MT & S
Artboard 1
We are pleased to present our proposal for the design + development of the TBG brand + website.
As discussed in our impromptu Fradley-house meeting, it is my suggested approach to lead with an iterative, interactive MVP on this project that we’ll loosely call a prototype. This will establish the needed foundation to facilitate VC fundraise pitches with a real product in hand. In this phase we’ll define both the TBG brand, interaction identity, and subsequently the modular piece-parts of the webapp in tandem as we go.
We will build the whole of the codebase from scratch utilizing no off-the-shelf plugins, or design systems on the frontend. The bespoke nature of building this way is part and parcel to building a stellar product the feels consistent across touchpoints.


MacFadden & Thorpe is a 10-person boutique studio based in the Mission District of San Francisco, founded by Brett MacFadden and Scott Thorpe in 2008.  MT has built a reputation for thoughtful, highly-crafted design, and has worked on an enormous range of projects, much of it centered around the Bay Area’s cultural landscape—including SFMOMA, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, The Thing Quarterly, and The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation. This cultural work has been balanced by extensive work in industry, in particular with hospitality startup Airbnb, for whom they have completed several hundred projects over the past five years. The studio has a focus on typography, and their type and supergraphic work have been shown at the Herb Lubalin Study Center for Design and Typography at Cooper Union in New York, and the International Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno, Czech Republic. Their projects are included in the permanent AIGA collection at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Brett and Scott are senior faculty at the California College of the Arts, and have taught continuously in the Graphic Design and MFA in Design programs since 2010.

Smith Process is a physical and digital fabrication studio located in Vallejo, CA, founded by Jared Smith in 2017. Smith is rooted in systems-thinking, and the crafting of modular design from the ground up – whether physical or digital. Harnessing digital media at the intersection of art and utility, Smith has built a portfolio of work that is playful yet navigable, and melds precision output with hand-made craftsmanship.  Smith has a singular focus on human-centered design, and UX with varied output mediums. Culling from Jared’s varied professional background, the studio forms itself as a decentralized agency of senior creative professionals, assembled adhoc to meet the demands of any project.

We see design as an essential part of our cultural language, with the power to inform, clarify, and charm. In our practice, we place equal importance on both visible surface and underlying structure, and believe that good bones, whether typographic or code, are what makes for functional, beautiful, and lasting design. Particularly in branding, we strive to make graphic design that is not ephemeral, slick, or trendy, but which has the resilience to mature into an unknown future with its best qualities intact.
As a partnership, MT and Smith also believe that the digital presence reflects the brand just as much as a logo, and that a ground-up collaboration is the best way to ensure a consistent, and seamless, identity. Lastly, though we see our work as systematic and process-driven, we also think the experience of working with designers should be enjoyable and, yes, even fun. Through clear communication, dependable deadlines, and inventive solutions, we make it easy for our clients to succeed.
Project Approach
PHASE 1 – Design – 1 week
Project on-boarding, code assessment and initial brand exploration, colors, typefaces, logo, web-app design. Functional reqs and data model defined and client review.
1 Creative Director
1 Senior Designer
80h : $16,000


PHASE 2 – Foundations – 1 week

Build service layer to support all functional reqs as defined in P1 above. In this phase we will attempt to reuse as much pre-existing code as possible while ensuring a stable system for future work (i.e. Apple TV integration).

1 Senior Engineer
60h : $12,000


PHASE 3 – Frontend – 2 weeks

Complete from-scratch build of web-app frontend in React (Next.js) with recommended hosting on Vercel and consideration for future porting to React Native.

2x Senior Engineer
160h : $32,000


300h : $60,000

Brett MacFadden is a Co-Founder and Creative Director of MacFadden & Thorpe and Senior Adjunct Professor at The California College of the Arts. Prior to MT he was a Senior Designer at Chronicle Books, Senior Designer for National Design Award winning-studio Tenazas Design, and Marketing Director at Bargmann Hendrie Architecture in Boston. He holds a MFA in Design from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and BS in Journalism from Ohio University.

