Designer Spotlight: PB&J

Featured in the May issue of HOW, Peanut Butter & Jelly, with offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, OH, is a truly multidisciplinary creative firm. Led by partners Micah Paldino and B. Emmit Jones, PB&J, as it’s known by friends, focuses on design, public relations and social media for both national and local brands.

“We believe that every brand has a visual story. As storytellers, we strive to create the balance between the beautiful and the raw,” Paldino explains. “We’re first and foremost creative entertainers, inspiring the brands with which we work, as well as their consumers. It’s our goal to lead our client’s consumers on a journey, one that is filled with twists, turns and clandestine moments full of splendor. We believe that the most basic concepts can be the most effective, which aligns well with the simplicity of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

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One such clandestine moment took the form of an ice cream bike stocked with donuts and driven by an old-fashioned soda jerk for Busken Bakery. A team of six costumed actors and actresses roamed between the venues hosting the MidPoint Music Festival in downtown Cincinnati, passing out donuts to hungry music fans.

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The firm has also done a lot of work for Busken’s popular fro-yo offering, Yagööt, including an in-store campaign that paired colorful screen-printed displays in a pop art style with a contest where customers could suggest new flavors. The project included physical photo booths, as well as e-mail and social media campaigns. They also selected six local food bloggers to create recipes that use Yagööt as a main ingredient.

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What does the future hold for this multi-talented agency? For one, the firm recently added new capabilities by merging with Cincinnati-based fabrication studio Such+Such. The combined business will operate under the PB&J moniker.

Paldino says, “Our goal is to focus on brand purpose. We expect to continue to provide our clients’ consumers with an entertaining journey through thoughtful design and progressive strategy which takes them on an enjoyable, but slightly askew, ride.”

The Firm: Peanut Butter & Jelly, Cincinnati;

Principals: Micah Paldino, B. Emmit Jones

No. of Employees: 9

Founded: 2008

Notable clients : Procter & Gamble, Landor Associates, FanMail Markeing, Busken Bakery, Yagööt Frozen Yogurt, Vacation Express

Want to succeed in the design world with your own small business? Be sure to attend the From the Trenches Panel: How to Grow Into a Small Business (With or Without Employees) at the Creative Freelancer Conference at HOW Design Live.

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Success by Design
From David Sherwin, the man that brought you the best selling Creative Workshop, here comes the business side of being creative! Success by Design is a reference for designers to remind themselves of best practices in the industry. Complex business advice and information is distilled into an easy-to-reference format that’s not meant to be read cover-to-cover, but to answer questions in the moment!