James Nesbitt drives from Boston to Bernard Uy's Pittsburgh apartment in roofless, cow-painted Volvo. They land their first client, the Pittsburgh Dance Council. Embroidered lab coats are purchased, the Wall-to-Wall Studios partnership is formed and this postcard is produced. The caption on the back: "Graphic design, illustration, marketing communications, packaging. And remember, there's never a fee until we bill you." The search for office space begins.
Wall-to-Wall Studios survives its 1st anniversary and continues to build portfolio base consisting of friends, family and pro-bono clients. IRS explains concept of "taxes." W|W purchases second computer, black and white 300dpi laser printer and first external hard drive. W|W develops integrated branding its first restaurant client (Mad Mex) and misses all design/advertising competition entry deadlines. Search continues for office space.
An entire can of Pepsi empties on hard drive destroying all client and financial data. Incident later to be known internally as "The Pepsi Syndrome." Wall-to-Wall Studios enlists Brian Kaiser as a business advisor. (First order of business? Take care of those “taxes.”) W|W also hires first intern. The Studio wins 4 AIGA Design Awards. Search continues for office space.
Wall-to-Wall Studios moves into new office in reclaimed Strip District warehouse building. Doubles staff by hiring 2 full-time designers. Designs a concert poster utilizing toast, grape jam and Alpha-Bits™ cereal as typography. Wins 9 AIGA Awards, work appears in Print Regional Design Annual. Partners help to launch non-profit organization PUMP (Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project) and sit on the Board of Directors as founding members.
Wall-to-Wall Studios launches first version of our website and coined the tagline, "Solving Today's Problems with Yesterday's Solutions, Tomorrow." Builds a website for GeoSystems CD-ROM mapping software and designs the original retro-inspired logo for what would become MapQuest. Opens W|W Gallery showcasing a broad range of monthly exhibits/events including: "Art You Can Eat," "Stool Samples," "Wearable Works of Art" and a very long, 3-hour theatrical staging of "Waiting for Godot." Wins 9 AIGA Awards and first 3 Addy Awards.
Wall-to-Wall Gallery closes and is reborn as much needed additional office space. W|W writes, directs, edits and stars in first 30-second client television spot. The studio works remotely with its very first branding client in Honolulu, Havana Cabana (specializing in premium cigars, cocktails and Pan-Asian cuisine). Coincidentally, one of the Havana Cabana founders has the same last name as one of the W|W founders. The Studio is honored with 15 AIGA Awards and 7 Addy Awards.
A Wall-to-Wall Studios pro-bono project sparks heated controversy (about Barbie & Ken dolls) on local radio talk show. W|W is asked to design a cover for an issue of a newsweekly publication (Pittsburgh City Paper). Instead, W|W offers to design every cover for one full year. Wins 7 AIGA Awards, 2 Addy Awards, 2 Achievement in Radio Awards, 10 Graphic Design:USA Awards, 1 National Brand Design Association Gold Award. Installs a small TV and VCR in conference room.
Our first office disco ball is installed at Wall-to-Wall Studios. Co-creates a monthly independent film festival with Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Pittsburgh City Paper; W|W names it and brands it as "Film Kitchen" and illustrates/produces the monthly poster designs for 3 consecutive years. (Each poster had something to do with film, a kitchen or neither.) Staff doubles to 8 people. Wins 10 AIGA Awards, 3 How Magazine International Design Awards, 1 Addy Award.
After years of intensive, hands-on research, Wall-to-Wall Studios lands it first beer client, Pennsylvania Brewing Company. Co-founders Bernard Uy and James Nesbitt named to Pittsburgh Magazine's 1st ever "40 under 40" list of influential Pittsburghers. Wins 12 AIGA Awards, and creative work is recognized in Print Magazine. Search for bigger office space begins.
Wall-to-Wall Studios designed our first bobble-head dolls as promotion items for a medical software client (which quickly begins trading on eBay for over $250). W|W wins 21 AIGA Design Awards and national awards in Print Magazine.
Becomes fully Y2K compliant. After a city-wide, 2-year search, office relocates to the second floor of same Strip District warehouse building and installs second disco ball. Wall-to-Wall Studios is invited to participate as installation artists at Pittsburgh Filmmakers Gallery and the celebrated Mattress Factory art museum group shows (both installations paid tribute to the memory of the September 11, 2001 attacks). W|W celebrates its first ten years of not going out of business by promoting Brian Kaiser to Partner at the firm.