Scott Thorpe is a Co-Founder and Creative Director of MacFadden & Thorpe and Senior Adjunct Professor at The California College of the Arts. He was previously Marketing Design Director at Chronicle Books, Designer at WGBH in Boston, and at Jager, Di Paola, and Kemp in Burlington, VT. He holds a MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and a BA in English from Connecticut College.

Jared Smith is Founder and Interactive Creative Director of Smith Process. He is currently Head of Brand Engineering at Patreon, and was previously Director of Technology at Maker Media, Interaction Design Lead at Futuredraft, and Technical Director for John McNeil Studio. He has worked with clients ranging from Bank of America, to Charles Schwab, to Change Healthcare, and has been a featured artist in digital media, photography, and sound design at Headlands Center for the Arts, In/Out NYC, and The One Show.

Maggie Wallace is Project Manager for MacFadden & Thorpe, and previously was Project Coordinator for the Design Studio at SFMOMA. She holds a Masters in Art History from University of California, Riverside, and a Bachelor’s in Art History and Cultural Anthropology from University of California, Santa Barbara.


McEvoy Foundation for the Arts

The McEvoy Foundation is a 5,000 square foot arts space within San Francisco’s Minnesota Street Project. Neither commercial gallery nor museum, the foundation presents a rich program of exhibitions, performances, and events free to the public, with much of the artwork coming from the exceptional McEvoy family collection. We worked with the foundation on the development of a branding system that reflected their self-reliant and idiosyncratic approach to collecting, anchored by a quirky bespoke typeface, and possessed of a decidedly non-conservative attitude. For each exhibition, we proposed using a different guest designer or artist to create the promotional materials, the rules being only that they must stick to two-color printing and use of the McEvoy house typefaces. We created all signage for the gallery, including 8-foot tall "Supergraphic" typography for the facade, and thick steel water-jet cut signage for the front desk. We have also built two iterations of MFA's website as their programming and online offerings have expanded and continue to work with them on a variety of initiatives.

Airbnb Be Program

As Airbnb has grown, the benefits they offer their employees have as well, encompassing a broad range of perks, including healthcare, financial advice, education, volunteer time, wellness programs, and more. With so many offerings, the company needed an umbrella system to unify them. They challenged us to create a brand that would allow employees to easily identify any benefits-related communications, and introduce some joy into what otherwise might be deathly dry content. The solution we created uses the name “Be” (taken from two key words, “belong” and “benefits”), and builds a unique graphic voice from remixing and adding to elements from Airbnb’s brand system. The core of the Be system is a series of mix-and-match patterns which leverage the Airbnb palette and encourage new combinations, creating a dynamic and versatile kit of parts that can grow along with the company’s resources.

The Cove at Tiburon

The Cove at Tiburon is a 300-unit waterfront complex in Marin County. Originally built in the 1960s, the property features authentic mid-century architecture, with apartments sited on the bay and that hug around a protected marina where tenants can dock their boat. As part of an overall improvement project that included the total exterior and interior rehab of all units and the grounds, we were brought in to reposition the property.
Working with the development and marketing teams, we created a brand narrative that played off the area’s natural beauty and nautical roots. From this, we created a new identity that took its cues from the buildings' roof lines. We created graphic standards, brand palettes, signage, promotional materials and high-end welcome gifts to bring a fresh start and sense of prestige to the Cove community.

San Francisco Art Book Fair

The San Francisco Art Book Fair is an annual three-day festival of artist publications that brings over 100 exhibitors and 10,000 visitors to the galleries of Minnesota Street Project. In 2019, the organizers of the fair asked us to design the graphics for the event, the first time they have used an outside designer. We created an identity with a theme of 'digital psychedelia,' referencing SF's history of counter-cultural publications torqued towards the current city culture.  The logo itself evokes the spines of a loose stack of books, with a basic, but slightly off primary color palette. Along with the identity, we designed all  materials, signage, collateral, marketing elements, and even hosted a booth of our own books and objects made for the fair.

