OTTO is a creative agency committed to delivering unique branded communications and strategic, design-focused solutions.

HOW Design Conference

Help creative people see how the science in the product creates unlimited creative possibilities.

What keeps you up at night?

Brand Positioning / Advertising / Marketing / Messaging / Exhibit Design

| Project Scope

1920s Samoiloff Effect

The red filter reduces the visible green and blue lights. The green filter reduces the visible blue and red lights. The blue filter reduces the visible red and green lights.

The Issue

Always at the vanguard of paper science, the team at International Paper are obsessively committed to creating products that foster creativity giving designers the confidence to take risks and bring their ideas to life. International Paper wanted to highlight their product’s features, strengths, and flexibility, while also showcasing the creativity their papers inspire. They turned to OTTO Brand Lab (OTTO) to create a memorable experience for the HOW Design Conference.

The Strategy

Sometimes a simple change can have a big impact. Take the world of color, for instance. To create a dramatic experience, OTTO turned to a powerful theatrical technique. In the 1920s, a British theatre technician named Adrian Samoiloff developed the use of a color phenomenon to create a special effect. By manipulating the color of lighting in conjunction with the color of the backdrops the appearance of objects are radically transformed.

In collaboration with illustrator Sean Mosher-Smith and dcc, we employed the Samoiloff effect to transform what you see through an immersive environment and marketing materials all printed on International Paper’s Accent Opaque.

For the content of the design, we built upon the theme “What keeps you up at night?” — a theme that was sure to resonate with the conference’s audience of design professionals. From a design perspective, we highlighted designers worst creative fears. Then we combined their concerns with a focus on how International Paper’s investment in paper science obliterates the production worries of printing.

The Outcome

By utilizing the colors red, green, and blue, we reveal different stories depending on the color lenses you are looking through, or in the case of the exhibit, the color of lights that flood the room. As the colors change, the experience transforms what you see, highlighting product strengths and designer’s fears through deep storytelling. Conceived as an experience to engage designers and showcase International Paper’s products, the exhibit became the heart of the conference

The editor from HOW kicked off her social media coverage of the event by broadcasting from IP’s exhibit exclaiming “I could spend the whole week in here.”

Designers lined up for materials.

Neenah paper contacted us a week later to congratulate us on a fantastic job.


To excite grade-schoolers about the science of chemistry, we created the character, "MorpH", who changes form, reflecting the vast array of scientific possibilities.

Science Academy

Positioning / Naming / Branding / Marketing

| Project Scope

Kids Lab

"Kids Lab" is a program sponsored by BASF, that introduces children ages four to twelve, to the world of science. The program is comprised of simple, hands-on experiments designed to excite kids about the practical science that happens all around them. The identity achieved the goal of being credible and approachable.

Science Academy

"Science Academy" is a sister program to "Kid's Lab", targeted at high school and freshman level college students. With an older target audience, the look and feel of the program needed to be more serious, as these are kids who are considering a career in chemistry. Key elements such as typeface and the beaker icon, were used for the Kid's Lab and the Science Academy to tie the two programs together.


As noted earlier, one of the key aspects of MorpH, is his ability to change shape and color. The character makes science friendly, while explaining the fundamentals of surface and materials science.

As with all of our projects, we dive into the problem and try to create concepts rather than executions. Yes, we still use paper and yes, we share ideas. It is important that all of our concepts can grow and expand. Ideas travel fast. We believe that a sketch has the ability to grow into something amazing. Before we put mouse to mac, we put ideas to the test.

International Paper

A high-tech creative approach that stunned the marketplace and redefined how value is measured in the world of digital paper.

Set Your Ideas Free

Brand Positioning / Advertising / Marketing / Messaging / CGI / Augmented Reality / Exhibit Design

| Project Scope

Computer Generated Imagery (CGI)

To drive home the cutting-edge technology behind International Paper's digital suite of paper, OTTO created CGI that visualizes a designer’s imagination. As the designer leaps from her computer screen portal onto a pile of papers that blow into steps, she soars through a window on a single sheet, watching as the papers transform into butterflies. She holds on tight and flies through the universe, the butterflies disperse, she wishes upon a star, all leading back to her dream. Take a close look, even the bed "sheets" are paper.

From sketch to interactive CGI, this concept takes you on a transformative adventure where anything a designer can dream of can be achieved using International Paper.

