Viva & Co. is an independent branding and design agency that creates online, print, visual identity, packaging and environmental solutions for clients, both large and small. For us, it’s about results, relationships and trust – in that order. If we’re lucky enough to win your business, we’ll do our best to create work that gets quantifiable results. In our experience, this leads to long-term relationships and the trust required – on your part – to reward us with new opportunities.

OUR TEAM

Frank Viva

Managing Director

Frank provides much of the strategy that informs the studio’s output. He is a cover artist for The New Yorker magazine and a sometimes reviewer for The New York Times Book Review. His first book, published by Little, Brown (New York), was a New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Book selection. His book, Young Frank, Architect, was the first picture book ever created for The Museum of Modern Art’s publications department. Translated from the original English into ten languages, it has gone on to win recognition from American Illustration, Communication Arts and has been cited on many ‘Best of 2014’ lists. His first full-length novel, Sea Change, came out in 2016. The Globe and Mail included it on their most anticipated spring books list and it was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection. Recent lectures include The Museum of Modern Art (Soho), the Apple Store (Grand Central Station), Oakland University and The Alcuin Society.

Todd Temporale

Creative Director

Todd might decide to rebuild a two-stroke engine one weekend and invent an entirely new system for trade show booths the next. He lives to go fast and has the dents and scrapes to prove it. Todd likes to get his hands dirty on the projects he designs, but also leaves his fingerprints on many other Viva & Co. projects. His work has received recognition from Communication Arts, the New York Type Directors Club, Applied Arts magazine and The Advertising & Design Club of Canada. His industrial design work includes custom seating, lighting and store fixtures. The Temporale family has been on the design scene in Canada for three generations. Todd’s grandfather, Louis, was a well-known sculptor who was responsible for the bas-relief on Toronto’s historic postal delivery building (and many other projects) and his father Alexander is a renowned architect.

Omar Morson

Associate Creative Director

Omar is Viva & Co.’s Associate Creative Director. His lifelong affinity for metal and rock n’ roll parallels the intensity and immediacy that he brings to his creative approach. Each and every workday (and often on weekends), he makes it his business to eschew safe solutions, which he regards as anything but safe. For the past sixteen years, he has been recognized internationally for his groundbreaking work for the likes of Mini, Holt Renfrew, LCBO, Sick Kids and The Rotman School of Business. After dalliances with some of the world’s most renowned advertising agencies and branding firms, he has found his way back to his first and only love (other than his family, of course), design.

Camille Viva

Web Team Manager

Camille received a dual degree in English and Psychology (B.Sc) from the University of Toronto. During her time at Victoria College, she worked her way up to become Editor-in-Chief of Idiom, the University’s Undergraduate English Journal. Her passion for programming and words led her to the world of digital publishing, where she wrote innovative code for e-books while establishing better companywide workflow management. At Viva & Co., her singular devotion to the management and execution of front end and back end web development (on all platforms and frameworks) has deepened her knowledge as she helps to transform static designs into pixel perfect online initiatives for clients like Le Creuset, Hopson Grace, Fluf, Tricon, CME, and Spy Distillery.

Andrew Oliveira

Project Manager

Andrew worked for many years as a Senior Project Manager for a leading provider of Enterprise Management Systems where he helped to steer tech start-ups through the difficult birthing process. At Viva & Co., he insists on team meetings each morning and comes equipped with a freshly brewed tasks, project updates – and of course, coffee. His solid background in writing and editing combined with a deep passion for cleanliness and organization has added a certain sparkle to the studio. Most important of all, using sophisticated project management tools (or a friendly call) clients are kept up-to-speed on project milestones on a weekly – if not, daily – basis. Andrew also comes equipped with a pilot’s licence (seriously). We would only ever call on him to deploy this skill if things got really out of hand.

Indira Wulf

Financial Director

If Indira catches anybody working on a project without first having an official docket number and the requisite matching folders, she will produce a glance so withering it will singe your eyebrows. She has a thorough knowledge of everything at Viva & Co. that has a dollar sign in front of it. Our suppliers love her and our accountant thinks she’s the best in the business. Indira has worked with Frank for over 20 years. She is family.

Mike Deinum

Junior Designer

Before deciding that graphic design was his true love (especially identities, packaging and motion graphics), Mike completed a degree from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Management and Marketing. We first met Mike through our long-time contacts at George Brown’s New School of Design as he was getting ready to complete a second major educational milestone, an advanced diploma in Graphic Design. After just a few weeks of working part-time at Viva & Co., we were so impressed by his knowledge of design and his positive attitude, we offered him a permanent position. Somewhere in his relatively short life, he also found time to attend an eight month photography and videography program in North Carolina. Did we mention that Mike is also a talented Barista?

Charlie Scott

Strategist/Writer

We first met longtime co-conspirator, Charlie, in the Loire Valley when he worked as a guide for Butterfield & Robinson. From there, he went on to hold various management positions at B&R before co-founding Trufflepig, a highly respected trip planning company. Flash forward twenty years: Charlie has sold his stake in Trufflepig and is footloose and fancy-free. Our first project together was a 50th anniversary book for Butterfield & Robinson (Slowing Down to See the World). Since then, we’ve worked on a complete rebrand for an international private bank and an investment management firm. You can often find him tinkering away on his laptop in our boardroom. If not, he’s probably searching for antique carpets in Turkey, lounging on a beach in Maine, or cycling through the Eastern Townships, Turkey!

