Brand architects. Brand builders.

Strano + Pettigrew is a Toronto-based creative and branding agency with a passion for strategic design, fully integrated campaigns and brand building.

S+PDA has always strived to pursue an architectural approach to projects—meaning a well-researched, strategic framework supports each execution.

 

With a strong emphasis on traditional typography, S+PDA develops compelling creative solutions in the areas of brand strategy, campaign development, visual identity, packaging, editorial, experiential, print design, interactive and broadcast.

Although our expertise is primarily food and beverage, we have also worked with brands in the hospitality, entertaiment, aviation, education, telecom and non-profit sectors.

The agency serves clients nationally and abroad, primarily Canada, the U.S.A. and the U.K., always ensuring that the authenticity of a client’s brand is at the core of every execution.

 
Undisclosed
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2004
Show all +
Toronto, Canada
headquarters
  • Strano + Pettigrew Design Associates
    67 Mowat Avenue
    Toronto, ON M6K 3E3
    Canada
    416 533 7171

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Air Canada · Aramark Canada · Beam Suntory · Careers Group Univeristy of London · Childhood Cancer Canada · Dentalcorp · MaRS Discovery Disctrict · Second Cup Coffee Co. · University of Toronto · Zone·tv 

 

The Walper Hotel Look Book

The Walper Hotel is a luxurious, boutique hotel situated in the heart of Kitchener. Built in 1893, The Walper was meticulously restored in 2017 with no design detail overlooked. From the finest rugs and curated wallpaper to the locally crafted millwork and art, every inch of this elegant hotel is exquisitely designed.

Rightly so, C.K. Atlantis, the hotel’s management team, wanted to produce a look book that was designed with the same contemporary elegance and attention to design detail as the hotel itself—a piece that would be present in each room and used by the hotels management team as a sales tool.

The hotel’s interior design team had incorporated two primary colours, used sparingly in each room as accents. We took those colours and used them as part of the master palette. Additionally, the luxury wallpapers play an important role in the hotel’s aesthetic—we incorporated some of those as patterning. 

The Walper Hotel is a showpiece of design and...

Second Cup - Flat White National Launch

Second Cup Canada had introduced the Flat White to its menu of espresso based coffees. Strano + Pettigrew was asked to develop a nation-wide launch campaign that would introduce this antipodean favourite to Canadians. Since the Flat White was new to most Canadians, our mission was to “Educate and Advocate”—and there’s no better way to do that then by letting Canadians taste one!

So we commissioned two, custom made, Piaggio Ape50s from Ireland to be the focal point of our experiential sampling campaign. 

Second Cup—Holiday Packaging 2017

Each year, Second Cup Coffee Co. makes the holiday season special for their customers with unique new beverages and seasonal favourites. It also gives us the opportunity to design new cups, in-store material, and packaging for their tea and hot chocolate varieties.

This, along with food and beverage photography makes it a fun time of year for us as well. 

Stockyards Small Batch Distilling Co.

Stockyards Small Batch Distilling Company represents the future of handcrafted, small batch spirits. Their approach is grain to glass production with a “no-compromise” focus on organic, local, single estate ingredients. 

Although their ingredients are the main story, the Stockyards package design plays a crucial role in ensuring a distinct and highly visible shelf presence. We wanted to explore a direction that would clearly stand out in a cluttered, highly competitive, sea of clear glass. We chose a white, matte overall coating for the bottle and a fairly minimalist approach to the bottle decoration. The brandmark is a testament to the ingredients with a space for the distiller to mark each bottle with its unique batch number. Craft spirits the way they were meant to be.

Flash Cold Brew

Summer of 2017—Second Cup Coffee Co. introduced their new Flash Cold Brew. Along with branding and developing a full launch campaign, this was one of two spots we created to help drive awareness.

