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“The types of work we have put out are in­ten­tion­ally very broad across ver­ti­cals and ex­pres­sions. We be­lieve that broad­ness char­ac­terises us more than any sin­gu­lar piece of work ”

With ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in craft­ing dig­i­tal land­scapes, Code and The­ory de­fines the re­la­tion­ship brands have with their cus­tomers across mul­ti­ple channels. Con­nect­ing de­sign and tech­nol­ogy, Code and The­ory cre­ates user ex­pe­ri­ences that rein­vent how com­pa­nies can dig­i­tally trans­form

Dan Gard­ner, the CEO of Code and The­ory, co-founded the agency in 2001 with his child­hood friend Bran­don Ralph. Dan and Bran­don were work­ing in the dig­i­tal depart­ment of Draft, where they quickly re­alised that the full po­ten­tial of dig­i­tal did not ex­ist in CD-ROMS, and so they left to form their own agency. As a re­cent grad­u­ate of the Univer­sity of Buf­falo, Dan had re­ceived a BFA in Com­puter Art, while Bran­don had dropped out of NYU to work full time. Re­al­is­ing that their ideas were not be­ing put into prac­tice, they de­cided to start their agency to cre­ate trans­for­ma­tive dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ences and prod­ucts. Ini­tially work­ing out of a one-bed­room apart­ment on the Lower East Side in New York City, they then moved into a Wi-fi-less, aban­doned floor of a down­town of­fice build­ing. To­day, they are head­quar­tered on the 62nd floor of the World Trade Cen­ter and have ad­di­tional of­fices in San Fran­cisco, Lon­don and Manila. Code and The­ory craft new dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ences. This level of un­der­stand­ing is re­flected in the name Dan and Bran­don chose for their agency, as Dan ex­plains: “The name came first from a de­sire to play in the area where cre­ativ­ity and tech­nol­ogy in­ter­sect. We wanted to im­ply our dig­i­tal fo­cus without be­ing ex­ceed­ingly overt and hav­ing a ‘.com’ in the mid­dle of our name. Code and The­ory was a novel idea in 2001, so it wasn’t hard to get the do­main. Our name re­ally speaks to why the agency was formed and our ap­proach to cre­ativ­ity, through strat­egy and tech­nol­ogy.” The web­site that Code and The­ory cur­rently main­tains speaks vol­umes about not only the ap­proach the agency takes to dig­i­tal de­sign, but also its skills with to­day’s dig­i­tal tools. Michael Tr­eff (Pres­i­dent) ex­plains the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing a pow­er­ful and

“Built upon a his­tory of us­ing dig­i­tal as the cat­a­lyst for larger or­gan­i­sa­tional change, the pro­jects that en­able us to take on thought­pro­vok­ing ques­tions that en­gage the de­vel­op­ment of our ca­pa­bil­i­ties are the ones that de­fine who we are. The types of work we have put out are in­ten­tion­ally very broad across ver­ti­cals and ex­pres­sions. We be­lieve that broad­ness char­ac­terises us more than any work” sin­gu­lar piece of Dan Gard­ner CEO and co-founder

in­for­ma­tive site: “It’s what guides the first im­pres­sion when some­one is look­ing into us, so we think it’s very im­por­tant. Not only is the web­site a win­dow into our agency, em­ploy­ees, cul­ture, work and clients, but we also re­ceive a lot of in­quiries on our site from prospec­tive clients, job can­di­dates and press. Truth­fully, we spend so much more time on our clients’ work and their web­sites than we do our own, but I don’t think that’s unique to a com­pany like ours, where we put our heart and soul into our clients’ ini­tia­tives and strive for con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment. That said, we have been work­ing to over­haul our site and hope to launch a new one soon.” As an es­tab­lished agency, Code and The­ory has been able to use its rep­u­ta­tion across the mar­ket­place to en­joy a steady stream of clients. “We’re for­tu­nate enough to have built a very good rep­u­ta­tion in the in­dus­try over the years, so we re­ceive a lot of re­fer­rals from cur­rent or for­mer clients as well as in­bound in­quiries on our site,” says Dan. “Ad­di­tion­ally, we proac­tively iden­tify ver­ti­cals, clients, and most im­por­tantly new chal­lenges that we want to work with, as well as par­tic­i­pate in RFPS (re­quests for pro­pos­als) and pitches.” With a di­verse port­fo­lio of work and clients, Code and The­ory has been able to choose which clients they work with. The se­lec­tion process is de­tailed, in­volv­ing a deep dive into the client’s needs in or­der to un­der­stand how the project ben­e­fits both the po­ten­tial client and Code and The­ory. “Typ­i­cally, we’re very se­lec­tive to en­sure that the re­la­tion­ship with the client is a true fit and that we gen­uinely con­nect with the com­pany and the work,” ex­plains Michael. “We are also very re­al­is­tic about our ca­pa­bil­i­ties and re­sources, so we won’t take on any piece of work just for the sake of new busi­ness. That be­ing said, we’ve been ex­tremely for­tu­nate to work with clients who trust us with work that has al­lowed us to chal­lenge and ex­pand our core ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and we’ve been able to hire into those new pro­jects. “We like to think of our­selves as am­bi­tious, since we do aim pretty high. Not to say we won’t ever take on smaller pro­jects, but they are usu­ally a step­ping stone into a larger en­gage­ment or, more of­ten than not, a project or chal­lenge we feel very pas­sion­ate about.” Pas­sion cou­pled with a deep un­der­stand­ing of to­day’s dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions channels means Code and The­ory has been able to forge a rep­u­ta­tion as not only tech­ni­cal ex­perts but also a group of like-minded in­di­vid­u­als that shape the dig­i­tal land­scapes we all tra­verse ev­ery day. Dan ex­plains their typ­i­cal ap­proach to each unique ac­count they work on: “As a dig­i­tal-first cre­ative agency, we help our clients across the board to drive change and thrive in a time of dig­i­tal dis­rup­tion – so there re­ally isn’t one project that en­com­passes who we are as a com­pany. Built upon a his­tory of us­ing dig­i­tal as the cat­a­lyst for larger or­gan­i­sa­tional change, the pro­jects that en­able us to take on thought­pro­vok­ing ques­tions that en­gage the de­vel­op­ment of our ca­pa­bil­i­ties are the ones that de­fine who we are. The types of work we have put out are in­ten­tion­ally very broad across ver­ti­cals and ex­pres­sions. We be­lieve that broad­ness char­ac­terises us more than any sin­gu­lar piece of work.” As no two ac­counts are the same, Code and The­ory is noth­ing if not flex­i­ble in its ap­proach to each com­mis­sion it takes on. David Di­camillo (Part­ner, Op­er­a­tions) ex­plains how they man­age a var­ied port­fo­lio of clients: “Time­lines

The Code and The­ory team ad­mir­ing the in­spi­ra­tional view from their New York of­fices

Keisha Bres­cia (COO, PMX Agency), Larry Muller (Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer), Naomi Soviecke (Fi­nan­cial Op­er­a­tions Man­ager), Naren Per­saud (Fi­nan­cial Con­troller), Jonathan Chan (PMX) (Con­troller) and two other col­leagues from PMX thrash out a new pro­posal

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