2022: Variable Styles — Studio Rodrigo Year in Review

Ritik Dholakia
8 min readJan 17, 2023

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February 2022 was the 10th anniversary of Studio Rodrigo. It’s a pretty meaningful milestone, but time and work just keep coming and somehow you just fly past it.

On the occasion of our 10th anniversary, we took the opportunity to refresh our own brand (and soon, our website). I’m pretty excited to start teasing it out now, as an intro to our 2022 year in review.

Studio Rodrigo 2022
Our studio has been characterized by the ability to inhabit variable styles. We have broad interests and appetites, and to play across all the domains and surfaces we want requires flexibility and adaptability. While doing serious work, we also don’t take ourselves too seriously.

Our new visual identity embodies these ideas. Built around a simple wordmark, a slightly modified version of Aktiv Grotesk by the type studio Dalton Maag, the core of the new identity is a variable set of symbols that can play with the five letters in our name. That set of symbols is intended to be an ever-expanding set, representing both our ability to adapt to the needs of our clients and partners and also the contributions and imprint of the various designers who work within the studio to produce our work.

Uprise Art
We were able to reunite with one of our favorite teams in 2022. Every time we get to collaborate with the team at Uprise Art it’s a joy. Tze Chun and Whitney Shaw have created a digital first art gallery that nurtures and grows the careers of emerging fine artists.

We first met Tze and Whitney seven years ago when we helped design an initial version of Uprise Art, working in collaboration with our software development partners at Shift Lab. When Tze and Whitney told us they were ready for a design refresh and technical replatform, we were excited to collaborate again.

Greg Ervanian led the design process, Stefanie Brückler helped establish the visual language, and for the second time in an almost decade-long collaboration, we are excited to relaunch https://www.upriseart.com.

Aera Finance
Aera enables DAOs and other projects to hedge risk by diversifying their treasury holdings, establishing growth & risk targets, and using a blockchain-native approach to risk management strategies. We worked closely with Shaan Varia, Tarun Chitra, and the team at Gauntlet Networks to help establish a name, positioning, visual identity, and initial launch site for https://www.aera.finance/ — and a timely project, as the need has become quite clear for crypto projects to have more mature and diversified treasury management strategies

Fora Travel
Fora (https://www.foratravel.com/) is a modern, tech-enabled travel agency. We began working with the all-star team of Henley Vazquez, Evan Frank, and Jake Peters as they were dreaming up this new business in 2021 and our work in support of their vision continued with the full site of the brand, website, and support of their initial travel agent platform in the first half of 2022.

Evvy
The team at Evvy is building one of the best brands focused on women’s health care needs, with an initial service that provides unprecedented insight into your health with our at-home vaginal microbiome test. Building off of some really lovely brand work by studio alum Lian Fumerton-Liu, we’ve been helping the stellar team at Evvy led by Priyanka Jain, Laine Bruzek, and Tanya Jain to evolve their digital health platform.

Amaranth Prize
The Amaranth gives no-strings attached funding to the best research in longevity. The Prize takes a novel approach to supporting research by awarding funds retrospectively, encouraging scientists to pursue what they find most intriguing and supporting not only ground breaking research from the past year, but the research that influenced them.

We worked closely with Cinjon Resnick and team to create a visual identity and launch website for this unique approach to supporting deep scientific research.

Kittch
Kittch (https://kittch.com)/ is the live-streaming platform for the food obsessed, featuring an amazing line-up of chefs and food experts creating unique experiences for people who love food. We helped define the initial brand and digital experience and worked with the Kittch team to scale the platform as they built up their internal team and capabilities over the course of the past year.

Affordable Connectivity Program
Continuing our multi-year (now, multi-decade) collaboration with the design and product teams at Comcast, we helped roll out the Affordable Connectivity Program — hopefully helping some folks get better prices on their internet.

In addition to our work on ACP, we also supported Comcast design teams across a wide range of initiatives, including the Xfinity app, the Xfinity.com brand and commerce site, and the Xfinity rewards program.

WeWork
The future of work continues to be a foreground topic for all of us who work in and around tech, and WeWork continues to be one of the most relevant platforms for solving space needs. We’ve been working embedded with WeWork’s product teams across the core https://www.wework.com/ member experience, as well as the evolution of internal tools and platforms.

Stripe
We got to collaborate with strategic design teams at Stripe to think through and visualize what a composable UI toolkit might be that would enable sophisticated digital commerce business to leverage Stripe’s capabilities to deliver branded, unique shopping experiences.

Google Creative Lab
We had a lot of fun re-engaging with the team at Google Creative Lab on a wide range of projects. All top secret, of course, but fun to work with the team pushing the boundaries of what Google experiences might be.

Chicago Organizing Timeline
Zealous is challenging injustice through media, storytelling, and the arts. We were introduced to Zealous by our friends at Hyperakt and have had the opportunity to collaborate on a few projects, starting with a series of posters documenting the history and future of organizing around justice reform issues in Chicago for a series of workshops that Zealous convened with local and national activists in the summer of 2022.

More to Come in 2023
Beyond the work and relationships we can highlight, much of our work from the second half of 2022 is still in the works. We’ve had the pleasure of embedding across a broad range of companies and industries.

We had our first deeper foray into the challenges of climate emissions reporting and organizational change with a few embedded sprints with Sustain.Life. We’ve continued our work in health tech, helping both Laguna Health and Elektra Health formalize their brand positioning and messaging.

We’ve learned a lot about the complexities of supply chain in the automotive industry with TBC and NTW.

And we’re excited to continue our collaboration with the team at Zealous on an ongoing project about felony murder in collaboration with Yale’s investigative journalism lab.

Amp Club
In 2022, we launched an new initiative called Amp Club — field trips for adults, to explore, engage with, and build community around issues that impact us living in NYC.

Starting with pilot activities— which included a wonderful ecological history tour of the Gowanus canal with Steve Koller and a field trip to the Weeksville Heritage Center — we expanded to month-long themes around climate and the AAPI experience in New York City.

Each theme included field trips, unique events like a self-defense training with Soar Over Hate, and attendance at events and workshops, allowing us to amplify the work being done by folks across the city — the spirit and essence of Amp Club.

We will continue our programming into 2023 and we’d love to have you join us!

Walking tour of Chinatown with some delicious bites
Understanding combined sewage overflow and the history of the Gowanus canal with Gowanus Dredgers
Visit to the Weeksville Heritage Center
Self defense class with Soar Over Hate centering the AAPI experience

As mentioned, 2022 was a milestone year for the studio, celebrating our 10th year. We also had some new faces join the studio. All of it cause for celebration, of which there were many over the course of the year.

10th year celebration at Di an Di with alums and babies!
2021’s postponed holiday dinner celebrated in 2022 at Winona’s
Summer fun at Royal Palms
Stepping into the future, 2022-style.

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