Form and function were key to help users easily find information for all product lines in the right side of the book, while designers can imagine possibilities in the left side of the book. The middle reveals a panoramic view of the full image, allowing users to explore and interact from one scene to the next.

Augmented Reality (AR)

As you hover over, watch as print comes to life in each scene of the illustration, launching an experience on your device activated through Augmented Reality: a behind-the-scenes video, an animation that brings the butterflies to life, a video that takes you through the steps involved in creating CGI, and lastly, a hidden poem in the book.

Fly the Butterfly — below
Activated by the cover image, watch as a butterfly tears away and lifts from a piece of paper, then flies through the air controlled by the user.

Print & Digital Advertising

We created ads to get people to visit the booth or contact the client. Using the initial “chalk” renderings, we provided a glimpse of what was to come while presenting the brand as high-tech. Then we made a flip book, animating the process from start to finish.

Interactive Exhibit — below

Under a giant scroll of paper, this exhibit announced International Paper’s digital paper suite. Visitors were surrounded by origami paper stars hanging down as they walked next to a curved large format display of a paper dream world. The play between physical and digital was the heart of the exhibit, which also featured an interactive bar with iPads. Visitors could explore hidden activities triggered by elements within the image or recharge their devices and watch a short film on the making of CGI.

The Issue

Help an industry leader demonstrate how their huge R&D investment has transformed their digital paper products into the best overall value in the industry.

International Paper (IP) spent significant resources to develop a superior suite of digital papers. Despite strong market pressure to rush product to market, they worked to perfect their products and even tested them extensively in the field before releasing them. The challenge they faced was overcoming the misperception that IP was sluggish while demonstrating that developing superior quality products takes time..

This was our time to shine…

The Strategy

  • Develop a branded system of parts—words, assets—to create maximum impact and to utilize across all customer touch-points.
  • Be transparent.
  • Use the true story to our advantage—we took time to make it the best we possibly could.
  • Push the science behind the paper—the art and science of paper.
  • Create something that causes a sea change in the perception of the IP brand.
  • Demonstrate how good the product really is.

The Outcome

Backed by killer imagery, strong messaging, and a tight, integrated suite of materials, this program raised the profile of International Paper’s digital brands while helping them redefine the conversation around value in the digital paper marketplace—a crucial point because digital printing is driven by efficiency.

We created materials that provide a long-term benefit by really pushing the products and demonstrating that they perform as well or better than anything on the market. As far as production goes, we did all of the things you are not supposed to be able to do to prove that this paper can perform at the highest level.


Blended by Nature Created by OTTO.

Nature. Science. Life.

Competitive Analysis / Strategy / Positioning (Corporate & Consumer) / Naming / Brand Development / Language Lexicon / Packaging / Marketing—Online & Print / Image Library / Website / Social Media / E-Commerce & P.O.P Materials

| Project Scope

Science, Nature, Life

Science: Our products are grounded in leading-edge science and were developed by a REAL scientist.

Nature: Our products contain natural ingredients that feed the body and provide strength and energy, as opposed to many of our competitors that simply stimulate the body or provide supplements.

Life: Whether we are helping an ailing patient to gain strength or enabling a consumer to get the nutrients they need, our products are focused on helping people to live more vital lives.


Simple and to the point, this line originally read "created by nature, blended through science." We lost, it still works.

Color Spectrum

The variety of color combinations in the marks are based on the natural ingredients in the KeepWell products. Each flavor has a unique logotype taken from the fruits in each flavor.

KeepWell Flavors

With the limited palette of a 6oz. serving, we achieved shelf-presence by designing a bottle that is pure, unique and approachable. Each flavor is represented by a color-coded logotype which differentiates the flavors and helps people to remember the brand name.

KeepWell Website

The KeepWell foods website is friendly, approachable and acts as a resource for people trying to live a healthier life. The blog postings and up-to-date content, allow KeepWell customers to make sound decisions regarding a variety of heath related issues and trends. The look and feel of the site ties back to the core principals behind the brand: science – honest fact-based content; nature – nature based imagery; clean design; life – vitality, humanity.

The Issue
Help “newco” bring the formula for a science-based, nutrition beverage to the life.

The Strategy
We assembled a team of industry experts to help define the opportunity, the purpose and the audience for the product. After thorough industry analysis, the team developed a crawl, walk, run strategy that allowed us to build brand awareness through targeted audience-channels.

Based on 3 founding principals—science, nature, life—we positioned, named and packaged the new company and products as KeepWell foods.

