the course of producing this film I would say the community aspect has begun to grow, which is exciting. It seems like Facebook has really become a major word of mouth marketing medium for these businesses, and I’ve seen more and more of these businesses connect. More importantly, word is getting out about what they’re doing.

What has the experience of making the film been like? What goes into making a feature length film?

David: I was involved with a few other features before, but this is the first I have a hand in directing. It’s an enormous amount of work. We’ve essentially spent all of our free time for the last 2.5 years engaged in shooting, editing, or promoting the film in some way. We had a preview screening a month or so ago and someone asked how much time had been spent on the film. I answered that essentially every single evening and weekend since July ‘14 and the audience had a good laugh. Obviously that’s an exaggeration but some days I look back and it feels like that’s exactly how it’s been. Since we started production we’ve both changed jobs, we’ve both had a kid (my first, Silas’ third), and I don’t even know how many times I’ve gone into the office the next day on just a few hours of sleep. I think that’s just the reality of documentary filmmaking. It’ll be interesting to see what documentary filmmaking looks like in 10 years, but from what I see, the vast majority of documentaries will be a side hustle like Felled. The economics of filmmaking just work out that way. We’re incredibly lucky to have had a lot of help from friends and family.

How did the book become a part of this project?

David: We put out the first trailer for Felled last year and had some great success with it being shared all over Facebook. From that came a lot of interesting opportunities including a book deal with Quarto Publishing. It’s certainly not the first woodworking book on the market, but urban lumber brings an interesting twist on traditional woodworking. It’s exciting to take what we’ve learned about urban lumber and give people a step by step way of engaging with this wasted resource. We’d love for the book and the film to inspire people to look at the trees in their neighborhoods differently. Trees aren’t just a good way to clean the air and provide shade. When they die, they could be your next dinner table. Across the country we’re seeing people take this overlooked resource and turn it into something beautiful.

How did you go about writing it?

Silas: Starting out, the task of writing The Art and Craft of Wood was pretty intimidating to me. I had never planned to go write a book and I had never considered how to approach such a project. It felt like I was entering a big, unknown world. Thankfully, the book follows a pretty standard how-to format, so the structure was straight forward when we got down to it. David always accuses me of being a linear thinker, which is totally true. Being able to build the actual projects in the book and take a lot of photographs along the way gave us a nice linear workflow and foundation to build upon, which pleased my brain. Our editor, Jess, has been great through this whole process as well, and working through all of this stuff with her has been an incredible benefit.

Anything that has been deemed worthy of being published, especially in a physical book carries a certain authority, which is something that blows my mind about this project. Being a self-trained woodworker, I never held myself as some sort of expert on the topic. As I dug into the technical instructions in the book, it made me question every procedure I would describe, which led to a lot of extra research to make sure I wasn’t committing some kind of craftsmanship malpractice.

Have you had any unexpected things happen throughout the course of this project?

David: We are blown away and very grateful for the way Felled has been received. The people we tell about the project are excited and want to know more. Most people have never thought about what happens to the tree in their yard when it dies and everyone can recognize that sending that tree to the landfill is a waste. It’s refreshing to be able to make a positive film and maybe along the way inspire people to build some furniture and art that they can pass down through their families for generations to come.

You’ve been working on this project for quite a while. How did it influence you?

Silas: I’ve never worked this long on a single creative project before and I think it’s really unique how spending several years of my life on Felled has changed the way I see the trees in my city. Before I started this project I had never heard of the term “urban forestry,” but now I find myself going to urban forestry conferences and talking to urban foresters with ease. This process has taught me that, in many ways, modern society sees urban and suburban areas as the place where we consume resources, leaving the extraction of resources, or production of goods to those places outside our cities, or even our country. As cities have grown and people have spread further and further, it is apparent that a consumer relationship with our world isn’t very sustainable, and seeing what’s around us, as part of a wholistic system, is really important. This can start with something as simple as a tree, and understanding that it is part of something larger. I guess I’m just describing sustainability, but learning how to use a fallen tree, and discovering it’s place in a larger system just made that concept a lot more tangible to me.

January 19, 2017

From Mental Illness to Marketing: the Psychology of Nostalgia


What is Nostalgia?

Nostalgia was first defined by Johannes Hoffer, a Swiss doctor who described the condition as “a neurological disease of essentially demonic cause.” He noticed symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and even fever in Swiss mercenaries who were longing for their native land. He coined the term using the roots nostos, a Greek word for returning home, and algos, pain or longing. Literally, nostalgia was a condition of homesickness.

The negative implications of nostalgia continued into modern psychology. It was a condition likened to depression and melancholy. Only recently have psychologists acknowledged the benefits of nostalgia and demerited its understanding as an illness.

Nostalgia in the Now

Modern psychologists have determined that nostalgia is not a mental illness. In fact, it’s universal part of the human experience, regardless of age or culture. Continually, frequent dips into these recesses of our minds are associated with higher self-esteem and a greater sense of belonging. According to The New York Times, “most people report experiencing nostalgia at least once a week, and nearly half experience it three or four times a week.”

In many recent studies, “participants who were induced to feel nostalgic expressed more optimism of the future. This optimism is related to two other factors. First, nostalgia makes people feel more socially connected to others. This social connection boosts people’s positive feelings about themselves. That increase in self-esteem then increases feelings of optimism.”