Janille Giambattista

Project Manager

Even though she entered the professional world working in the non-profit sector, supporting small business owners and coordinating events throughout the country, Janille’s passion has always been for the written word. She obtained a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s Degree from the same university in French Linguistics. Janille’s biggest source of fulfillment comes from her conversations (in both English and French) with her friends, peers, colleagues and – as Viva & Co.’s project manager – clients and suppliers. Her greatest joy is offering her personal opinion during creative collaborations with like-minded people – especially during a heated and lively debate.

METHOD

Viva & Co. practises branding and design in nine related areas. Below, under each header, you’ll find some of the key principles that inform our approach to each discipline.

WEBSITES, MICROSITES & E-COMMERCE

  • Clear information architecture, usability and learnability should be the highest priorities.
  • Business objectives help determine the best choice of website platform (for example, WordPress vs. Shopify).
  • Detailed wireframes and an understanding of user experience are as critical to the delivery of a successful website as final blueprints are for a building.
  • With the rapid rise of tablets and smart phones, responsive design strategies are critically important.
  • Every programming decision is creative and strategic (that’s why we do most of it in-house).

SEO, SOCIAL MEDIA & EMAIL MARKETING

  • There are several powerful ways to increase targeted online traffic – you should use all of them!
  • Any site that is not optimized for search is wasting a potential competitive advantage.
  • Well-designed and well-written email blasts can stand out amongst the typical Inbox clutter.
  • Deciphering and analyzing email, search and social campaign results will help to inform and improve future marketing efforts.

REPORTS, BROCHURES, BOOKS & MAGAZINES

  • Paradoxically, print can now be used as a powerful differentiator.
  • The creative and eye-catching design of superlative information (such as, charts, diagrams, graphs, tables and timelines) can instantly change the conversation.
  • Planned reduction of paper waste to protect the environment should be the norm.
  • Smart planning from the outset makes it possible to secure high-quality printing without overpaying or delay.
  • Production schedules are essential, but in the end we do whatever it takes to meet the deadline.

MARKS, LOGOS & IDENTITY SYSTEMS

  • Get these elements right and you have a better chance of getting everything else right.
  • Research and analysis are indispensable – but then, so are intuition, instinct and luck.
  • Without thoughtful application standards and a strategy for governance, the best logo might be undermined in the first year.
  • A logo gains equity with every view, so it’s best to favour longevity and utility over trends.
  • Though a logo might include colour and motion for certain applications, it should always work flawlessly in one colour as well.

ADVERTISING

  • An ad can achieve an immediate return – ask us to see some ads that did!
  • An ad should respond to a need or desire, have a clear call to action and be smart, funny and elegant.
  • Plan from the start to leverage your core creative assets (copy, photography and illustration) for compelling animated online ads.
  • Read the tea leaves: the success (or failure) of a pay-per-click can be easily measured.
  • Deliver your ad to the outlet’s exact specifications and you just might be able to cajole your contact into giving you better placement.

PACKAGING, POP & PRODUCT DESIGN

  • To stand out, research the competitive environment at the point of purchase.
  • Use proven models to ensure that it wraps, hangs, sits, stands, dangles and scores properly.
  • Whenever possible, customize inexpensive off-the-shelf packaging and POP solutions.
  • If all else fails, invent new prototypes when there are no proven models to follow.
  • Great packaging informs, persuades and elicits an emotional response.

WRITING, NAMING & EDITING

  • Tenacity, a love of words and the pursuit of domain ownership should be at the heart of every naming exercise.
  • When great writing and design combine seamlessly, the message comes to life.
  • Press releases are best when they are succinct (full stop).
  • Equal care and attention should be paid to writing for social media as to writing for a billboard.
  • A great copy editor is worth his/her weight in gold (we have one on staff).
  • What you leave out is every bit as important as what you leave in.

ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN & TRADE SHOWS

  • Creating environments for retail and gallery spaces requires meticulous attention to detail.
  • Point-of-purchase and packaging schemes should fit seamlessly into designed environments.
  • Use cost-effective methods to distribute updated/seasonal displays to multiple locations (like, for example, printing digitally near each location).
  • Be clear about business objectives before considering aesthetics.

ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS & MOTION

  • Sometimes illustrations can communicate complex ideas more clearly than words.
  • Motion graphics can help to combat short attention spans.
  • Diagrams can help explain and distill complex assembly and instructional materials.
  • Consider animating multistage diagrams for online use.

AWARDS

In ten years, Viva & Co. has received over 130 design and illustration awards from the British D&AD, The New York Times (10 Best Illustrated Books of 2011), the New York Type Directors Club (3 awards), Communication Arts (6 awards), AIGA (50 Books/50 Covers), The Governor General’s Literary Awards (finalist), The Advertising & Design Club of Canada (7, including gold), American Illustration (13 in book), the Society of Illustrators (4 awards), Amazon, Applied Arts (17 awards), Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal and others. As the creative director at Viva Dolan Communications and Design, Frank Viva’s work was profiled with feature articles in Communication Arts,@issue, Applied Arts and many other magazines (and books). To date, his work has received more than 500 awards.

  • The Advertising & Design Club (including 8 gold awards)
  • American Illustration, New York
  • American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), New York
  • The New York Times (10 Best Illustrated Books of 2011)
  • The Governor General’s Literary Awards (finalist)
  • AR100 – Annual Report Awards Show, New York
  • The Type Directors Club (TDC), New York
  • Applied Arts Magazine, Toronto
  • Art Directors Club (ADC), New York
  • British Design & Art Direction (D&AD), London
  • Communication Arts, Palo Alto
  • Coupe Magazine, Toronto
  • Critique Magazine, Los Angeles
  • Graphis, New York (including platinum)
  • How Magazine, Cincinnati
  • Print Magazine, New York
  • The Society of Illustrators, New York
  • National Magazine Awards (including gold)
  • Studio Magazine, Toronto