Studio Sanderson designs brands for the modern age

Sanderson designs brands for the modern age. We help companies, causes and people we believe in accelerate growth and profitability through design.

We do this by taking a holistic approach that considers the entire journey map, distilling the authentic story and identifying ways to connect and infuse it across all touchpoints. The result is a distinctive, coherent and connected brand experience that users relate to, engage with and share with others.

Based in New York City our studio is a network of thinkers and doers, strategic and visual problem solvers that come together around our client’s specific needs. Together we take a craft approach to achieving client goals with creativity and rigor.

Founder James Sanderson started the business on the premise that new technologies, markets, and shifts in culture are developing new opportunities for storytelling which are key to building lasting relationships with customers and clients. With over 15 years experience, James has led and developed projects including Intel, WaMu, PwC and Kayak.com. Before founding Sanderson, James headed up boutique branding firm Plaid’s creative offer, Prior to that, James worked at Wolff Olins and Landor.

With Studio Sanderson James wants to continuously deliver unique solutions to clients who want a more personalized design service based on true partnership and long term commitment.

 
Undisclosed
 
Undisclosed
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2012
Show all +
New York, NY
headquarters
  • 1216 Broadway, Floor 2
    New York, NY 10001
    United States

Reviews

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Branding & Web Design for Land Development Company

"They are great listeners and they want to get it right."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Studio Sanderson helped with branding strategy and site redesign. They revamped the site to attract buyers through engaging content, and also assisted with social media, AdWords and Google Analytics.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Taylor, Mississippi
Ellen Leake
Head Manager, Splinter Creek Land Co.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Though conversion rates aren’t available yet, preliminary metrics show increased traffic, more leads and higher interest. Studio Sanderson is a proactive partner whose team has in-depth expertise. They provide pushback at appropriate times, and are dedicated to getting things right the first time.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Splinter Creek Land Company is a land development company. Our development is in North Mississippi which is an upscale community with 25-26 home sites and modern houses. It is outside a university town called Oxford, Mississippi. We are in the process of doing a concept house. I am the general partner along with my husband.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Studio Sanderson?

We wanted to completely revamp our website and rebrand our company.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We met with James [Principal of Studio Sanderson] and his team, and they began with a series of questions and interviews for some of our suppliers and partners. That process took three or four months. They came back with two or three iterations. They let us know what they heard and what they thought our strategic niche was. When we all agreed on the next step, we asked them to move forward in directing all of our digital presence in trying to overlay that brand theme around our digital strategy. Then they put that into practice and they completely redid our website.

We had a website before, and we thought it was great. It had beautiful images and fantastic copy, and we were very proud of it. But then as we began to talk about the fact that our goal was to develop an audience and ultimately attract buyers, we realized our website wasn’t delivering on that. It was more static than anything. James opened our eyes to the fact that the content has to be fresh, contemporaneous and constantly updated. We hired an internal marketing and communications director and James began to work with her on our Instagram feed and our Facebook presence in addition to our website. Every time I go to the site, I see something new. I see a new journal post or more Instagram photos. It’s a place you want to go back to. It’s not the static version that we had originally. We have also gotten into Google Analytics. We have monthly calls about what we are learning about our audience. It’s an evolving process and I really couldn’t be more pleased with James’ leadership.

We are continuing to move out the latest part of the contract. We’re getting more into Google AdWords and looking at target markets outside a 250-mile radius. Later this week we’re going to talk about some of the lessons learned with our AdWords strategy. We are doing some testing on different messages and seeing how that translates back to our traffic on our website and also in people requesting meetings and signing up for our newsletter.

Michelle Hannah [Head of Marketing and Operations] also worked with us, primarily with our marketing and communications director. Both she and James have been terrific.

How did you come to work with Studio Sanderson?

We found Sanderson through a mutual contact, the developer on Hudson Woods, which is in upstate New York. He had used James in the same capacity. We saw our development was very similar in concept. We were about the same size. We had the same timeline for our build-out. We both wanted modern homes and architecture was very much the important unifying concept. The Hudson Woods developer is also our architect, and it was on his recommendation that we brought James in. I wasn’t so sure we needed someone in New York since we are in Mississippi; I thought I could probably find someone locally. But then as we started our initial conversation with them, it became clear that James had the talent and the expertise to drive our branding and marketing. Hudson Woods is still a consultant with us, but my contract is directly with James, and it has morphed into a really great working relationship. James actually came to our site in Mississippi. We interviewed a number of folks that might be ancillary players.

