recreation logo

We have a point to prove.

We started Recreation because we could never understand why mind-blowing, life changing innovations were not matched with brand strategies and design that were equally innovative — and mind-blowing.

Some of us have spent years at agencies. Others have spent years as clients working with agencies. We understand the goals you have, the challenges you face, your frustrations, and most importantly, the will it takes to create. And ultimately have what you create make an impact on your customers, your employees, and the world.

It all started in Sun Valley, Idaho in 2008, JD Simpson and Todd Ransick met while producing a short film on the medical innovations incubating in Silicon Valley. Over the next four years, JD and Todd collaborated to design, create and execute a variety of branding initiatives for a medical device startup. Those initiatives included brand architecture, identity systems, websites, mobile applications, print materials, packaging, environments, short films and motion design. They knew that it was a unique opportunity to have complete end-to-end control and build a brand from the ground up. What they didn’t know is that they were laying the foundation for something larger.

In 2013, the collaboration finally fused itself into Recreation, a brand strategy and design agency headquartered in San Francisco. The agency was founded on the guiding principle that great ideas and great stories can come from anywhere no matter the size of the budget or type of business. And with digital, print and motion they would build relevant and impactful brand communications that not only inspire customers, but entire organizations as well.

 Let’s talk. We’ll figure it out.

lightening bolt

Yeah. We do that.

Brand Strategy / Identity

To us, a brand is a promise. And to be successfully communicated, it must be clear, consistent and sincere. Always. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Logo marks, color, typography, style guides provide an outward expression of your brand that make you recognizable and personable. Coupled with flexible implementation strategies that make consistency achievable within different budget constraints.
Examples
CONSUMER RESEARCH STAKEHOLDER IDENTITY DESIGN TYPOGRAPHY COLOR SYSTEMS NAMING SYSTEMS BRAND GUIDELINES BRAND MANAGEMENT
EXAMPLES

Advertising / Print Design

The biggest crime is a great idea that no one knows about. Let’s spread the word on buses, billboards, magazines, industry trades, keywords, social media, banner ads and anywhere else your audience spends a lot of time. Human nature is both physical and visual. Print collateral and packaging combine these worlds in an experience that is tactile and emotional. We design that experience.
Examples
PRINT COLLATERAL PACKAGING WEB BANNERS BILLBOARDS TELEVISION POSTERS
EXAMPLES

Interactive / Digital

The web and mobile devices have forever changed the way you communicate with your audience. Increased bandwidth has made customer interactions more robust than ever before. Conversations, interactions and experience occur over a variety of media. Websites, mobile apps, eMail marketing, social media, dynamic presentations, and cross-platform UI/UX are only part of our arsenal.
Examples
WEBSITE DESIGN MOBILE APPS WEB DEVELOPMENT E-COMMERCE EMAIL MARKETING CROSS-PLATFORM UI/UX
EXAMPLES

Video / Motion

Show, not tell. Video and motion is often times the most powerful way to tell your story. And with more delivery methods available than ever before, it is a crucial part of your communications strategy. The use of the internet as a distribution channel has made it possible to get your message to millions of people in a click, swipe, or tap. We have a fully equipped in house team toproduce, direct, shoot and edit—and, of course, we fix in post.

Examples
FILMING EDITING POST-PRODUCTION MOTION DESIGN STILL PHOTOGRAPHY AUDIO SCORING DOCUMENTARIES RESEARCH VIDEO
EXAMPLES


C Todd Ransick

C Todd Ransick

President + Chief Creative

Todd has spent the last 20 years in the design, branding and advertising space—most recently he co-founded and creative directed the San Francisco based strategic brand consultancy Mortar in 2002 where he worked on many brands including Ariba, BrightNow Dental, Opscode, Reno Tahoe Tourism, Boyd Gaming, Golden Gate University, Phonic Ear, TicketsNow, Bain Capital, Eat24, Rogers Family Coffee, Carondolet Health Systems, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Big Blue Bus, Access Closure, Intersect ENT and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Earlier in his career while at Omnicom’s Bernard Hodes, Austin Knight, and TMP Worldwide he produced award winning work for companies including: Aetna, Avanade, Accenture, General Electric, J.Crew, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Lockheed Martin, Panasonic, W Hotels, Westin Hotels, Sheraton Hotels and the United States Air Force Reserve.

Renata DiIulio

Renata DiIulio

VP Client Engagement

Renata has nearly 20 years’ experience asking intuitive questions, delivering measurable results from the answers, and encouraging the best from everyone around her. She brings efficiency, focus, flexibility and fun to the table with an exceptional attitude. Honing her craft at agencies including Gardner, Geary, Coll & Young, Maiden Lane, Carat, and Mortar, she’s guided numerous brands including Boyd Gaming, Carondelet Healthcare Network, Kodak Easy Share Gallery, SF Examiner, Rolling Hills Casino, Chef (Opscode), Chevys Fresh Mex, Matrix Partners, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Fair Trade USA, Bright Now Dental, Rogers Family Coffee, Network Appliance, Terracotta, Eat24, and Westport Technologies.

