Monthly Archives: March 2016

2015 Davey Award Winner

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Towards the end of 2015, we were proud to announce that Passion & Poison Studio brought home the Silver Davey Award for Infographic Design. The subject matter for this particular infographic becomes more and more relevant as the Presidential race dominates the media.  No matter who becomes the next POTUS, they will have to deal with the existing long-term fiscal challenges.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a non-partisan organization dedicated to addressing America’s long-term fiscal challenges to ensure a better economic future. Led by Founder and Chairman Pete Peterson and President and CEO Michael Peterson, the Foundation works with leading policy experts, elected officials, and the public to build support for solutions to put America on a sustainable fiscal path.

In PGPF’s ongoing mission to educate and engage Americans with a variety of perspectives, they launched a new project called the Solutions Initiative where five think tanks from across the political spectrum put together a comprehensive long-term budget plan. The results were, as expected, dense with a lot of in-depth information.

PGPF asked that we represent this report of over 60 pages of data and charts in a visual way that would summarize to the readers the key findings from the report.

The idea was to convey that solutions do exist and that policymakers have a range of options to choose from, no matter what their fiscal approach might be, in an easy to read, impactful way.

This project resulted in our award winning infographic: Solutions do Exist. Take a look at the full piece in detail in our portfolio section. 

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By P & P Studio
The joys of a small agency

We are a small agency. Notice how we did not say “boutique” agency but “small” instead? That’s because we do not have a Napoleon complex.

We are not a small agency that wants to be “just like big agencies”- we embrace our size. We are proud to be a small shop.

In this era where the gargantuan global agencies talk about acting like small agencies, we can actually be one. It is fun for us. More importantly, our clients appreciate partnering with us because of our size, not despite it.

Why? Quite simply the reason boils down to our commitment. This commitment reverberates through all our groups and each one of our team members. Here at P&P Studio, it is not just the partners that strive to exceed expectations- the dedication comes from everyone. This unwavering dedication is what differentiates us.

We don’t have anything bad to say about big agencies. Big agencies can be awesome.

It’s just that our mindset is different. We recognize and welcome the fact that the days of having eight weeks to conceptualize are over. While process and framework still matter, timetables are just not what they used to be.  Instead of complaining about this, we understand that companies need to move faster. That’s why our clients praise us on our nimbleness and agility.

Of course, we work hard to have a successful infrastructure to make it happen. Otherwise, the agile mindset does not get you anywhere. We offer nimble solutions while remaining thoughtful and considering each possible angle.

We work hard. All of us. Each and every day. That’s why our clients always feel that feel like they are working with a huge team on their side. They really do because everyone at our shop works for them 100% of the time. From the intern who is researching apps on the weekends for our app project to the graphic designer who dedicates his personal hours to do market research, we are all committed to our clients.

One of the cliched agency buzzwords is “being partners with our clients”. How often do agencies really act as the clients’ partners?

Nothing makes us happier than anticipating our clients’ needs and offer solutions for them before they even make the request. We feel that all our clients are our partners so being proactive only feels natural to us. That’s why we love to delight by giving them a turn around time that they thought was going to be impossible. More importantly, we love to delight them by our solutions that drive results.

Here is to our clients and our passion for them!

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By P & P Studio
Music is the Message: Vinyl Cover Art

With SXSW around the corner, everyone is talking about the “Vinyl Revival”.  Vinyl sales have steady been on the rise for the last 10 years, accounting for 24% of all music revenue and moving over 12 million units in 2015.  For many of us this isn’t a trend, it’s always been there as part of our lives. Vinyl has withstood the test of time, and with that the art of the vinyl cover, too. In fact, we can even say that vinyl art is the message to a certain degree.

From gatefolds to Japanese 45 picture sleeves, vinyl cover art stood on its own. Unlike CDs, tapes and digital downloads, the vinyl cover is something to be cherished, placed on display, even framed and hung; not merely tossed into a bin in your garage or storage unit.  Vinyl cover art leaves an impression on you.  After hours of digging in dusty record stores or flea market crates, you come across that one album, you know it has some gems on it but even more importantly, visually it hits you like ton of bricks.  Suddenly it’s all worth it.

Vinyl cover art tells a story, not just about the music, but also about the era in which it was conceived.  It speaks of culture, fashion, the socio-political climate, and emotions of the time.  From the sensual, sexy covers of the Ohio Players to the colorful psychedelics of Eddie Hazel and Jimi Hendrix to the politically driven covers of Fela Kuti, each piece gives a glimpse into what was happening in the world. 

Our Creative Director had the pleasure of curating an in depth visual exploration of vinyl cover art through the ages.  Above are several excerpts from that exhibition.  The curation is based on themes and that becomes obvious as you delve in to the images.

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By P & P Studio
Miguel Talks New USA Soccer Team Logo

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Our Production Director, Miguel, shares his feelings on the new USA National Soccer Team crest/logo redesign.

Objectively:

It is good to see a re-branding well done especially with the recent fiascos that we seemed to be surrounded with, such as the recent “The Met” re-brand or even more heartfelt one like the new Uber logo. 

The graphic direction here is very “American” and on trend. I guess it is somehow good to see that there is a direction that tries to go beyond the sport itself and meets the actual visual identity of the country; however, this means that there is something missing that connects the crest with the sport or with the country’s team itself. In other words, if this was a patch on the arm of a soldier or if this was on a baseball jersey it would still be a great crest… not a football (editor’s note; Miguel means “soccer” here. Being a Colombian, his idea of football will always be the one that’s actually played with feet!) crest. 

The typography (90′) is very well done and the variety of weights and its readability makes it a great graphic asset. In addition, like in many other areas of design, flat design has taken over some of the most important re-brand projects in the past years. It is not only cleaner; but also, it is better for implementation on all the electronic devices and platforms that we now all use.

For example:

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To clarify, I am not saying that, it is necessary to be as literal as the Long Island Rough Riders (below) but it is somehow necessary to have a hint of “patriotism” and a sense of owning the sport, itself … Especially for a country like USA that is so very patriotic and passionate about its teams.

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Subjectively:

Personally I never liked the previous U.S. Logo because it reminded me of the 1994 World Cup so… good f’ing riddance! Nevertheless and beyond my personal bad-football-memories I don’t see football in this new USA logo, I see a sharp design, a nice brand identity and good looking merchandise (I would definitely consider getting the new scarf). 

Perhaps it is because I’m not used to teams changing their logos that I feel that lack of identity in the new USA logo. I personally don’t like my team’s logo (below) but i would never change it because it is part of my identity, it would be like if my country one day decided to change the colors of the flag. 

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Not to go too far, here are some recognizable football logos that most likely won’t change for a good while because they just became an emblem of the sport and the country or city they represent. Even if they are not the best design in the world… they are football.

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By P & P Studio