Wall-to-Wall Studios is selected to design the exhibit materials for the Pittsburgh Biennial (including a 158-page hard cover book + poster printed with scratch-off lottery ink), and also asked to participate as installation artists. W|W turns an entire gallery at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts into a bi-level multimedia installation, Smoke and Mirrors (with lighting / sound design and smoke... and mirrors). W|W wins 27 of 100 AIGA Pittsburgh Awards. In honor of their 11th Anniversary, W|W remodels the studio space and introduces the W|W Bar. Happy hours are back en vogue, Guinness on tap, Fridays. Call (412) 232-0880 for reservations.
Wall-to-Wall Studios picks up 3 ADDY Awards and 27 of 100 AIGA Pittsburgh Show Awards. W|W launches first custom CMS (Content Management System) and version 4.2 of our website. Pete Popivchak attempts to eat 36 hard boiled eggs in 30 minutes at our 1st (and last) after hours Extreme Eating Event, Egg Club (he finished 22) . Larkin Werner is promoted to Partner at the firm. It's crock pot time.
Wall-to-Wall Studios launches its new Honolulu, Hawaii office (and the 2nd W|W Bar) in the historic Culture and Arts District near Chinatown. The third W|W Disco Ball is installed. Soon-to-be-legendary monthly Pau Hanas are launched as Wall-to-Wall First Friday Happy Hours, and the Honolulu "office party" is redefined. Call (808) 566-0880 for the secret password. Or just visit www.WWFFHH.com
W|W relocates an employee from Pittsburgh to the Honolulu office. Launches the next iteration of our custom CMS tool and picks up our first clients on the Big Island and on Maui. Larkin Werner's Steelerbaby site becomes a Sports Illustrated media darling and the Pittsburgh Steelers win SuperBowl XL. (Coincidence? We think not.) The Honolulu team surprises the Pittsburgh staff by party-crashing the Holiday festivities, dressed in full Santa-with-beard costumes. And there was much rejoicing. And bowling.
Wall-to-Wall Studios picks up our first hospital client and first hot dog client. (No direct correlation, as far as we can tell.) WWFFHH hosts its first Prom event complete with stretch limo rides for all appropriately attired guests. The company celebrates its 15th anniversary. Two gigantic and beautifully hand-made W's mysteriously appear mounted 10 feet above the Honolulu office workstations. (Coincidence? We think so.)
Both offices send teams to collaborate on an integrated branding assignment for a new museum client in Las Vegas; W|W names and brands "The Mob Museum" and collaborators on the project included members of the FBI and Mayor Oscar Goodman. W|W Pittsburgh moves to new office on the North Side, mostly because of the free ice cream available in the building. Plus that swanky rooftop deck with a killer view.
Pittsburgh's team picks up 4 GOLD Addys at the American Advertising Federation awards. Honolulu's team picks up 2 PELE Awards at the Hawaii Advertising Federation awards where Bernard Uy is also named "Advertising Man of the Year." Pete Popivchak is promoted as the 5th Partner of the firm. W|W presents "Branding For Museums and Non-Profits" at the AAM National Conference in Philadelphia.
W|W's formative branding work for the Mob Museum in Las Vegas is featured in book titled, Brand Identity Essentials. Honolulu's team picks up 4 GOLD PELE Awards at the Hawaii Advertising Federation Awards and Pittsburgh's work for Oakland (logo, branding) was selected in Design Annuals for Graphis and PRINT Regional. Pittsburgh's office is voted "One of the Great Places to Work" by Pittsburgh Magazine.
Wall-to-Wall Studios Pittsburgh's office sponsors the "NOISE" concert series and picks up 2 GOLD Addys plus 2 SILVER Addys. The Honolulu office is awarded its first National Silver Addy Award for the Hawaii Energy TV spot, "Not Another Drop" in addition to 5 GOLD PELE Awards. The Honolulu team is asked by the PELE/Addy committee to develop the show theme and videos for the Big Event. Both offices are surprised with iPads for the entire staff at the holiday party. And, the Economist Intelligence Unit names the top two most livable cities in the USA: Pittsburgh (#1) and Honolulu (#2). Coincidence? We think not.
The Pittsburgh office is awarded the Best of Show (Burgatory) plus 4 Gold and 5 Silvers at the ADDY Awards, a National Gold Addy Award (Burgatory too), 6 AIGA PGH365 awards, including Judges Choice Award (for, you guessed it, Burgatory). The Honolulu office was honored with 15 Awards at the Pele Show, including 7 Gold PELE Addy Trophies, 3 Silver Medals and 5 Bronze Medals (plus a Pele profile). The Pittsburgh office sponsors the 2nd NOISE concert series. The company turns twenty years old and celebrates by acquiring even more studio space; the new Honolulu office includes a 1940s vintage DC-3 airplane. Happy XX, W|W.