Reviews

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Brand Strategy & Marketing for Entertainment Experience Company

“Their responsiveness makes me feel like we’re their only client.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

As a new product line released, the firm was hired to design a brand strategy and tools, including a strategic approach on how to scale the brand identity. The collaboration continues.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Pickering, Canada
Doug Edwards
Founder, ZoneTV
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new branding brings only positive feedback and was quickly embraced by customers. Strano & Pettigrew excel in the collaboration needed to integrate new branding. They deliver great value by contributing timely and creative insights and brand concepts with enthusiasm.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

ZoneTV is a hybrid company. We’re a news, media, and entertainment company that also has this incredible fabric of technology underneath it. We deliver entertainment to paid TV operators throughout North America. Our primary focus is on video entertainment products. We have a series of on-demand services that go to paid TV operators and extend to paid TV viewers. We also have a series of new linear channels that we have been launching this year and offering via subscription service to viewers. The company is focused on acquiring digital-first content, bringing this never-seen content to paid TV, and curating, programming, and offering it in a unique way.

I’m the founder and executive chairman of the company. My commitment to the organization is around product vision. I’ve brought in our new marketing brand strategy as we have gone through significant product line releases this year. I manage the board and corporate matters for the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strano?

The company is 15 years old. Before October 2015, we were called ES3 which was a pure technology company focused on the media space. In October of 2015, we made a major strategic change. I appointed a CEO because we had great opportunity to become more of a media company than a technology company. At that point, we decided on the brand of ZoneTV. We used an online service called 99 Designs for a new logo, and that’s all we had done with our brand strategy. We worked 1–1.5 years under that partially thought through brand approach. We needed a better brand strategy and brand tools as we launched our linear channel service and became more of a consumer-facing company. We needed a better strategic approach to how we were going to be able to scale this brand identity.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We went through a series of interviews independently and then as a team. They articulated well and captured the tone and spirit of what we do. They succinctly captured that, put it in a brand book, and converted it into a strategy that was dynamic enough for us to be able to scale on. That was the first objective, and they did extremely well.

We made a multi-phased project. What we needed immediately was the new image for ZoneTV, the marketing and stationery templates, and the strategy for how we would apply that new brand identity to things like merchandise. That way, we could operate on a corporate level with this new brand design. We also asked for a series of secondary design assets that would help us with our marketing and sales materials. I saw that as more of the corporate brand strategy design and culmination of assets that we needed to operate. They did that very well.

As ZoneTV launched a series of 14 linear networks for paid TV, we put the objective and the challenge in front of Strano & Pettigrew to create a connected sub-brand series of each channel. We wanted each channel to have its own brand identity and color palette that’s complementary to the master brand of ZoneTV. That way, people would know, in some respects, they’re connected, but, in other respects, they take on their own monolithic brand identity and structure as they grow up as their own channel. It was an interesting challenge. We looked at everything from illustration styles that would match the themes and the creative context of what we had done within ZoneTV. They put together an interesting vertical branded approach that allowed us to go from the master of ZoneTV and drive down this vertically connected series of sub-brands, which represented our linear television networks. It leveraged iconography and color palettes that created connections back to the master. Each palette tells a story around the richness and the style of the content that goes into each of these linear program channels.

As we closed out the original project, we retained Strano & Pettigrew. We’re on a monthly retainer with them. They are our creative and brand services organization now. We continued the work by extending that brand into our new website. They’ve been working on creative work supporting our marketing and sales material. They’ve done incredible work on both print and digital for our new linear channel network. They’re also working with creative ads for tradeshow events that we’re going to. We’re even doing creative ads for media buys that we’re doing on paid television to promote our services.

They’re also working with our product user experience team. They’re now both informing and enforcing brand adoption and bringing neat ideas to the creative side of our product interfaces.

How did you come to work with Strano?

I knew Al [Co-founder & Creative Director, Strano & Pettigrew] from past experiences in the late 90s. I knew of his firm. I reached out to him through LinkedIn and explained what our challenge was and I showed him our existing logo. I told him I wanted him to put together a path of truly identifying the values and the brand message all the way through. We wanted them to understand what our company is doing and help us articulate our message and put together an identity strategy that will scale with the company because we have a unique set of requirements.

