Every big idea began as a theory

GOLD VERIFIED

Theory SF is creative agency founded with the belief that all brands have an eternal truth -a story to be told in a compelling and relevant way. From how the consumer is first approached by the brand identity to well-thought-out social executions to what the package looks like on the shelf. They all need to work in harmony to shape and form a lasting impression that demands a following.

The agency is led by two partners, although very little “leading” is actually needed here because the place is swimming with smart, ambitious, funny, hardworking, and extremely talented people. Because we’re still young, many folks we meet are a little surprised by the experience of our staff and the list of world-class brands we work with. This success may be attributed to our intense desire, from the day we launched, not to follow anyone’s prescribed rules or industry standards (an innovative, world-class creative agency can only stay that way by continually challenging the status quo).

That’s why it’s always difficult to answer the inevitable question that pops up during a courtship: “So who is Theory SF, and what do you do?” The truth is, we are different things to different people. Who we were a year ago is not who we are today. And who we are today will surely not be who we are a year from now.
We know it would be easier for everyone if we could fit into one of the traditional agency buckets (brand strategy, advertising, design, interactive, direct marketing, and so on), but there is nothing traditional about how we approach what we do. And these days, there is nothing traditional about how people connect with brands or consume information. That’s why our work, inevitably, goes much deeper than anyone discipline. It falls somewhere within the complex interplay that occurs between a product and a brand, between a brand and a consumer, and between a consumer and a culture.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2015
Show all +
San Francisco, CA
headquarters
  • 500 Montgomery St
    San Francisco , CA 94111
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

NetGear, Riverbed Technology, Sage Software, Holonis, Usurance, Forevercar.com, Avast Internet Security, HMA,  SF Museum of Modern Art, Forge, Spark and a few others.

New brand in the extended auto warranty space Image

New brand in the extended auto warranty space

We named and developed the brand and creative for this beautiful new brand in the extended auto warranty category. Keep your eyes peeled for the launch.

New brand for tech startup Image

New brand for tech startup

We developed a new brand for a revolutionary internet platform built for content creators. The USP? By using Holonis, your content will be found.

Outdoor Billboards Image

Outdoor Billboards

Our outdoor boards build awareness of the activities and unmatched beauty of the area

How to Mendo Videos

We developed an integrated set of 10 videos that teach our guests How to Mendocino. Our on camera talent is an up and coming stand up comic mom that really struck a chord with our audiences. 

website  Image

website

We developed a beautiful site that helps visitors dream and visit!

New global brand campaign  Image

New global brand campaign

TheorySF developed a new look/feel and brand campaign for a global internet security company,

Outdoor Billboards Image

Outdoor Billboards

Our outdoor boards build awareness of the activities and unmatched beauty of the area

Reviews

Sort by

Branding and Web Design for Radio Station

"Our new brand and website created a positive culture that our team could rally behind."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Nov. 2016 - May 2017
Project summary: 

Theory SF redesigned a website as part of a larger rebranding project. The team used market research to provide a variety of options for the new image. They also helped advertised the updated look.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Alameda, California
Program Director, Radio Station
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The designs generated positive feedback from partners and the target audience. Throughout the engagement, Theory SF was always available and professional. Their team had deep expertise and a personable approach to the partnership.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I’m the director of programming for a radio station that airs Christian programs across the United States.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Theory SF?

We needed services for branding and web design.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted a refreshed brand and clean new website.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

One of our vendors highly recommended them.

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

We had several deep dive meetings for them to understand our business, mission, and how we wanted to reach our goals. They did market research on our competitors and audience, which then informed our collaborative decision-making process. They provided multiple options for branding with opportunities for revision. Once our executive team chose the new brand, Theory SF helped us advertise and implement the changes.

What was the team composition?

We worked directly with Theory SF’s top executives. They visited our offices on a weekly basis.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

Our new brand and website created a positive culture that our team could rally behind. The designs not only appealed to our audience, but also helped build stronger professional relationships.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

We enjoyed Theory SF as a partner because they were always available via phone. The team documented tasks after each weekly meeting.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

They’re highly professional, but also down-to-earth people that feel like part of our team. The team’s industry knowledge is incredible and they’re not afraid to think outside the box.

Are there any areas for improvement?

We were slow and they were patient with us, but Theory SF could’ve pushed us more.

4.5
Overall Score They were a wonderful team to work with.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Their top executives were busy, but always made time for in-person meetings.
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were more expensive than smaller firms, but the superior product was worth the investment.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Both the brand and website are quality and beautiful.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We highly recommend them.