How much have you invested with Studio Sanderson?

We have spent more than $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in February 2016, and the site went live in November 2016. We continue to work with them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We are seeing increased traffic. It’s ultimately about who we convert from an interested party into someone who is requesting information. The concept house that we are currently building will be completed this summer. Our preliminary metrics say more traffic, more leads and more interest. It is more a process of increasing volume, but we really hope to see the result of our contract with James turn into sales. We are in that preliminary period where the website has been built, we are monitoring traffic, we are gauging audience, we are trying to increase that, but until we have something to show and tell, we don’t expect to have actual sales until we get to the next phase.

How did Studio Sanderson perform from a project management standpoint?

They hit every deadline and have come in on budget. They have just been great to work with.

What did you find most impressive about Studio Sanderson?

They are great listeners and they want to get it right. In the early days, they may have had one vision for us, and we thought we knew our market and our sense of place better. They were very respectful of that. When they disagreed, they would push back. In the end, it was such a help to the partnership. There was some compromise. On our end, we learned a lot from them. They were patient teachers, and yet they were always totally respectful of what we are trying to do. James and Michelle led, but they led with input from us. I think they actually have grown to love our project, and it really shows in their work. I don’t know anything more validating than to feel like someone who started as a vendor is now a part of your team.

Are there any areas Studio Sanderson could improve?

If they were closer in geography, we could have more face-to-face time. I don’t see that as a limitation though. I can’t think of anything they could improve.

5.0
Overall Score We’ll have a better idea of results in a couple of months. But so far, I couldn’t be more pleased.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I am busy and probably needed somebody to keep me on task.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I don’t have a lot to compare them to.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They approached it as more than building a website. Without understanding and helping us find our niche, the website would have been just another website, but it is really an extension of our brand. They started with a foundation and then built around it.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding for Real Estate Brokerage Firm

"They’re incredibly thorough. You give them a task and it’s not just done."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Studio Sanderson researched the brand’s identity as well as the competitions’ in order to deliver color schemes, logos, web designs, and marketing collateral. The rebrand was aimed at being more contemporary.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York City, New York
Rick Pretsfelder
Partner, Leslie J. Garfield
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

As a result of a new brand identity, web traffic has been steadily on the rise; users love the look and feel. Studio Sanderson demonstrated great skill, but also great follow through. They had their finger on the pulse of design, and it showed through in their deliverables.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Leslie J. Garfield is a real estate brokerage firm. I’m one of the partners, and I help manage our Salesforce and the day-to-day operations, including our marketing efforts.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Studio Sanderson?

We’ve been in business for 40 years and it was time for a serious branding and modernization effort. We had thrived on our reputation but we needed to package that in a more formal and contemporary way. I have worked with other branding agencies but not with my current firm.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They did extensive interviews with the management team and brokers within the office to understand how we see ourselves. They also did extensive competitive research of what else is out there in the marketplace. Based on that assessment, they came up with our brand. The specific deliverables included collateral materials, color schemes, logos, and website redesign. They helped us with our marketing materials including brochures and flyers and our email blasts. We mostly worked with the head of the firm, James Sanderson. He had a staff member or two involved through the course of the project. James is very detail oriented. We also had a web designer. 

How did you come to work with Studio Sanderson?

We work with an architect who we like and know his work well. He also has done work for other people and some of his own projects that he invested and developed himself. He recommended James and showed us the work that James had done for him.

How much have you invested with Studio Sanderson?

We’ve spent $150,000 over the course of our relationship.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them three years ago. The largest engagement was the branding and website and that was completed a year and a half ago. Since then, we’ve been working on consulting and smaller projects.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Our web traffic has been steadily increasing. The performance and ease of use of our website are dramatically enhanced. I just got off the phone with someone who was saying how wonderful our website is, clear and concise, and how easy it is to use. A website for a real estate brokerage firm is absolutely critical. We’d gone through a couple of different vendors before James, and we’re very pleased with how the site works and how good it looks. We feel like we’ve stepped up our game to be on the same footing as the bigger firms, which is critical for a boutique firm.