How much have you invested with them?

Confidential. For phase 1 and 2, it was a project-based cost structure which was extremely helpful because we didn’t have it in our original 2017 plan for our budget. We received great value.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in April of this year, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our primary customers on the business side are big paid TV operators and cable companies like Comcast, DIRECTV, AT&T, CenturyLink, Bell Canada, Tellus, etc. Since we’ve launched our corporate brand, we received tremendously positive feedback and no negative feedback. It resonated strongly within our market, and people understand that the brand approach that we took is now our identity. It’s been adopted quickly, much faster than I expected.

How did Strano perform from a project management standpoint?

They do really well. We have a creative brief and docket structure set up with them where we put in requests for new creative work to be done. They manage those dockets quite well. They set up a nice file sharing system. Their responsiveness makes me feel like we’re their only client. They’ve done a good job in account management. We get an incredible level of attention. There’s a level of enthusiasm as well. They want to bring forth new ideas. There’s a back and forth collaboration when we engage with them. They’ve hit every major deadline that we’ve needed them to hit.

What did you find most impressive about them?

One of the kudos I would give them is that they don’t work in a vacuum. It’s a dynamic environment whereby we have product designers and developers that Strano collaborates with. We also work with another agency which does video production, and Strano works with them seamlessly and collaboratively to provide insights and brand concepts that bring everything together. I see them as the glue that keeps this new identity crisp and on the right track. Everyone understands that this is a part of our new DNA in the way that we want our company to be recognized outside in.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They have incredible talent for video productions. I would suggest that they expand their skill sets even further to take on more video work. They’ve got an incredible talent pool. If it’s in their design to expand their breadth of skill sets and services, they could become a one-stop agency. It would allow us to be able to increase our retainer with them on a monthly basis and lean on them for everything we do.

5.0
Overall Score We are ecstatic about the partnership. They’re doing really well for us.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Design & Branding for Dental Business Services Consultancy

"They did an unbelievable job."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Strano led the rebranding campaign to emphasize core values of the company – this included sales collateral development and web redesign support. Strano created sales collateral and did web redesign to re-emphasis core identities in their rebranding campaign. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
VP Marketing, dentalcorp
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Branding exudes sophistication, which is now one of the identity’s core features. Quick turnaround and adherence to deadlines create seamless workflows and ideal results. Customers can expect a hands-on and highly collaborative process.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m Vice President of Marketing at Dentalcorp, which is a business services consultancy for dental practices in Canada. Our network comprises 250 dental clinics.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strano & Pettigrew?

We were working with a very dated brand. Consequently, we wanted a nimble design agency to rebrand us as a health care company, not a consultancy. We needed that vendor to be highly creative and able to meet our demanding schedule.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Strano developed the vision and brand integrity. They changed our logo’s color palette and did our stationery and other sales collateral. We were unable to change web developers when the engagement started. But after 2 years, they helped us redesign our site’s look and feel. Additionally, they created a sub-brand, DC Institute, which is an education organization. We handled all marketing internally.

What is the team composition?

We had one point of contact, who was a web designer that hosted all of our 250 clinic websites. The team also included other designers and project managers.

How did you come to work with Strano & Pettigrew?

A colleague in our network referred us to Strano based on their relationship. We looked at multiple companies; they were one of 4 firms in our search’s final stage. We chose them because the team displayed an active passion that we did not sense in the other firms.

How much have you invested with them?

We switched from an hourly rate to a retainer structure. The amount is confidential. [CONFIDENTIAL]

What is the status of this engagement?

Work started in 2013 and is on-going.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Feedback says that our brand exudes sophistication. I directly attributed that to the identity they created for it. Our ads have great detail, which not everyone would notice. Everything is subtle, but well-thought-out. The execution brings our brand to life.

How did Strano & Pettigrew perform from a project management standpoint?