Imagine remembering a song you listened to as a kid. You look it up on YouTube, find the music video, and share it with a friend. They remember the video and the lyrics, and they’re as excited about it as you are. Now you both identify with each other in a way you didn’t before. Nostalgia is about community and belonging: it confirms that we were, and are, a part of something. We are inherently connected.

According to John Tierney of The New York Times:

“A quick way to induce nostalgia is through music, which has become a favorite tool of researchers. In an experiment in the Netherlands, Ad J. J. M. Vingerhoets of Tilburg University and colleagues found that listening to songs made people feel not only nostalgic but also warmer physically.

That warm glow was investigated in southern China by Xinyue Zhou of Sun Yat-Sen University. By tracking students over the course of a month, she and colleagues found that feelings of nostalgia were more common on cold days. The researchers also found that people in a cool room (68 degrees Fahrenheit) were more likely to nostalgize than people in warmer rooms.”

Nostalgia is a bittersweet emotion. Our memories are not always positive, but the act of nostalgia makes life feel more meaningful and gives us a sense of purpose. People who feel nostalgia more often tend to have a more optimistic outlook on life, higher self-esteem, and are literally less cold.

Nostalgia Marketing

We’re all familiar with nostalgia marketing, even if we don’t use that terminology ourselves. Essentially, advertisers and marketers now realize the power of nostalgia. They take advantage of all the feel-goods we get from remembering childhood. Now, many ad campaigns from major brands feature music, television, and other pop culture media from our childhoods. This marketing tactic fosters that sense of inclusion between us and the product they are selling.


Spotify released an ad campaign featuring Never Ending Story, ending with a link to listen to their “Never Ending ’80s” playlist.


After Netflix released “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross to their streaming service, Adobe released an ad campaign titled “The Joy of Sketching.” The ad features the Adobe Photoshop Sketch application on the iPad Pro, but with the same aesthetic, music, and vocabulary of the original Bob Ross show.

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is the most recent, notable success in nostalgia marketing. The reboot of Pokemon blew up in the summer of 2016 and has generated approximately $35 million in revenue since. Though it may seem like a game for kids, it is targeting a particular audience: people who were young in the 90’s. The app is not designed for kids because you need a mobile phone with a data plan and the ability to travel around your city. It is an app designed for people nostalgic for the 1998 Gameboy hit and subsequent card games, tv shows, etc.

In fact, Niantic developed a similar game, Ingress, before Pokemon Go. By similar, we mean it’s the exact same game minus the Pokemon. It didn’t do very well. Nostalgia for the old Pokemon games was the most significant feature in the Niantic’s success.

nostalgia birthday playlist

The Birthday Playlist

A few weeks ago, one of our developers showed us his idea for a simple site. Type in your birthday and it generates a playlist of the Number 1 songs from the Billboard Top 100 list for every year since you were born. He worked out some of the code, and before too long, we were all standing around Vince’s desk looking up our birthday playlists.

Here are some notable highlights:

Ultimately, it’s a simple idea, nothing complicated, but it got all of us out of our chairs. It got us talking about what the first CD we bought at Sam Goody was. This birthday playlist pulled us all into the nostalgia.

While we’re riding this wave of optimism, we wanted to present the idea that music is community and a catalyst of nostalgia. That by sharing it, we create a sense of belonging. So, here’s our Birthday Playlist project. We hope it does your self-esteem as much good as it did ours.   

January 10, 2017

Hero’s Beacon Cold Brew

Hero's Beacon Cold Brew

As a token of our appreciation leading into the New Year, we created Hero’s Beacon: a unique cold brew iced coffee from Monomyth Studio. This limited, promotional cold brew is available to our friends and clients, or random wanderers who happen to journey into our office.

The cold brew is steeped for 24 hours in cold water, producing an iced coffee that is more caffeinated, less acidic, and better tasting. Leah Newsom, our content developer/words person, has a background in making cold brew coffee, not only experimenting on her own, but also as the creator of local favorite Royal Coffee Bar’s original bottled cold brew recipe.

Hero's Beacon Cold Brew

Hero’s Beacon uses beans from one of our favorite roasters, Brandywine Coffee Roasters out of Delaware. The beans are an Ethiopian Shakiso, naturally processed, with tasting notes of raspberry, cola, and tangerine.

We named the cold brew Hero’s Beacon, as a reference to the Monomyth “Hero’s Journey” story. We wanted to convey not only our love for coffee, but how every hero needs a guiding light. Sometimes that light can be an ally, a mentor, or a wise word. Other times, it’s just good coffee.

Hero's Beacon Cold Brew

We created a custom bottle design with an interchangeable promotional tag, right now featuring a New Years message for our clients and friends. The back of the bottle introduces some iconography from our brand update (coming later in the spring). Each bottle was hand-dipped in  gold wax to create a seal, to be torn off by the string of the tag.

So, clients and friends, keep your eyes out for us. We might be strolling through your doors with something delicious.

December 9, 2016

Caffio Espresso Bar: Project Highlight


Caffio Espresso Bar is a mobile coffee shop serving delicious drinks out of a historic VespaCar. We were asked to create an identity for the business, inspired both by a love for coffee and the history of Italian scooter culture. The VespaCar is also known as a Piaggio Apé, Apé meaning bee in Italian.


The logo, in turn, is a bee with an espresso cup as a body. It is a simple one-color application that makes it ideal for stamping on cups, sleeves, napkins, and other ephemera of the coffee industry. You can find Caffio buzzing around farmers markets, art festivals, and other local events.