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What's Passion without Poison?
Our Creative Director Featured on Reed Space

We are so proud to share that our Creative Director Lance Pilgrim was featured on the Reed Space’s NYC Artist Spotlight.

Reed Space is dedicated to creative culture featuring anything from art to independent fashion, from sneakers to publication from music to accessories and more.

Check out Reed Space for the full post—in the meanwhile, here are some tidbits from Lance:

There is no such thing as mediocrity if you put all of your all into everything. 

The cool thing about being a designer and an artist in general is that there no limitations to what you can do.

Of course, the agency dog Whiskey was also featured in the post because, he is just that adorable!

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By P & P Studio
Guerilla Pokemon NYC Shrines

The diabolical duo behind the #FakeBanksy art prank are at it again.

Continuing their tradition of poking fun at the cultural zeitgeist and the obsessive nature of social trends, their latest subject is none other than Pokemon GO.  

Hitting the streets of NYC, our creative director Lance Pilgrim, and his longtime partner in crime Dave Cicerelli set out to create street vigils for fallen Pokemon “victims” at Pokemon GO gym locations throughout the city, and WIRED Magazine was there every step of the way to see what they had in store.  The Pokemon GO craze continues and now people are taking to the streets to put up their own shrines for their fallen Pokemon. Remember they evolve into angels next! #RIPokemon

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By P & P Studio
Art, Guns & Adrien Brody: VIP Night Context NYC

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It is truly art week in New York City- from the MET Gala to Art New York to Frieze. The who’s who of dealers, collectors, and artists have all flooded the city.

We had the privilege of attending the VIP Preview of Context New York and Art New York, and the theme of much of the work was all too clear.

Art has always been an outlet of commentary on the current state of our world and society, of course. With the current state of affairs, it’s no wonder that much of the work featured had to do with vanity, consumption, and guns, guns, guns.  This has the tendency to be both trite and pandering to current events, but there were a few artists that stood out.

Ravi Zupa’s repurposed typewriter firearms particularly caught everyone’s attention.  Not necessarily a new concept, as Zupa has been making these since 2007, but only recently have they become stand-alone pieces.  The idea of using your words as your weapons resonates strong these days, as journalists and free speech are under heavy fire and suppression in a number of countries.

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Meanwhile, Colombian artist Federico Uribe used repurposed artillery in a much different manner.  Creating large sculptures of wildlife from variety of ballistics, Uribe took objects of destruction and turned them into objects of beauty.

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Quite a bit of fan fair was circulating around Academy Award Winning Actor, Adrien Brody, who managed to break into art scene with a number of pieces on display. One of which was his appropriation of the Starbucks logo depicting the mermaid brandishing two pistols. Not necessarily ground breaking, but celebrities catch everyone’s attention, so I digress.

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That brings me to the work of Javier Martin, who toys with the ideas of vanity and blindness, with high fashion photography intertwined with the use of neon lights obstructing the eyes of the subject. We are drawn to his work by the bright lights, and then hit with his underlying message. Ironically, the Adrien Brody hype at Context is a great example of this as so many are enamored with his celebrity as an actor, that they are blind to fact that the work isn’t all that great.

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Special thanks to Tai Zhang and Javier Martin for the invitation.

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By P & P Studio
NYC is our home

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As Passion & Poison Studio, we are proud to be a team that lives, works and breathes NYC.

Being a diverse, passionate studio that includes different backgrounds and nationalities, we are happy that the P&P team encompasses all three New Yorks that E.B. White has eternalized:

“There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable.

Second, there is the New York of the commuter—the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night.

Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities, the greatest is the last—the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements.

Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion.

And whether it is a farmer arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs

New York with the fresh yes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company.”

E.B. White

Finally, since we love this quote so much, we have also created a new wallpaper for it. Even better, it’s downloadable.

So elevate your computer (or iPhone) screen, check out the download (Or our previous one)

Download Sizes:

5120×2880

2560×1440

1920×1080

1440×900

iPhone 6

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By P & P Studio
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
Motto of the Day

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For someone who has not been active in advertising for over 2 decades, David Ogilvy is still incredibly relevant. Actually, some of his already incredible famous sayings ring more and more true each day. He is definitely one of our favorites at the studio. We admire his dry humor, quick wit and of course, brilliance.

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By P & P Studio
Coca-Cola’s Campaign Reminds Us of Something

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Earlier this month Coca-Cola revealed it’s new “Taste the Feeling” campaign. In an effort to shift the focus back to the product itself, Coca-Cola places the product in “universal”, relatable situations and used fashion photographers Guy Aroch and Nacho Ricci to capture these candid moments in an organic way. 

When we first saw the print ads for this new campaign, we immediately felt something was overwhelmingly familiar about them. Then in dawned on us: these all remind us of cigarette ads from the past; ranging from the late 60’s to the 80s, to be specific.

In their effort to create these fun, sensual ads that places Coke at the center and appeal to millennials, they (knowingly or unknowingly- we cannot say, of course!) created imagery that looks and feels the same as past cigarette ad campaigns.  

The tactic of the “youth having fun” with product was heavily used by cigarette brands like Newport, Salem, Winston and Camel to entice the younger market.  

Take a look at some of the side by side comparisons. 

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By P & P Studio