The Thing Quarterly

The THING Quarterly is an object-based publication, edited by artists Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan, that ran from 2007 to 2017. Four times a year, subscribers would receive a new issue by mail—each by a different contributing artist working under the direction that the piece should be a useful object and incorporate text in some way. Thing contributors include an impressive range of contemporary culture makers including Miranda July, Trevor Paglen, Chris Johanson, Starlee Kine, Jonathan Lethem, John Baldassari, and Dave Eggers, as well as special 'Other Thing' projects with Nike and Levi's.  We began working with The THING on Issue 3.5 (a surprise half-edition) and collaborated with them on all subsequent issues, designing boxes and printed matter that responded to each object. When we first started working with them they used rubber stamps with Helvetica to mark each issue on stock cardboard boxes, and we took this elemental set of limitations and ran with it, continuing to use the typeface and cardboard to package each issue, but elevated the issues through custom boxes and inserts and bold, honest,


We love Supergraphics and have created large scale typographic works at a number of galleries, including the Brno Design Biennial in the Czech Republic and The Lubalin Center at Cooper Union in New York. We have also created installations for Dolby Labs, Facebook, Airbnb, and Google. Generally, these graphics are created off-computer and improvised on-site using only masking tape, paint, and a particular zen for manual precision. We’ve also conducted a series of supergraphics workshops where we educate participants about the history of Supergraphics with an emphasis on the seminal work at Sea Ranch, and collaborate with them in an intense one-day sprint to create a wall-based work of art. Most recently, we have held these workshops at SFMOMA, California College of the Arts, and the University of Washington.


South of North

South of North is a craft brewer nestled into the basement-turned-beer-lab kitchen at Base Camp in South Lake Tahoe. Founded by Kyle Gray of Google's Brand Studio in Spring of 2019, we began working in tandem with the founder in late 2019 to define a new physical representation of their brand. We initially were tasked with the design and fabrication of a modular tap handle system. The taps are machined from 6061 aluminum and have removable, interchangeable caps.
The caps will be powder coated and silk-screened with the individual logos and color treatments of each beer. We did all drafting, CNC machining, and hand-finishing of these in-house. Our scope then grew to wayfinding signage and an engraved, blackened steel menu system. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak this project is still in-progress, and we look forward to completing fabrication and installation in Fall 2020.

Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

The homepage of SVMA’s new site invites visitors to redefine art, talent, imagination, photography, creativity. We developed a write-on-screen interaction that underlines SVMA’s focus on shifting the context of contemporary art to an open, inclusive experience building community. This interaction invites users to submit their response directly to the museum for use in social and print materials. In the two years since we launched the new site, the museum has collected over 800 responses from this. 
The repeated angle form masking and gradual site-long variable gradients seen throughout the design are elements we crafted into the backend management of the site. This allows the museum to keep the interactive experience fresh as time goes on, and upon each load of the site, users will see a new featured gradient appear.

ELS Architecture

ELS Architecture has been creating thoughtful, and compelling architectural designs for 50+ years. We came aboard to help them actualize their new branding by creating a digital space to showcase their previous projects and feature their new and ongoing work. Utilizing our custom version of the WordPress admin, we started from scratch to define and build a new ELS portfolio site. We mapped IA and content types to an editor-manageable database of their brand colors and the large punctuation mark symbols.
These symbols drive-home the firm’s belief in meaningful relationships: to its end users, clients, partners, and staff. The connections made by these symbols are not purely aesthetic, but are fundamental to how the firm approaches architecture - as a shared communal

Munson Furniture

If a table is just an etagere with one shelf, then a dresser is just a night stand with multiple drawers. Paul Munson launched Munson Furniture after years of collaborating with and fabricating for other designers as one of the Bay Area’s best bespoke carpenters. Located in West Oakland, Munson Furniture combines the latest 3d-modeling and fabrication tools with atomic design principles and traditional woodworking techniques. We came to Munson in the foundational phase of the company to help Paul actualize his vision: parametric mass-customization. On top of Rhino / Grasshopper models we defined constraints and variables into what became highly intelligent models that scale and shift proportional to user-set parameters.
Then, utilizing Shapediver, we ported these models to a web-friendly format, and built the UI seen here. Additionally, we worked behind the scenes on a Java application that ingests these user-customized pieces. As soon as payment is received, the application creates work orders for Munson’s third party vendors and G-code for Munson’s 5-axis wood CNC to seamlessly begin the production process. Each piece is then assembled and finished by hand before white glove delivery to the customer.
Thank you.