Total Brand Development for Online Travel Agency

"Their communication skills, high level of intelligence, collaborative nature, and final outputs all stood out to us."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
June 2016 - Feb. 2017
Project summary: 

Theory SF developed an entire brand portfolio from scratch, based on industry and audience research. There wide-ranging work included multiple audits, as well as a landing page and brand story and messaging.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Anthony Volpe
Chief Marketing Officer, Travana, Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Their work received positive industry reviews and was praised for its polished, easily understandable style. Theory SF communicated well and brought impressive intelligence to the table. Their collaborative work style and dedication to deadlines made for a beneficial partnership.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I was the CMO at Travana, Inc., which was an online travel agency (OTA).

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Theory SF?

We needed everything built from, starting with brand development, which included development of a brand story, brand strategy, identity (naming, voice, benefits, iconography, typography, color palettes), and brand style guide.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to form the groundwork for all the brand-related work that would be done in the company, from that point forward.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

Our CEO, COO, and I found and interviewed several San Francisco-based agencies, got quotes and presentations from them, and then selected Theory SF.

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

They provided a full suite of services, from industry research, stakeholder interviews, and an executive brand workshop, to message, brand story and identity, and landing page development. Further, they provided insight into our audience, social and traditional media opportunities, and competing brands.

What was the team composition?

We worked with their Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Creative Officer, Director of Marketing, and Director of Content.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

Our business and e-commerce website launched to positive industry reviews and critical acclaim surrounding its messaging, creative, and clean appearance.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

Their Chief Strategy Officer, and their Creative Director were star performers throughout the collaboration between our two teams, providing solid communication throughout and always handing over deliverables on time.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Their communication skills, high level of intelligence, collaborative nature, and final outputs all stood out to us.

Are there any areas for improvement?

There's always room for improvement in any organization. I look forward to working with them again.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    High for my liking, especially for the stage we were in (as we were a start-up), but fairly standard for this type of agency in SF.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Rebrand for Architectural and Interior Design Firm

“They went above and beyond in helping us.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sept. 2015 - Mar. 2017
Project summary: 

TheorySF led a client-focused strategy and creative development of a new brand for an architecture and interior design firm. They helped develop the firm’s new name, logo, graphics, and language.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Vanessa Pelletier
Brand Manager, Forge
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

TheorySF’s work increased the firm’s prominence, especially online, bringing increases in traffic to their web and social media sites. The increased attention resulted in increased revenue. The team delivered a custom-tailored, high-quality collaboration. Their facilitation simplified the process.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the brand manager for Forge, which provides architecture and interior design.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with TheorySF?

We wanted to completely rebrand our firm and create a new corporate identity for growth.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We hired TheorySF to lead us in the strategy and creative development of our new brand. We worked with them to conduct a perception survey at the onset of the project. With that, we developed a client-centered strategy for our rebrand that involved key clients all the way through. They were central to that process. They led the creative development of the name, logo, and graphics.

They also helped us design a voice beyond the creative, which was essential in communicating with the rest of our team internally what the brand is and how they could be a part of it.

What is the team composition?

We worked primarily with their creative director and partner/chief strategy officer.

How did you come to work with Theory SF?

They had a relationship with the owner of the firm. He liked them a lot.

How much have you invested with them?

The rebrand cost roughly $40,000 in hard costs.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in September 2015 and we launched our new brand in March 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They did a stellar, fantastic job. All our expectations were exceeded.

Since the rebrand, we were named one of the fastest-growing, private companies  by San Francisco Business Times. We’ve increased our revenue and our website traffic has increased since the rebrand. Our social media presence and engagement has increased significantly as well.

We won a marketing communications award for corporate identity and rebrand through the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SPMS) organization. We’ll be accepting that award in August.

How did Theory SF perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re responsive. They had a desk at our office and spent time there. We had access to them, and they were very visible throughout the process. We weren’t their only client, but we felt we were a priority to them in terms of their level of attention and responsiveness.

They were fantastic at guiding us toward making decisions quickly. A complete rebrand and new identity could be extremely difficult decisions, but they were great at how and when they presented things to us. They guided us through that decision-making process so that we could move forward and choose something that we felt good about.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have a very personalized level of service. They didn’t feel like external consultants; they felt like internal collaborators and partners in the company. They worked hard to understand who we are and what our needs were. They guided us and made it easier for us to make hard decisions because they understood us so well.

They’ve been a great resource and a great partner to us. They’ve gone beyond the general consultant or agency role. It was a collaboration. They care about what they do. They have excellent quality and knowledge. They’re top-of-the-line, talented people. They went above and beyond in helping us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

After the deliverables were complete, service started to slip. They had other clients, and our project went long. As a result, I had to do more follow-up than I had originally anticipated. They could've been more proactive int he way that they handed off the final materials.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Make sure that you agree ahead of time what your deliverables are and what the specific scope is. Be prepared to manage them because they're creative people. You may need to take the initiative to reach out and create a schedule to hold them to.

5.0
Overall Score We won a marketing communications award for corporate identity and rebrand through the Society for Marketing Professional Services organization.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding and Marketing Strategy for Educational Nonprofit

“SF Theory produces top-quality, out-of-the-box designs—we're very happy with them across the board.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

SF Theory is leading a complete rebranding and marketing strategy for the company, providing designs for a new name, logo, tagline, and signage.

