Gray & Co.

Launching this week: a new responsive website for this luxury active travel company. With a smart filtering system for the Where & When section, separate versions of the website for smart phones and tablets and an easy-to-use content management system, this major update should – like the logo created for them a few years back – last them for many years to come. Our advice? If you’re planning an active getaway to a faraway place (or even close by), call the bright and knowledgeable people at Gray & Co. or just visit the new website and dream about it.

SHARE

ATA Architects Inc.

ATA has a passion for architecture. Since its founding in 1982, the company has won numerous awards for its work. And now, with the launch of its new website, the company has a smart platform to highlight examples of its finished structures and to post recent news items. Created using the latest adaptive technology – ensuring a full digital experience – all content is readable on smart phones and tablets.

SHARE

A Long Way Away

Frank’s new two-way adventure for kids launched this spring and has received three stars and great reviews. The New York Times says, “Illustrated with the joyous aesthetic of a Matisse cut-paper collage, the story works gracefully both ways…‘A Long Way Away’ delivers an exciting out-and-back adventure while proving there’s still room for invention in the nondigital book format.” Publishers Weekly says, “Intelligently conceived and handsomely executed, it’s a potential classic.” Get it here.

SHARE

The New Yorker

In recent years the fabled Northwest Passage has become more navigable because climate change has reduced the pack ice. One story in the most recent issue of The New Yorker chronicles the voyage of an enormous ship transporting iron ore across the top of the world. Frank’s latest cover (on newsstands this week) commemorates this lamentable crossing.

SHARE

One Billion Rising

Eve Ensler and the rest of the team at V-Day were struggling to find a compelling design strategy for the ONE BILLION RISING initiative. In the middle of the project, they decided to switch gears and turned to Viva & Co. for assistance on their website and ad campaign (now running in magazines like Mother Jones and Harper’s). ONE BILLION RISING began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. On February 14, 2013 (V-Day’s 15th anniversary), activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities and women and men across the world will come together to express their outrage, strike, dance and rise in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women. To date, the success of the campaign has been overwhelming – and we are gratified to have been able to help in a small way. Activists around the world have already planned thousands of ONE BILLION RISING events for February 14, 2013.

SHARE

A Lesson in Green

Josh Greenhut is a brand strategist,researcher and writer based in Toronto. Because we were brought in on day one – and because Josh encourages a dynamic team approach – we were able to help with all aspects of this start-up, including the logotype, stationery, website and tagline. Without any legacy issues to complicate matters, we were able to ensure that every creative decision supported and underscored Josh’s “inside up” approach to helping his clients. This not only applies to the integrated ladder in the logotype and countless other details, but also the way the website navigation works. Both companies learned a lot in the process, such as this: if a person’s name begins with the word “Green,” you simply can’t use red for the logo. And although we haven’t committed the time and resources necessary to carry out conclusive research on the matter, we know it to be true.

SHARE

Trufflepig

Trufflepig creates custom travel experiences for discerning clients who appreciate all things smart and sublime (including websites). At its core, the brand is about connecting dots, unearthing new finds and, above all, curiosity. In keeping with Trufflepig’s raison d’être, our response to their request for a new website was to create an entirely customized solution from the ground up. We even went a step further and produced an exclusive backend interface to suit TP’s internal workflow. While we could package up the code and architecture we developed and resell it as a website “theme,” we never will. As Charlie Scott (cofounder of Trufflepig) states, “I sort of feel like we ordered a garden variety salad and got a steak – with sizzle to spare. Viva & Co. kept the project moving forward smoothly, always with a smile. We’re tickled pink, of course.”

SHARE

PUBLIC Bikes

The most recent brainchild of serial entrepreneur and all around do-gooder Rob Forbes is San Francisco-based PUBLIC Bikes. Well known for founding Design Within Reach, Mr. Forbes decided it was time to address his passion for cycling. The quality and style of these bikes clearly demonstrates that he still believes in great design – but this time around he’s taking it to the streets. With a thoughtful brief, Mr. Forbes asked 27 designers – including Milton Glaser, Stefan Sagmeister, Maira Kalman and Erik Spiekermann – to each design a poster for PUBLIC Bikes. The focus of the project (and the travelling show) is to draw attention to public space, the value of our civic lives and how bikes can help. Frank Viva’s poster is shown on the left.

SHARE

A Real Trip

Frank’s latest book, A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse, came out on September 25. Early notices – including a starred review in Publishers Weekly – bode well. This one is from yesterday’s New York Times: “Viva’s debut, Along a Long Road, was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2011, and he brings that same visual audacity and forward momentum to his first early reader. Told in full spreads and comic-book-style panels, the story of a boy in a bat T-shirt and his mouse takes readers aboard a small boat headed to Antarctica. The mouse is initially reluctant, but the boy eventually wins him over with a swim in a wondrous volcanic lagoon. What child wouldn’t be on board for that?”

SHARE

Pinto Wray James LLP

Located on University Avenue near Osgoode Hall, Pinto Wray James LLP is a member of a new breed of fast-growing law firms that truly understand how to use the web as a powerful marketing tool. While the site we built uses best practices in SEO, PWJ also makes great use of social media and AdWords. They regularly create and publish fresh online content and do everything possible to improve their rankings – Google loves PWJ.

In addition to their website, Viva & Co. created a comprehensive brand identity system that the partners are very happy with. The exercise repositions PWJ as the brand they are: a progressive and innovative law office firmly rooted in tradition. Each component – including logo, stationery, digital templates, signage, forms and the new website – came in on budget despite a very long (but thoughtful) list of requirements.

Looking back, perhaps the biggest undertaking was transferring the mountain of existing content from the old database to the new one – we didn’t have to be told that this task had to be completed flawlessly with careful editorial oversight. We knew.

What unsolicited comment did PWJ share with Viva & Co. as the four-month project wrapped up? “Thank you for your exceptional work on the website and our rebranding all around. You have done just excellent work and we are greatly appreciative!”

SHARE