Emerson Stone is a product-focused design agency in Boulder, Colorado. Since 2014, we’ve been creating beautiful brands and lasting digital applications for clients around the world.
We’re a team of designers and engineers with years of experience in creating digital products for both startups and global brands. Our design process is always deeply collaborative between the agency and the client, creating ownership, trust and value at every stage of a project.
Each project taken by Emerson Stone is led by one of the agency partners. This allows the partner to focus on a client’s project and develop the kind of understanding normally only available by an in-house design team. We use this understanding to create consistent designs that help drive business goals now and in the future.
As an agency, we are invested in the continued success of our clients. Since 2014, over ninety percent of our clients have come back for additional projects and we still have clients that have been with the agency since the first month. We believe that design is most successful when it is consistent and permanent—more than just launching a single design into the world, we work to support, iterate, and develop valuable products for a client over time. In many ways, we act as the in-house team for many of our clients.
Emerson Stone started out of the need for a new type of design agency—one that didn’t just focus on one type of design but instead created a balance between design, development, strategy and research to create memorable brands and products.
Andy Stone and Jamie Emerson came together at the end of 2014 to work on a few projects—Andy leading design and Jamie handling development. After a few months of working side by side, it was clear that this deep coupling of design and development was useful for clients and created better products. To round out the team, Brett Wagner joined to bring a deeper understanding of user experience research and brand strategy. By early 2015, the three partners had already created projects for IBM, Otterbox and FindMyPast.
If you can design one thing, you can design everything.
Over the next two years, Emerson Stone would continue the deep collaboration between design and development with every hire. The team is currently split 50/50 between the two disciplines and each projects benefits from this mixture of experiences and backgrounds. Many of the early projects at the agency involved taking a startup through the entire branding process and into product design with Emerson Stone augmenting the startup team and providing support where needed in marketing, fundraising and user testing.
As the agency grew, Emerson Stone started working with more clients in San Francisco and New York. To maintain the local connection with Boulder, the agency started Free Design Friday. The purpose of Free Design Friday is to invite the community into the Emerson Stone office once a month for coffee, design advice, and even some free design services. Over the last two years, the agency has helped non-profits, teachers, students, startups and the occasional pet project.
The culture and foundation behind Emerson Stone has always been driven by the quote from Massimo Vignelli: “If you can design one thing, you can design everything.” Over the last few years, the agency has worked on branding for food and packaging, design curriculums for higher education, development for artificial-intelligence platforms, and interfaces for virtual reality experiences. At the core of all design work, there is a focus on the end-user and their perception of the products.