The Reviewer
 
50-100 Employees
 
Hopland, California
Executive Director, Solar Living Institute
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

SF Theory continues to be a great partner to collaborate with, providing high quality rebranding materials. Understanding, attentive, and good-humored, their proactive approach to projects sets them apart. They ensure team members are happy and comfortable as they evolve the brand.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the director at the Solar Living Institute, a 12-acre campus that provides eco-lodging, workshops, classes, and events.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with SF Theory?

After about 40 years of business, we decided it was time to refresh our brand, so we were looking for a vendor to help with the rebranding and a marketing strategy.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Initially, SF Theory completed some fact-finding surveys on our target audience. Then, they redesigned our name, logo, and tagline. They're now starting to help design and produce signage, including roadside billboards and other collateral.

What is the team composition?

We primarily work with Russell (Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, SF Theory), as well as Chip (Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer) when it comes to designs.

How did you come to work with SF Theory?

One of our county tourism agencies had worked with them on their initial strategy  and I sat in on that session a while back. When it came time to do this project, I recalled that experience and how well SF Theory managed that job. I liked that they asked good questions and were attentive to deadlines.

How much have you invested with them?

We've invested between $10,000–$15,000 thus far, but I believe our full contract is for $25,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in February 2018 and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

SF Theory produces top-quality, out-of-the-box designs—we're very happy with them across the board. Their team has also been great about working closely with our owner, ensuring that he's both happy and comfortable as we make changes to a brand he's become accustomed to for many years.

How did SF Theory perform from a project management standpoint?

They're good at staying on task and on budget, navigating the nuances of working with our team from both a highly creative and professional level. Russell and Chip complement each other well; their team is carefully choreographed. They deliver on their promises, while maintaining a consistent standard of excellence and professionalism.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I appreciate their balance of professionalism with their great sense of humor. When you're getting deep into the work, that goes a long way. They've lit up the room on many occasions and I think we've been able to accomplish more as a result of their attitude.

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

Branding Project For Tourism Organization

"We are not a big client but we get the full measure of their passion."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Feb. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Theory SF used complex data to craft brand identity and messaging. They designed a website, developed marketing materials, and conducted market testing. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Fort Bragg, California
Alan Humason
Executive Director, Visit Mendocino County
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although the website redesign was not complete, the new marketing platform had generated considerable interest and conversions. Theory SF impressed with their proactive approach and graciously collaborative attitude. Their enthusiasm for the project was obvious. 

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

Visit Mendocino County is a leading Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), promoting tourism to this North Coast county and its various communities. As Executive Director, I manage the day-to-day operations of the business and direct the overall course of the organization.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Theory SF?

We asked TSF to undertake a market study and subsequent creative development to help determine and secure our best future positioning, brand identity, and messaging. We engaged them as a full-service marketing company, and collaborated with them to develop advertisements and marketing materials, redesign our website, and complete other tasks under the overall project umbrella.

What were your goals for this project?

Our goal was to find the most appropriate look, feel, and voice for making Mendocino a top-of-mind destination for travelers in our target markets. We also wanted to drive conversions by generating keen interest in our destination.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

We issued a detailed RFP to several potential vendors, then selected TSF for presentations and interviews along with three others. In the end, they won the job.

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

The TSF team spent considerable time in Mendocino County talking with staff, board members, stakeholders, businesspeople, and actual visitors, while compiling information, gauging impressions, and analyzing available data. They completed intercepts outside of the county, measuring of our level of awareness beyond our borders.

They offered suggestions for taglines and marketing platforms. Once these had been narrowed, they conducted in-market testing to make final, data-based recommendations. They developed creative concepts, received collaborative input, and determined a final direction for the company.

What was the team composition?

The team consisted of TSF members, senior staff at VMC, input from the VMC Marketing Committee, and ultimately the Board of Directors.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

It's a little too soon to tell. The website is being redesigned and should be ready for launch in late March. However, other work tangential to the project has been excellent. A current promotional campaign is generating great impressions, click-through rates, and conversions. We couldn't be happier.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

The dialogue has been dynamic, free-flowing, and frequent, with emails, phone calls, and numerous personal meetings. We have developed a great mutual respect and appreciation.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Their intelligence, resourcefulness, elan, and enthusiasm for the work and for the destination. We are not a big client but we get the full measure of their passion and creativity, and that means a lot to us.

Are there any areas for improvement?

I can't think of any.

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
Verification

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GOLD VERIFIED
Business Entity
Business Entity Name
THEORY SF, LLC
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
California
Id
201502010037
Date of Formation
Jan 16, 2015
Source
California Secretary of State
Last updated
Feb 1, 2019
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last updated
Jul 22, 2019
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
15
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.9
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
July 13, 2020