After surviving the Mayan Apocalypse, W|W tempts fate by hiring two Taylors while a Senior Designer (temporarily) trades Oahu for Buffalo, NY. W|W's Honolulu office is awarded 3 National Silver ADDYs, 3 Best of Show accolades for the Honolulu AIGA and 7 Gold PELEs; the Pittsburgh office is honored with Best in Show and Judge's Choice at the Pittsburgh AIGA Awards and with 3 Gold ADDYs. Co-founder James Nesbitt leaves W|W to shake things up in the restaurant industry. The team roster now exceeds 30 people, W|W has become 'acquainted' with the Affordable Care Act, the airline industry and the largest rubber duck to visit Pittsburgh.
Wall-to-Wall Studios nabs 6 Gold and 5 Silver at the Pittsburgh ADDY Awards, then 3 Gold Peles, 7 Silver and 3 Bronze Awards at the Hawaii Advertising Federation's Pele Awards. At the AIGA PGH365 Show, W|W picked up 2 Judges Choice and 2 Design Excellence in addition to 8 Design Awards. W|W continues its Employee Exchange Program by sending staff from each city to live, work, eat and drink at the other location for 2 weeks. Each of the 4 exchange employees gained a fresh perspective plus an average of 6.2 pounds.
After a fun, collaborative process, W|W launches walltowall.com 5.0, powered by the latest version of our Ruby on Rails CMS. Despite the endearing lake-effect snow, W|W shutters our temporary outpost in Buffalo, NY. W|W’s Honolulu office was awarded 8 Gold and 6 Silver PELEs while the Pittsburgh office received a Judge’s Award of Excellence, 5 Gold and 3 Silver ADDYs. The Honolulu-based employees that visited Pittsburgh return to Hawaii with a Prantl’s burnt almond torte cake. Yes, they are that tasty.
W|W’s Honolulu team picks up 14 PELE Awards at the Hawaii Advertising Federation awards where Jen Tanabe, Associate Creative Director, is named AAF-Hawaii's 2016 Advertising Woman of the Year. The critically acclaimed branding of The Surfjack by W|W helps make Waikiki hip again. Both offices collaborate on Halloween themed projects (Hallowbaloo + GUTS). In the ADDY’s, W|W Pittsburgh wins Best of Show (for Chrome FCU) + 5 Gold; also wins Judge's Choice + 2 Design Excellence at AIGA PGH365. And, it’s movin’ on up time as the Pittsburgh office relocates to the 5th floor (of the same building).
After 25 years, W|W survives the solar eclipse to celebrate its Silver Jubilee. Pittsburgh partner Larkin Werner is inducted into the AdFed’s Hall of Achievement and Doug Dean marks his 10-year anniversary. The buzzy integrated branding work on the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club by the W|W Honolulu office is recognized with a National Silver Addy, 3 gold PELE's and Best of Show at both the AIGA 5-0 and PELE Awards, while the Civil Beat campaign received 5 gold PELE's. The creative efforts from the Pittsburgh office on CMU School of Drama, Nova Place and Pig Iron Public House earn gold Addy awards.
The Honolulu team earns Best of Show honors for Bethel Union branding and People’s Choice for the Hawaii Energy campaign at the PELE Awards where Malia Wisch, Design Director is named AAF-Hawaii’s 2018 Advertising Woman of the Year. There’s more roar in every pour as W|W launches new brand system and packaging for Lion Coffee. At the AIGA PGH365 the Pittsburgh team earns Best of Show for Carnegie Mellon's Integrated Innovation Institute and Judge’s Choice for Tarka Indian Kitchen - which was also featured in Communication Arts. Topping off a great year, Doug Dean and Jen Tanabe were both named Creative Director & Partner.
W|W proudly launches BlokBlok CMS and WorkWork Job Management System, 2 digital application workhorses for the agency. The Honolulu team is recognized with 13 PELE Awards with Lion Coffee, Italica Cafe & Deli, and W|W Occasional Cards earning top honors. The Pittsburgh team’s work on the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon integrated branding campaign received Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice, and Gold Awards at the AIGA PGH365.
In a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world, the W|W team was fortunate to stay healthy. We were equally grateful for the client collaborations that kept our “virtual” agency extremely busy such as the opportunity to brand Kahanu, a bridge ventilator designed to support healthcare providers during the crisis. W|W also designed the identity, branding, and marketing materials for Hawaii Fights COVID, a contact tracking survey. Several W|W projects were recognized in leading creative publications: Redesigning Logos included the rebranding for Tarka Indian Kitchen, Lion Coffee, and CHROME, while Win Out: The Best of Sports Graphic Design and Branding profiled the 2018 Pittsburgh Marathon integrated campaign.