An Interview with Code and Theory

Sep 27, 2011DesignDevelopment

Code and Theory is undoubtedly one of the most exciting digital agencies around, being the creative and technical force behind many of the best sites posted on siteInspire. We ask them a few questions to find out more about the company, and the process behind their work. — Daniel Howells

Can you give us the quick history of Code and Theory, and how the agency started? What sort of clients did the agency have in the early days and how did the early days inform the direction and growth of the firm?

Code and Theory was started in 2001 in New York City by Brandon Ralph and Dan Gardner, Code and Theory has grown organically since then through a commitment to creating excellent and innovative work, regardless of medium. The firm has worked with a wide range of clients in the media, entertainment, consumer products, technology and fashion industries to realize both small and large-scale projects across multiple platforms.

You have expanded dramatically over the last few years. How have you managed to keep the C+T team dynamic, and still be able to produce quality work?

Through the expansion of the past few years, we remain committed to protecting the culture that makes Code and Theory special. This manifests itself in three main areas: thoughtful hiring, selectiveness in our work, and a commitment to providing incredible value for our clients. This value-first approach not only makes Code and Theory a better place to come to work everyday, it makes us more passionate, more collaborative and just better at what we do.

Interview Magazine

Interview Magazine

Further to the last question, do you have any plans to expand beyond the US shores? Which geographies do you find exciting right now?

We are already working with global clients such as Gant which is based in Stockholm, Bottega in Milan and have more than 8 nationalities represented in our offices right now! We are open to all opportunities but do not have immediate plans for expansion.

You’re currently recruiting for quite a few roles in New York City right now. Tell us what it’s like to work at C+T, and what new recruits might expect from the agency.

At Code and Theory, creativity and passion come first. We have brought together a group of very special people both talented and open minded. We foster collaboration across disciplines and encourage the exchange of ideas. Like most agencies it is also a fast paced environment but the community support system helps deal with those pressures surprisingly well. We also have one of New York’s best ping pong teams!

Atlantic Records is another of my recent favourites of yours. Can you give us a bit of an insight into how you worked as a team to design and produce the site?

The challenge Atlantic came to us with was exactly the type of project Code and Theory excels at. It was a business challenge - record label in general are looking to remain relevant - paired with an experience challenge – how to create a great experience within a catalogue of very different artists - with very high design expectations and an appetite for innovation.

Atlantic Records

Atlantic Records

We built a multi-disciplinary team including visual and experience designers, technologists, strategists and social media community managers. They worked together through an intense process examining key strategic, business, and brand experience questions, and understanding target audience behaviors. This was followed by crafting concepts and experiences that led to a truly innovative yet seamless and elegant solution marrying design and technology, content and community.

We are proud of this work because the end-product looks terrific, but also because it proves that the efforts we put into building and maintaining our culture pay off in tangible ways for our clients.

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