The KeepWell Brand Promise: We have gone to great lengths to make this product as natural as possible and to deliver as many essential nutrients to the consumer as we can, in one convenient packaged serving. Based on this concise promise, we helped the company develop a focused strategy with tremendous growth potential.

The Outcome
The KeepWell name represents a way of life. What started as an idea for a product has now become a lifestyle. Through our positioning, naming and messaging we helped the company capture a brand idea that has people-appeal. We are no longer selling a beverage, we are providing “on-the-go” women and men nature-based and scientifically designed nutrition to stay healthy, active, and engaged in their daily lives. The products can take any form.

Through social media, public outreach and industry events, we have helped the company build market and consumer brand awareness, culminating in the first shipment of product and the planning for the next phase of development and distribution.

Brick Works

Creating a B2B brand for a truly creative company without sucking the fun out of it!

Custom Bricks Made To Order

Brand Strategy / Brand Positioning / Brand Development / Tagline / Messaging / Marketing / Digital / Packaging

| Project Scope

Direct Marketing

Brick Works is so fun and unique. We knew if we got the product into people's hands, they would love it. Craft is a huge part of the brand. We created an industrial feel by producing the promo on a letterpress. Housed within a custom pouch, you receive a custom Brickworks character that is adhered to a board with the brand promise, “Promote your organization without sucking the fun out of it!”

We developed an identity based on the idea of a creative factory, a place where fun is made. We designed a pattern to represent the building blocks of the brand and the endless customizable opportunities. We even printed business cards on heavy weight stock to capture the brand’s balance of sophistication, industrial and punk, all at the same time.


In the spirit of the punk movement, we used inexpensive materials for maximum impact—from photo copied exhibits, to graphic black and white buttons.


A purposely stripped-down mobile-first website enables viewers to find out what’s new and quickly make a connection.

The Issue

To help a wildly creative business break into the B2B event marketing business. The founder is an artist who felt that creativity, collaboration and punk were all at the core of the product. He wanted us to help the business “appear professional without sucking the life out of it”.

The Strategy

  • Learn about the competition, do the opposite.
  • Develop a simple, yet clear brand position that anyone can remember.
  • Educate to our young members the history, philosophy and graphic language of punk.
  • Embrace low cost means as a powerful tool to create maximum impact.
  • Make the system easy-to-use and reproduce.
  • Make it graphic, say it loudly, make it fun.

The Outcome

When you are dealing with decision makers, sometimes projects with limited budgets can be most rewarding. This was that type of project. With a creative client who possesses a deep commitment to craft and quality, all of the core strategies behind the brand were embraced, adopted and exploded. The brand demands attention, slyly knowing that the product will live up to it with an edge and a smile.

We created a brand that is irreverent and constructive, industrial and sophisticated and most importantly, one that represents the company without sucking the life out of it!


DV4 is a joint effort between OTTO and dcc, celebrating the power of design and visual communication. We called on an incredibly varied and talented group of photographers, art directors and print craftsmen to document these experiences.

From Sensation to Sustenance

Conceived / Edited / Directed / Designed / Written / Produced / Prepared & Printed by OTTO and dcc

| Project Scope

Visual Storytellers

We’ve asked some of New York's most accomplished visual storytellers to spend the last year exploring and documenting who, what, where, and how the people of New York relate to food. In this limited edition box set, we take you on 8 related journeys—a tour of NYC culinary stories and experiences.

From Sustenance to Sensation

Dv4’s edition, From Sustenance to Sensation, celebrates the vibrant and vital aspect of NYC culture. It’s about the people who make our city. It’s about the worlds they inhabit: from taco trucks, to soul food joints, to the high altars of the art of crafting a fine dining experience. It’s about sustenance—more than just a meal, it’s the people you share it with. It’s about that special grandmother’s recipe passed down and shared from every corner of the globe. It’s about different traditions coming together while some of the best chefs in the world work to perfect their art and deliver new and better sensations.

To view more, explore the DV archive.


Twenty-first century craftsmen.

Digital Color Concepts

Positioning / Brand / Website Architecture & Design / Marketing & Promotion

| Project Scope

Tell Your Story and Stop

It helps to have a visual client that appreciates good writing.

Being Remembered

Whether it is a striking image, a branded store, a printed catalogue, or a delivery van driving by, when you come in contact with dcc, we want you to remember it.

