Design Firms: Five Most Inspirational of 2009

December 21st, 2009

5 Top Design Firms
The following design firms/agencies were chosen based on their work, not on their revenue or size. Four out of the five are graphic and web design focused leaving the remaining agency with roots solely in graphic design.


Experimental Jetset is an Amsterdam graphic design firm, founded in 1997 by Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers and Danny van den Dungen. Their focus is on printed material and installation work. Experimental Jetset has worked on projects for Stedelijk Museum CS, Purple Institute, Centre Pompidou, Colette, Dutch Post Group and Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux with work featured in group exhibitions such as Terminal Five in JFK Airport (New York, 2004) and Riviera Gallery (New York, 2004). You may have seen some of Jetset’s work posted here on the blog this year.



Visit their site: Jetset.nl


Struck/Axiom is a full-service hybrid agency with offices in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Portland. Some of their clients include Botticelli, AIGA, Discovery, Ogio, Ski Utah, and Addidas. Although the majority of Struck’s portfolio appears to be web, they do have a print team in Salt Lake City that has put out some stunning pieces such as the Botticelli packaging.

On the web side of Struck, the Utah Travel site and Adidas Techfit Microsite compliment the portfolio beautifully.



Visit their site: Struckcreative.com

Hit the jump to see the rest of the most inspirational design firms of 2009.



Ars Thanea has been in my design links folder for over a year but under the wrong alias. Their work is absolutely stunning. It’s quite refreshing to see that Ars Thanea is a Polish design firm and doing quite different work from that we’ve seen before on here. Their digital manipulation work has inspired me to start working with different collage methods–bringing in different visual elements as well as reminding me to manage my layers.

Ars Thanea is located in Warsaw, Poland. The team consist of directors, designers, illustrators, programmers and developers and have created some very amazing pieces of work. The two images below are from a new Nissan compaign and print work for Deadliest Catch (one of my new favorite shows).



Visit their site: Arsthanea.com


Hello Monday is one of my newest favorites. I’ve been familiarized with Art Director and designer Sebastian Gram’s work through Behance and have since carried on to admire the full collection of work on Hello Monday.

This Danish agency also has an office in New York as well as in Denmark and has more ‘FWA’ awards than you can shake a stick at. For their print work they show a lot of the typefaces used and the guidelines for the logos. You can see this and more process on their site or on behance.




Visit their site: Hellomonday.net


BKWLD is one design firm that I haven’t been to, but would love to. I think that BKWLD would be a great place to work at considering they have great work and appear to have a relaxed atmosphere. They have an office here in Seattle and one in Sacramento.

Projects to check out: Gregory Packs Case Study, Gravis and the Lexus minisite.



Visit their site: Bkwld.com

Now that I’ve shared my top five most inspirational design firms from 2009, I’d like to turn the tables and hear what your favorite design firms/agencies or inspirational links are–share in the comments.

Posted by on 12/21/09 in Design

7 COMMENTS   »  Leave your Comment

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelby White, Josh McDonald. Josh McDonald said: Currently reading http://blog.wanken.com/2009/12/21/design-firms-five-most-inspirational-of-2009/ via @wanken [...]

  2. Jeffdoe says:

    Thanks Shelby! I’m sure the Seattle crew would love to meet you.

  3. ralph fisker says:

    Great set indeed. I’ve been following Bukwild for some time as well and kept bumping into posters by Ars Thanea without knowing who was behind them.

  4. Shelby says:

    Ralph, I also kept seeing work by Ars Thanea before I realized who was behind it and for the past year I’ve had the wrong alias for them in my bookmarks. It was under Peter Jaworowski / Hejz instead of Ars Thanea.

  5. Raoul says:

    Great choices. Experimental Jetset, Hello Monday, and BKWLD are definitely on my top 5 as well. BKWLD is actually live pretty close to the Sacramento location and I am going to try to work there after I finish the Graphic Design program at Sac State.

  6. Raoul–I am now interning at BKWLD here in Seattle. Every person who works here is awesome!


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