Everything you need is in your bones.
— Mama Nayo  

Identity + Narrative


This is the age of the quick fix, fast company, sound bites and buzz. In this environment, can a creative practice full of personalities, diverse talents and, yes, nuance, distill and communicate a clear, differentiating brand identity? Let’s begin around the virtual campfire with your best storytellers.

Talk about you, your history, vision, values and aspirations. What do you do better than any other firm? Tell us a story about that — a real, concrete example full of character and color. Show us the facts, dollars saved, performance improved, happy clients.

Tell us a story about those clients. Who needs you? What do they need/want? What changes are affecting their businesses or other aspects of their lives that connect to decisions about architecture and design? Let us recast these stories, find the language and images that will help those people you want to work with find you.


Today, stories are content—a word that has taken on a pervasive and powerful expanded meaning in very short time. Stories, long form and bite-sized, verbal and visual. It’s the intellectual capital that sets a firm apart.

Capturing the content is just the first step in building identity and recognition. The New York Times, Architectural Record, Architizer, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, your blog—what content will be most effective in what venue? A content strategy built around a clear brand identity provides a guide for decision-making and places the right story in the right media.

An integrated communications platform leverages multiple media vehicles to deliver your message to the market and positions you positively in the mind of your audience. Creating and disseminating distinctive, original content communicates the values, ideas and expertise that are at the heart of your brand identity.

The oldest pathway for which the brain is hardwired is narrative.
— John Seeley Brown   

Van Gilbert, FAIA

An effective protagonist for his clients and his community, Van Gilbert leverages his knowledge, his talents, and his wide network of relationships to protect his state's rich heritage, to develop a contemporary architectural vocabulary that is distinctly of its time and place, and to create a portfolio of projects and initiatives that enrich the lives of the individuals who use them - students, teachers, visitors to his zoos and aquariums, local residents and tourists alike.

STIR Architecture

As a legacy firm entering its fourth decade, the partners realized an opportunity to reposition the practice. The founding and name partners were no longer involved, and while the name Altoon + Porter Architects held considerable brand equity, the next generation of leaders wanted to signal that firm was future-focused with a new visual and verbal identity. At the same time, it was important that the new identity express the continuity in way the firm practiced and the passion for complex, mixed-use projects that had long been its hallmark.

Storyteller in Chief

They carry a range of titles, from creative director to director of communications to senior vice president. Their career paths include roles as surprising as director of R&D for a Fortune 500 textile manufacturer and professor of classics. What they share is a belief in the power of storytelling to bring a brand alive and communicate the values of organizations.

Forum Studio

The Future is Now: We believe the exchange of ideas, information, tools, and materials is easier because our technology platforms and the people that operate them are moving in sync and at speed.

PDR Insights

PDR is a hybrid practice that combines the authority and business acumen of a world-class consultancy and the creativity of a premier design firm in single organization with an integrated process that creates high performance workplaces designed to function and flex over time. To reveal the depth and breadth of their story they needed more than a traditional brochure— they wanted a collection of smart pieces about different aspects of the business told in a confident, informed voice. The result is INSIGHTS.

Withee Malcolm

Withee Malcolm Architects uses ecards to position the firm as an innovative, high quality architectural practice. Messages are crafted to demonstrate geographic reach, range of capabilities and innovation. Copy is written in an knowledgeable and engaging voice that addresses concerns that the architects hear regularly. Every card reveals an understanding of specific issues and focuses on ideas that inform the featured projects rather than the details of the projects. The content always reinforces the firm tagline “Design that makes a difference.”