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Small Agency of the Year, Culture, Gold: Roundhouse

Cool Clients Red Bull, The North Face, Xbox Fit the Bill

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Joe Sundby
Joe Sundby

Culture begets business at Portland-based Roundhouse, literally. The shop's office, complete with white-board work spaces and a lounge with a pool table, once inspired client Pluralsight to hire Roundhouse to design its own space as part of a larger branding assignment.

"You should be able to apply a design solution across any medium," said Co-Founder, Creative Director and Partner Joe Sundby. Mr. Sundby worked at a snowboard-apparel company owned by Dana Bainbridge, who's also a co-founder, creative director and partner at Roundhouse. "What sets us apart is the way we approach work every day. It stems from the fact that we were born via nontraditional means."

This agency has the typical bells and whistles, the ping pong table and kegs in the office.

But it's also launched a small-business partnership program, a pro bono incubator that supports local businesses with intense collaborative efforts around marketing and sales, including branding, advertising and social media. Each mentorship includes a two-day workshop and identifies short- and long-term goals. The relationship doesn't end there. A smaller "board of advisors" is selected for quarterly check-ins and will be available for advice and support as needed.

"We see it as a way to both push ourselves and help companies we admire get to the next stage in their growth," said Mr. Sundby.

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