They're phenomenal at hitting our demanding deadlines. They can turnaround advertising solutions within 24 hours. We communicate via phone and email.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They did an unbelievable job with DC Institute. The team created something new from our existing brand. The first thing people say about the institute is its branding; they love it.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, because their process works well for us. There hasn’t been an issue in our entire relationship.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Find a partner that understand the client’s philosophy and will challenge initial concepts. Most firms produce what their given, but often neither party isn’t completely happy without some back-and-forth in the collaboration.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Print Design & Marketing for Coffee Retailer

“Everything they’ve done so far moves the brand in a premium, contemporary direction.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Aiding a complete brand transformation, Strano + Pettigrew redesigned the website, merchandise, and digital promotions of a specialty coffee retailer. Their support ranged from packaging to experiential events.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Mississauga, Canada
Vanda Provato
Head of Marketing, Second Cup Coffee Co.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Five consecutive quarters saw positive growth, and brand perception is moving in the right direction. As a collaborative partner, Strano’s dedication and strong design abilities help the aesthetic of the brand.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the head of marketing for Second Cup, a specialty coffee retailer in Canada.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strano + Pettigrew?

About three and a half years ago, we initiated a complete brand and business transformation. We needed a company to help lead our in-store and out-of-store marketing communication elements.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They redesigned our website, and all of the packaging for our consumable goods. They also worked on our rewards program emails, and the merchandise we sell in-store, cups, tumblers, etc. They’ve worked on digital promotions for experiential events. For instance, when we launched flat white in Canada, they designed a little Piaggio coffee truck as a promotional idea. Everything they’ve done so far moves the brand in a premium, contemporary direction. Our principal focus is driving sales and cultivating purchase interest.

Strano also does all of the artwork production, preparing our files for print, and resizing and reformatting about 90 different versions of our point of purchase kit for use in various Canadian markets. They’ve reskinned the website, impacting its design and functionality, and we hope to initiate a complete overhaul next year to change the backend.

For the first year and a half of our engagement, we paid them on a per-project basis. Now that we’re more established, we pay an all-inclusive monthly retainer. We will start work on other large projects in the future, so our payment structure may change again next year.

What is the team composition?

We work mainly with two people: Albert Strano [Co-Founder, Creative Director, Strano Pettigrew] acts as our outsourced creative director, and his right-hand person manages our account and does design work for us. She keeps the project timelines moving, and is our primary contact for creative feedback and revisions. They manage their whole team, so we may have anywhere from two to six people working on our projects at any given time.

How did you come to work with Strano + Pettigrew?

They came on board shortly before I was hired. Our new CEO joined the company about a month prior to engaging them. She referred them through her network.

How much have you invested with them?

For the first year and a half of our engagement, we paid them on a per-project basis. Now that we’re more established, we pay an all-inclusive monthly retainer. We will start work on other large projects in the future, so our payment structure may change again next year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in March 2014, and our collaboration is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve seen improvement, with positive growth in five consecutive quarters. We are changing people’s perceptions of our brand through the physical look of our stores, and through social media dialog. The tone that people use to describe us, and the way they interact with the brand is moving in the direction we want to go. They’ve had a lot of impact on the business.

How did Strano + Pettigrew perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re extremely dedicated, and do whatever it takes to meet deadlines and our crazy turnaround times. The business is in flux, and they always try to be as accommodating as possible. They never get frustrated with us, and never let their personal biases or egos get in the way of producing great work.

Albert is a fantastic designer who really understands the aesthetic of our brand, and our vision. He is instrumental in shaping our plans, and passionate about the work. He shows a sense of ownership, and has been with us since the beginning of our transformation.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re talented, creative, passionate, and committed. They’ve been a great collaborative partner.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Sometimes we catch errors from their junior staff. We have such tight turnaround times, it seems like the approval channels occasionally don’t complete before they deliver items to us. When there is proper oversight from intermediate or senior members, they catch those issues before delivery.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer