Our Philosophy is Simple

Experience

Yes, we were there when Back to the Future premiered the last of the trilogy. But we're not stuck in the days of yore. What's great about our age is that we now have experience with every type of brand you can imagine on the consumer product spectrum. And we haven't lost our excitement either. You'll see us equally animated over every new client project, no matter the size or budget. Our senior staff will work with you for the duration of your business to ensure that you get our undivided attention, seasoned expertise, current market understanding and (at the risk of sounding tacky) our own signature brand magic. Not to mention our process is print-conscience from the very beginning. What you see in the studio is what you’ll see off the press. No surprises. Now you're excited too? We thought that might happen.

Agility

We're small because we like it that way. Surprised? This means that you get the undivided attention of the entire company (feeling like royalty yet?) We never did like that whole "from the top down" mentality. Because we operate as a hub, everyone gets equal say - better yet, your product gets all the know-how of a firm with the artisanship of a boutique. Essentially, our size makes it possible to work on shorter timeframes without cutting corners on craftsmanship. Everyone wins.

Partnership

Our idea of over-delivering is...there is no such thing. At Affinity, we aren't limited by a house style, we take your brief, mix in a bit of our secret potion and explore the possibilities. Imagine having a cohort of designers and branding experts behind you, not in front of you. We're well aware that big heirarchies can dilute originality, that's why we consider ourselves vision strategists, not style enforcers. We're here to provide you with an array of possibilities, instead of a single prefabricated look. Now if only there were a word to describe us - oh right, it's partnership.

Settled in the nucleus of the SF Bay, Mare Island is a shipyard-meets-southern-gentility locale - the ideal place for visionary productivity. It’s a unique place to have an office, and we love it here.

The Team

Santosh

Senior Designer

Santosh Chawla, Senior Designer

Santosh, appropriately nicknamed Sunny, illuminates both his work and the world around him with his positive energy. A native of India, he's drawn toward clean, inviting designs. He also excels at illustration—a skill he began to develop in grade school where fellow students paid for his art with boxes of cookies. He also loves Formula One racing, road trips and living in San Francisco’s colorful Mission District with his wife and young son.

Kristin

Designer

Kristin Yeh, Designer

From avid doodler to studio artist to graphic designer, Kristin's destiny has always been pretty obvious. A recent graduate of Cal Poly, her classically artistic background and studies in Design Reproduction Technology give her a unique perspective on brand design and creative packaging solutions. Aside from conceiving exquisite label designs, bottle shapes and brand identities, Kristin is also expert at coffee drinking, typography studies and dog petting.

Jon

Designer

    Jon Potts, Designer

    Jon earned his bachelors of Fine Arts degree at Parsons School of Design in New York City. He worked with a number of boutique agencies in New York with a focus on spirits. After a decade, he took his illustration skills, knowledge of craft beers, and fresh talent to the west coast. He enjoys brewing unique fermented beverages with ingredients from his organic garden.

    Edith

    Design Director

      Edith Lee, Design Director

      Upon meeting her, it’s hard to believe that Edith has 25 years experience in luxury package creation. But it’s no surprise that Edith innately understands what makes a design successful, right down to the molecular level. Her love of lines, shapes and hues took root in the east-meets-west culture of Hong Kong where she grew up in a family full of artists. When she’s not dazzling clients with her latest creative concepts, being a mom and wife takes up most of her spare time.

      John

      Principal

        John Swain, Principal

        In the exacting pursuit of fly-fishing, (one of John’s passions), he sees an apt metaphor for ensuring his customers’ success. That’s because when fly-fishing is done right, it looks completely effortless. In truth, however, it takes determination, grit and perfect execution. A principal at Affinity Creative, John is also the co-founder and a principal of PackagingARTS, Inc., the leading value-added packaging production and retail promotion firm in the wine industry. He’s now spent more than 25 years offering clients unparalleled insight and advice on packaging techniques and retail promotion. When he is not busy ensuring customer satisfaction, John can be found fishing in the Sierra’s, tinkering in his wood-shop at home or hiking Bay Area trails with his wife Stacy and chocolate lab, Maggie.