How did Studio Sanderson perform from a project management standpoint?

They are very good at what they do. They say what they’re going to do and do what they say. They deliver on time. They’ve been a pleasure to work with. Our primary interface has been James. What goes on within their team for project management, I can’t say for sure.

What did you find most impressive about Studio Sanderson?

They’re incredibly thorough. You give them a task and it’s not just done. They really assess what’s going on in the marketplace, and before delivering something to us, they understand that and are informed by that so that we’re on the cutting edge.

Are there any areas Studio Sanderson could improve?

They’re very thorough so if you’re looking for a quick fix, they can do it but it’s not their style. They like to do things right.

5.0
Overall Score The experience has been really positive.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’ve been very timely with all the deliverables.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The value is very good, but I don’t think they’re inexpensive. I’m sure you could spend more money.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re very thorough. They put a lot of thought into it. They have good design and copy capabilities. They understand the brand as a whole and try to keep us on track with what our brand is.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend them without reservation.

Branding for Architecture & Real Estate Company

"[They're] particularly good at aligning smart strategies with good visual design in a way I’ve rarely seen."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Studio Sanderson designed marketing materials and a sales platform. Their work included a logo, product and brand language, a website, a brochure and more. They helped with buyer development and brand-building.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York City, New York
Principal, Real Estate Development Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Studio Sanderson excels in aligning marketing and branding strategy with creative design. They’re good with deadlines and communication, but could benefit from more capacity and broader skillsets. They build a relationship in order to deliver good work, making collaboration and iterations easy.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We have several entities, including an architecture firm, a real estate development company and a special development project. I’m the principal and the manager.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Studio Sanderson?

For the development project, we needed assistance in creating the brand, marketing strategy and materials, and a sales platform. The ultimate goal was to sell houses. As part of that effort, we engaged in brand-building, audience-building, and the development of buyers for our homes.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Studio Sanderson conducts an iterative process, initially in the form of questions being posed, doing analysis, presenting that analysis, and then transitioning to visual presentations in-person and via remote meetings. We go back and forth over a period of weeks until we all get to where we need to arrive.

Studio Sanderson produced a logo, the project and brand language, a website and a brochure. They also produced a sales package and gift packages, and finally, some project signage and wayfinding. I really just work with James at Studio Sanderson, and sometimes one of his colleagues.

How did you come to work with Studio Sanderson?

We were introduced by a common friend and colleague. We decided to work with them based on their past work, their openness to working in creative ways, their energy, enthusiasm, communication skills and creativity.

How much have you invested with Studio Sanderson?

In total, it’s somewhere in the six figures, over $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together about five years ago.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Since launching the new brand with the help of Studio Sanderson, 60% of properties were sold within the first year of the launch. Social media traction has boomed, with over 85 blog updates written about the local area and an increase in Instagram followers to around 17k. The firm has been featured in 50+ notable press outlets, including The NY Times, Wall Street Journal, NY Observer, Architectural Digest, and more. Their number of curated local artisans and manufacturing collaborators has also increased substantially. 

How did Studio Sanderson perform from a project management standpoint?

I think they perform well from a project management standpoint. They’re very responsive. We use email, phone and in-person meetings to communicate.

What did you find most impressive about Studio Sanderson?

James is particularly good at aligning smart strategies with good visual design in a way I’ve rarely seen.

Are there any areas Studio Sanderson could improve?

I think James could benefit from a better website. Over time, I hope they develop more capacity and broader skills on his team. They’re small now, which has benefits and drawbacks. We think the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, so it’s not a problem for us. I could see this being a limitation in some clients’ projects, though.

5.0
Overall Score The work is excellent, and it’s a very pleasurable and rewarding relationship.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There isn’t as much capacity with his firm as there is with a bigger firm. They’re good with deadlines, just not exceedingly good.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They do excellent work, as good or better than similar professionals I’ve seen.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d definitely recommend them.