Scott Burke

Scott Burke

Managing Director

Strategic and insightful creative professional with 12 years of experience spanning advertising, branding, account planning, strategy, research and business development. Having worked client-side for IBM, Macquarie Bank, and Vision Australia; and agency side, Sydney native Scott brings a well-rounded approach to marketing, brand building and strategic communications. Working with clients such as American Airlines, Deloitte, VMware, Eat24, ShoreTel, Westport, Jackson National Life and Tyra Banks; Scott has honed skills that transcend consumer, B2B and multiple industries.

Corey Blick

Corey Blick

VP Brand Strategy

Corey has spent the last decade bringing consumer products to market. He co-founded FRS, a first of its kind natural energy drink. He established national retail and direct-to-consumer distribution reaching peaks of $50MM in sales. Most recently, he was the EVP of Marketing for Nawgan (a division of Kirin) leading new brand development, route-to-market marketing strategy, winning key distributors and retailers in record time. He’s also was the GM of P3 where he was put leading edge sports science applications on a global stage, attracting top tier sports organizations and athletes. Other brand launches include Q-Force Chews and ProBound Recovery Fuel. Corey’s experience bringing ideas to market—and years of being a client of agencies—gives him a unique perspective on what it takes to work with an agency to help marketing organizations bring their ideas and brands to life. 

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson

Director of Creative Ops

Taking a cue from Javier Lopez, SF Giants relief pitcher, Sarah “follows the relentless flow of the positive river” whenever possible. This has served her quite well in her 19+ years wrangling projects in the on- and off-line worlds of branding, strategy, usability, and design.  Sarah has managed projects at Spring Studio, Duncan/Channon, Havas EuroRSCG, Mortar, Circle.com, and Interactive Bureau; clients have included  Castlight Health, Hewlett Packard, Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, StubHub, John Muir Health, Tahoe South, US Air Force, Sony SCEA, St. Mary’s Medical Center, and Isilon Systems.

Brandon DeJong

Brandon DeJong

Senior Art Director

Brandon began his design career at Swirl where he designed and executed advertising campaigns for California Table Grape Association, Cengage, Coinstar, Ebay, Jamba Juice, Microsoft, Lennar, Lexar, Oakland Raiders, Paycycle, and the San Francisco Giants. He later went on to gigs at Altitude, and PJA Advertising designing integrated brand and direct-response advertising campaigns for Bi-Amp Systems, Bio-Rad, Endica Epicore, Equinix, Extreme Networks, Hitachi Datasystems, Maxim, Thomson Reuters, and TrendMicro Systems.

Brigham Stitt

Brigham Stitt

Director of Video & Motion

Brigham is a graphic designer and video producer with over 15 years of experience creating media for a wide range of applications. His background includes forming and managing Ubisoft San Francisco’s video production department, personally creating thousands of hours of original content and overseeing all US production demands; as well as years spent as an independent contractor for medical, mobile and music industry clients. With experience on both the creative and management sides of production, Brigham brings a unique perspective that allows him to find innovative, high-quality solutions to meet the needs of any project.

JD Simpson

JD Simpson

Founder

Having been a pioneer in changing the way medical devices are branded, marketed, and sold, he started Recreation as a commitment to continually push the envelope. JD spent his career as a healthcare and medical device executive and investor. He’s helped lead two companies through successful IPOs and one through an acquisition. His leadership roles have spanned different operational vertices including sales, marketing, business development, clinical, regulatory, quality and R&D. There are few people that have the diverse skills, talent, or experience that JD brings to the table. He’s held positions at Avinger Inc (NASDAQ: AVGR), FoxHollow Technologies (NASDAQ: FOXH, now part of Medtronic) and Palo Alto Investors, an independent, privately held investment advisor.

How We Do It.

You should hire an agency to make your life less stressful. Not more stressful.

How often in your career has that not been the case? At Rec, we pride ourselves in our intentionally uncomplicated (but effective) method of brand development. We always start the conversation with a “Yes” not a “No” and we respond to challenges with a “We’ll figure It out” not an “It can’t be done”. We get much more accomplished this way.  We promise.

We Get Involved
We strive to understand your brand, business objectives and engagement goals. We learn who we need to talk to and explore secondary resources. For us, the relationship is top proiorty and we truly want to get to know you.
We Understand Objectives
Here we try to understand your end game. What are you trying to accomplish? Is it trying to refresh a 100 year old brand to a new target audience? Is it introducing a new brand into a 100 year old industry? How do we handle the tactics vs. the strategy? These are all critical to better understanding our work together. We ask the right questions, get to the answers and move forward.
We Do Our Homework
Let’s round up those internal and external stakeholders, get them on camera and find out the real deal. Let’s Google Hydrotropism and see what it actually means. Let’s see who else is out there in the space making life difficult for us. What are our blockers? And what are our possible runarounds?
We Deliver a Plan
Alright. You’ve hired us, we understand what you are trying to do and the challenges it will take to get there. Time for the game plan. Your plan is built for your organization, it’s not a template, it’s customized based on our understanding of your brand, internal teams, budget and objectives. If we need to start small, we do so and then we help you grow and grow with you.
We Execute the Plan
We delivered the plan and you have approved it, now time to execute. Well orchestrated execution is critical to any successful launch. We work hard to understand how your oganization functions best and customize your launch plan to ensure a smooth delivery of your new brand.
We Maintain the Plan
You still like us. You really still like us. And even after all we’ve been through together. Nothing makes a brand more strong than consistency. An ongoing relationship to make sure all of the hard work we accomplished together stays as powerful as the day it launched is always our goal.

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