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Challenged to expand beyond coffee and appeal to a global audience, Starbucks set out to refocus its brand. We worked with Starbucks the team as the decision to distance the company from its heritage, 3rd place positioning: home, work, and Starbucks. As the guidance evolved to “The Moment of Connection,” we were charged with creating a brand identity system that would visualize the metaphor. We examined the iconic representation and extracted patterns and elements to memorialize a moment of connection to the brand. Our conceptualization was favored by the client over several others and now appears in every Starbucks around the world.


If there’s anything we excel at, it’s creating an extensive, brand-led universe. In this example, we worked with a technology client engaged by the city of Amsterdam to celebrate 400 years of Dutch influence in New York City. We built an entire visual language to guide the brand experience. Utilizing geolocation tech, The Hudson Connection developed an app that would reveal interesting historic content to the user as they visited landmark sites throughout NYC. Our extensive multi-platform execution and a copy were lauded for its inventiveness, its beauty and moreover for its “Dutchness.”


Recognized around the world as one of the most artfully managed brands, Virgin, is nothing if not contentious. It was this rebellious attitude and desire to change the world that drove Virgin to explore a novel business opportunity: luxury cruises. We were tapped by the team to imagine a Virgin-branded cruise experience. We constructed a radically different vision for Virgin and expressed it utilizing an equally unusual visual style. Virgin was impressed by our ability to imagine new realities and factored our conceptualization into the decision-making process.


In the hyper-competitive world of higher education, John Jay College of Criminal Justice has a unique story to tell. The opportunity was to redefine the meaning of “justice,” drive understanding around John Jay’s role in educating for it and get the world to recognize the vast possibilities offered by the institution. Bold new lettering in gigantic type with the call to be fierce advocates for justice adorns John Jay’s breathtaking new building. The central theme spawned new programs, symposia, awards, and conferences dedicated to advancing justice.


The brand speaks to each target audience while being authentic to its heritage. The Novelis everCan is the first independently certified, high-recycled content aluminum designed specifically for the beverage can market. The company has partnered with SCS, a leading third-party environmental and sustainability certifier which certifies the recycled content through a process of detailed audits across their entire manufacturing process.


Born in 2008, Baselayer created innovative technology to transform data centers. The company delivers hardware and software products that ensure the data center fulfills the needs of today’s applications and supports innovation into the future to fulfill the needs of customers like Apple, Bank of America, John Hopkins University and NASDAQ. The company is breaking down logical boundaries to provide insight and transparency across all of their customers’ data center assets. And, they’re extending decision making for information outside the data center, including the cloud and third-party data feeds, and creating extensibility from the data center into the Internet of Things.


With the go90 app, a new social entertainment platform from Verizon, built for the mobile-first generation, offering access to live and on-demand video wrapped in a social experience. Some of the content consumers will see on go90 includes live events, prime-time TV, best-of-the-web and original series across comedy, music, gaming, lifestyle, sports, news and entertainment. A courageous client was ready to drive change and saw the creation of go90 as a pivotal opportunity to shift perceptions of Verizon with game-changing product branding for this platform targeted at millennials. In their own words:

“go90 is kind of uncharted territory … Much of what we did was very different from anything Verizon has done before.” Verizon Marketing Manager


cSuite is building the next generation interface to the personal cloud. A tool so intuitive, simple and elegant, that organizes all aspects of your digital life in one place. From email, contacts, calendar, and cloud, cSuite enables individual and enterprise users to bring together or keep apart from their business and personal lives as they see fit. Our transformational orbital interface allows users to navigate ever-increasing complexity with intuitive ease through a simple extension of their thumb. All of this is done in a highly secure environment, where users can trust that their data remains completely private and in their sole control at all times.


SMITHRAIS designed the Novelis brand to hinge on three principles that speak B2B and B2C audiences: the material advantage of Novelis Aluminum; the innovations possible with Novelis Aluminum and the sustainability benefits of Novelis Aluminum to customers and society. This three-prong strategy, combined with the company’s desire to stir emotions, created the foundation for a new user-led, insight-driven and action-oriented Novelis brand. We developed a brand identity system for Novelis that remains both agile and resilient. It speaks to the company’s focus on innovation and sustainability. We also created a new integrated digital presence, including a website, social media, rich video content, photo library to ensure the brand remains current and relevant for both businesses and consumers.


SMITHRAIS NYC is a brand consultancy for corporations and entrepreneurial partners. We empower businesses with brand strategy, design systems, and storytelling. We work fast and efficiently, so the transformation is a matter of weeks, not months.


By changing the brand strategy for Graphic Direction from a manufacturing-led business to a brand-led business, we quickly expanded the company’s reach, visibility, and a competitive edge. Quality of design and design leading the conversation; enabling digital media to work in sync with the print channel to drive the brand; innovating proprietary processes; engineering the entire look and feel of the re-brand with a fresh voice and messaging; actively engaging designers in the print consultancy process. A rich visual design toolkit featuring proprietary “sticky notes” served as the baseline for social media integration, increased market penetration, and new partnerships with prominent designers and the design community.


We launched a dynamic new business with a clear point of view and a unique approach to digital social media. We opened up opportunities and systematic extensions of the brand through partnerships. .art carved out a distinctive presence in the art world and cyberspace as the only provider dedicated to the arts community.
Brand and digital strategy / Interactive design / Content creation / Social media


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SMITHRAIS NYC is a brand consultancy. We are at the forefront of utilizing behavior as a value proposition for brands. We believe that behavior and speed are the most valuable brand asset and by far the most effective & efficient practice for scaling business. We prove this on a daily basis.