        Justin

        Digital Media Lead

          Justin Witt, Digital Media Lead

          A newly-minted graduate of Cal Poly, Justin brings web and digital media know-how to Affinity to complement our other capabilities. He has an infectious passion for branding and strategy as well as mad camera skills. Growing up in the foothills of California, Justin’s childhood was all about basketball, hiking, and being a modern day Daniel Boone. Today, his roles at the agency include digital strategy, brand ideation, video production, photography, web design, and cookie eating.

          Ed

          Director of Strategy

          Ed Rice, Director of Strategy

          After spending some 12 years at Landor Associates where he led strategic engagements, design programs and established their Seattle office, Ed brings his cerebral and creative skills to our helm. He's also uncannily good at navigating the fine line between business strategy and nuanced creative to help a brand resonate and connect with consumers. As a former Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, he has a deja-vu experience every day at our studios located on Mare Island. On weekends you’ll find him spending time around the house with his wife and son, while avoiding the ever growing list of home maintenance projects.

          Heather

          Director of Client Services

            Heather Cappola , Director of Client Services

            Heather fearlessly pilots each project from development to delivery. With her knack for bringing order to the branding and package design process, she's proven time and again that it is possible to bring order to chaos. Clients appreciate her calming nature and ability to multitask, (as do her team-mates.) When she's not at Affinity keeping a careful bead on multiple projects, timelines and deadlines, Heather is usually hanging out with her husband and daughter, hiking, biking, and recharging her batteries at Lake Tahoe.

            Allen

            Director of Production & Technical Services

            Allen Nauright, Director of Production & Technical Services

            We nickname him "The Wizard." Our clients call him “indispensible.” Allen's always-on work ethic, combined with two-decades of hands-on print production experience make him Affinity’s secret weapon to achieve accurate translation of creative concepts to the real world. Under Allen’s watch, the production phase of our clients’ projects is never overlooked nor given the short shrift. He knows everybody there is to know in the printing world. That means no smoke and mirrors on press. He credits his levelheaded nature to his upbringing in the South; not to mention life with his artistic wife and two young daughters.

            Dave

            Principal

              Dave Miller, Principal

              As principal at Affinity and co-owner of PackagingARTS Inc., Dave excels in handling new business development, managing accounts and most of all, building trust. Once when a client’s bottling schedule changed suddenly, he rented a truck and drove 250 miles through the night to deliver packaging materials so that the line could keep running. He's just that reliable. It’s not all work for Dave though. He’s also a gifted woodworker and a great home improvement guy. His wife and two daughters will attest to this. Really!

              Christine

              Office Manager

                Christine Lynch, Office Manager

                Christine is the tour de force behind our daily agency operations. Without her… well, we don’t think about that. From accounting and budgeting to planning and scheduling, she takes a deliberate, detailed and hands-on approach to every aspect of her work. She traces her comfort within the agency world back to having a lithographer as a father and learning early on, the magic of real, four-color, press proofs. Chris balances her optimistic outlook by attending the latest sensational, slasher, horror flick and reading paranormal romance novels. And when it is time to chill, she likes to hang out with her husband and trusty Labrador, Lulu (team mascot).

                Jordan

                UI/UX Designer

                  Jordan Joseph, UI/UX Designer

                  Trent

                  Web Development Lead

                    Trent Gardner, Web Development Lead

                    Lulu

                    Mascot

                      Lulu, Mascot

                      Being company mascot for Affinity is a demanding position for a young black lab, but Lulu is equal to the task. When she's not overseeing progress in the offices of the design team, attending meetings, and officiating from her window seat, she enjoys playing fetch with anyone willing to compete with her energy, taking naps in Christine's office, and eating kibbles.

                      Hiring Now

                        We're Hiring

                        As the Creative Director, you will help shape and drive the growth and development of a three-year-old brand design agency full of experienced, responsible and talented individuals from other respected firms. Up for the challenge? To learn more, click HERE.

                        So much more than labels


                        • Brand Strategy & Positioning

                        • New Brand Development

                        • Naming

                        • Package Design

                        • Structural Design

                        • Tiering and Flanker Brands

                        • Production Expertise

                        • Technical Consultation

                        Come visit us, we’ve got wine.

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