The Issue

Although dcc has two distinct businesses, color retouching and print, the organization has one common cause—to help clients communicate effectively and at the highest level. The key is to help the varying audiences they serve understand how the company’s practices integrate seamlessly to create impactful, branded experiences.

The Strategy

Highlight this privately owned company’s unwavering commitment to quality and client success. Create opportunities for people to engage with the many services dcc provides. Bring out the personality of the organization. Speak with humor and confidence.

The Outcome

The dcc brand is like no other. When the printing industry was shrinking, the company expanded in digital media. As one of the most knowledgable and agile companies in the industry, dcc’s team is backed by approachable people who know what good is and care about quality.

SL Green

It Happens Here!

SL Green Fifteenth Anniversary, Investor Communication

Concept / Design / Illustration / Art Direction / Content Strategy / Research / Writing / Production

| Project Scope

From Location to Destination

Featuring original photography by Jason Schmidt, these pages were printed on short-sheets that reveal historic images shot from the same vantage point—a very jarring before and after.

A Crystal Clear Strategy

Featuring transparent map pages that explain the companies multiple business and how they fit together around the NYC cultural and transportation hubs.

The Next NY

A section focused on the future of NYC, that was researched, written, edited and illustrated by OTTO NY.

The Issue
After fifteen years, listed on the NYSE, SL Green has grown to be New York City’s largest commercial real estate owner. How do we create a communication strategy that celebrates SLGreen’s accomplishments, while looking forward to a future of growth? How do we create a message that resonates with all stakeholders? How do we tell a story that works across all media?

The Strategy
Create a memorable story about SL Green that communicates a fundamental strategy that has lead  the company from a small IPO to NYC’s largest commercial real estate owner. Tell a visual as well as verbal story—the story of a company that has grown from the side streets to the avenues.

The Outcome
A focused message based on SL Green’s core strategy of buying properties close to the City’s transportation hubs—which just happen to be the cities most desirable corporate and retail locations.

“It” Happens Here
This is a theme that gets at the core of the SL Green message: Our investment strategy does not falter — it’s built around location and convenience. And we have been on target, again and again. We are New York real estate —a dominant presence at the heart of where people and businesses intersect.

While elevating “It” to be an active word:
In the world of real estate, New York City is where it happens…and, in the NYC real estate market, SL Green is it.

For the print annual report we utilized two core aspects of the print experience:
1.) You can—to a certain degree—control the user experience
2.) Use the physical nature of print to engage and inform the reader

The result is a book that uses good story telling as a vehicle to carry a consistent, engaging message through a variety of “print-interactive” chapters.


Imagine a financial site that is engaging, informative and accessible anywhere, on any device. We did.

GE Energy Financial Services

Strategy / Site Architecture / UX / Branding / Design / Content Strategy & Management / Writing / Illustration / Development

| Project Scope

Mobile Access

From desktop to smart phone, the GE EFS site allows users to take a quick view or in-depth analysis of any project in the GE EFS pipeline.

A Seamless Branded Experience
communicates efficiently, taking advantage
of the opportunities each digital
device provides.

The Issue
Although GE has a large corporate presence online—over 1,000 sites—the GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) site had fallen behind. Equally challenging, was knowing what brand standards to use in the online environment, as the guidelines are widely open for interpretation.

GE EFS needed a site that provided an inviting gateway into GE Energy Financial Services, consistent with the GE and GE Capital template system. The site had to showcase the projects and companies in which GE EFS has invested, to attract and inspire new customers. Most importantly the project needed to explain the value GE EFS provides: deep industry knowledge, expertise, tremendous breadth and the ability to help clients reach their goals with unexpected solutions. It was equally important to erase lingering misconceptions about GE EFS: that it is too expensive and difficult to work with.

The Strategy
• Analyze the GE web universe and develop a branded template system that ties
GE EFS to other GE businesses,  while looking towards the future, not the past.

• Rethink the content from the ground up. Questioning everything and only keeping
what is truly useful—the process ran from card-sorting to full feature development.

• Develop a new user-centric architecture by understanding their needs.

The Outcome
A user-centric design that engages visitors through value-focused, customer-centric content. One of only four responsive sites at GE, the GE EFS design allows current and potential customers to view the most important information at-a-glance, with the ability to do a deep dive at their fingertips—on any device, anywhere.

Additionally, we developed an editorial calendar that allows the site to capture trends and needs from the market and customer environments, then demonstrate how GE EFS can help customers and partners achieve their goals.

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