Brand identity · Creative agencies

What are the best brand identity/design agencies, ideally Bay-Area based and startup-centric?

Justin Randolph

August 22nd, 2014

I'm building an online discovery and booking platform for off-the-beaten-path accommodations, and as such, our brand identity is critical because of the nature of the experience we are offering (non-commoditized, small-scale properties). It's a very high-touch sale, and thus we require a compelling brand identity -- and one which has strong social impact roots -- that connotes the emotional value of traveling to less developed travel destinations and celebrates the power of our partners' landscapes and cultures. I'd be grateful for any recommendations of world-class creative agencies that specialize in brand identity and design. While I have a bias for Bay Area-based agencies, suggestions outside of the Bay are also worthwhile if it's the right fit!

Mark Silva Finance & Operations at KITE

August 23rd, 2014

For KITE, we used Sovereign Studios in the Mission: They were my first stop after my founding partner b/c I felt like you do that identity is among the highest order opportunities/challenges for our market. I spent a decent amount and still feel like it was a great deal and one of the best investments/bets we made early-on. Full disclosure, the founders ran my creative department at a leading SF digital agency, Real Branding, before striking out on their own many years ago. They think holistically well beyond the identity, which is what you need. Has to be mindful of all the environments and context consumed from mobile app to business card to vinyl sticker. Smart, clever, creative and hard working. Use my name to move up in the email queue. Cheers! silva

Daniel Wiser Innovative & Entrepreneurial Marketing Executive

August 22nd, 2014

Hi Justin,

I highly recommend Temporarily Unpopular Ideas - they are small but brilliant shop based in Toronto.


Don Daglow 3-Time Inc. 500 CEO, Technical Emmy® Award, International Speaker, Advisor at Founders Space accelerator

August 22nd, 2014

This is in the wheelhouse for Zebra Partners, and I can recommend Perrin Kaplan very strongly.  I'm based in the Bay Area and although her team is based in Seattle they do so much work here that she's the one I go to for this kind of guidance.

Their website is at

Duane Nickull Chief Marketing Officer, Co-Founder at Cheddar Labs

August 22nd, 2014

Hot Tomali (  I work for them and we have won over 2 dozen awards for branding, advertising etc in Cannes, London, New York, etc.   We are also a full service tech shop.


S. McIntire Allen

August 22nd, 2014

Can't help you with this question, but I know a guy that did something similar for Japan. Checkout and let me know if you would like an intro to the founder. Very helpful guy. 

Brian Schuring Founder & CEO; Fynder

August 23rd, 2014

Hi Justin,

They're not Bay-based, but Focus Lab ( out of Savannah did great work for one of our London based projects (  Bill Kenney and his team are great to work with and well worth a look/call.  

Either way, good luck w your project!


Anusheel Bhushan

August 23rd, 2014

Aleksandr Vladimirskiy Web Developer

August 24th, 2014


August 24th, 2014

Parikshit Saxena Software Engineer, Indiabulls

August 26th, 2014

Hey Justin,

A company based in New Delhi - helping a lot many people from YCombinator and many others is Pakzinc Technologies. A startup itself - understands the needs of other startups too., email -