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Strategic
Design
Studio

What is to
give light
must endure
burning.

Viktor Frankl

Equal Parts Truth,
Hope & Courage

SAW is a strategic design studio, with a pending Benefit Corporation designation. SAW believes that critical thinking can change the way human beings understand their world. We craft digital and analog communication tools that help others express their true voice — this is our purpose.

What is SAW?

What is
SAW?

Strategic: We believe that courageous communication is a leadership responsibility, flowing from the true character of the organization.

Design: We solve real world problems by focusing on the purpose of an organization.

Studio: We serve our clients by creating communications tools, including brands, advertising, websites, apps, videos and print materials, which emerge from strategic design. We think, then we make.

Why a Benefit
Corporation?

Our pending Benefit Corporation designation embeds our purpose into the legal structure of our business. It means that we are held accountable every day to a higher standard of behaviour.

3/3

Unpacking
our purpose

SAW EXISTS

This is our reason for being, our purpose as a business

TO APPLY OUR THINKING AND CRAFT

SAW attracts and curates a range of complementary skills and talents that are simultaneously strategic and practical

IN THE SERVICE OF

Being of service means standing in the shoes of those who come to us for assistance and advice, without fear or favour

THE FREE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS

Truthful, transparent dialogue, and equal access to critical thinking and creativity, is a sign of a civilized and progressive community

IN AN OPEN SOCIETY.

The open society we hope for allows everyone, even the dispossessed, to have a voice, to express an opinion and be heard. Our business is part of that society.

A healthy dose
of reality

Strategic design is a practical, long-term problem-solving approach to branding, sales, recruitment and organizational communications. We put messy human behaviour under the microscope — both inside and outside your organization. That reality spurs critical thinking and better strategy.

It takes guts

It takes guts

SAW designs websites, apps, identity systems, print, videos and advertising. But we also design the way that communications are delivered and shared. SAW designs for the real world, with an emphasis on facts rather than fiction. We believe that the character of an organization, demonstrated by its behaviour, is more important than its brand.

Strategic design requires a high degree of patience and candour from clients, as we unpack and unravel complex organizational problems with an unwavering and critical eye on character. There are easier, faster and cheaper ways, no doubt. They just don’t produce such good results. That’s why we issue the warning — what is to give light must endure burning.

2/2

Unpacking
character

CHARACTER

SAW creates communication tools that serve the purpose of the organization, its reason for being. So you will hear us talk more about character than brand. For SAW, character is the unchanging essence of the organization, the code that shapes its behaviour. At SAW, we say: Take a hard look at what you really are, focus on making the best of that, and intelligently communicate your character to the people who matter.

You cannot outsource your character or purpose. But what SAW can and will do is help you to identify, refine and articulate what’s exceptional about your organization; we’ll help you see your organization at its best. It’s a worthwhile prize: the non-negotiable reason why you exist in the first place.

About Us

SAW is an independent strategic design studio, based in Calgary, Canada. We create identities, websites, apps, advertising, video and analog materials that help organizations to express their true voice. To do that, we use critical thinking to deconstruct the problems our clients bring to us, getting to the raw and the real.

Team

SAW is a diverse group of passionate and collaborative people, each of us dedicated to our craft, and each sharing in the conviction that business can, and should be, a force for good. These soulful portraits are linked to Behance, LinkedIn and other social media, for full disclosure.

Steve Pearson Creative Director
Steve Pearson
Steve Pearson Creative Director
Iain Ferguson Creative Director
Iain Ferguson
Iain Ferguson Creative Director
Christina Lynes Project Manager
Christina Lynes
Christina Lynes Project Manager
Candace Evans Senior Graphic Designer
Candace Evans
Candace Evans Senior Graphic Designer
Alain G.M. Kassangana Strategy Lead
Alain G.M. Kassangana
Alain G.M. Kassangana Strategy Lead
Kevin Segedi Digital Lead
Kevin Segedi
Kevin Segedi Digital Lead
Phil Morley Digital Designer & Front-end Developer
Phil Morley
Phil Morley Digital Designer & Front-end Developer
Chris Reid Senior Web Developer
Chris Reid
Chris Reid Senior Web Developer
Jacob McConnell Video Editor
Jacob McConnell
Jacob McConnell Video Editor
Bev Kendrick Director Corporate Services
Bev Kendrick
Bev Kendrick Director Corporate Services
Geoff Summach Partner / Business Development
Geoff Summach
Geoff Summach Partner / Business Development
Dave Imbach Partner
Dave Imbach
Dave Imbach Partner
Maya Big Dog
Maya
Maya Big Dog
Edna Bird Dog
Edna
Edna Bird Dog
Sal Big Dog
Salinger
Salinger Big Dog
Rosie Big Dog
Rosie
Rosie Big Dog

Culture

We have two full-time dogs, and a vermi-compost bin. We play ping pong and foosball, but also bubble hockey. We are 30.76% female, 23.07% immigrant (US/Scots/Australian). We prefer Canadian Thanksgiving to Christmas. We like Caffe Beano across the street, but Tim’s is our dirty little secret.

Craft

SAW builds digital and analog communications that are rooted in the purpose of client organizations. SAW is not interested in formulas for success such as storytelling, TMI, s-advertising, USPs, AIDA, love-marks, gamification, virality etc etc etc. Strategic design wrestles with practical and messy realities, rather than surveying the world through abstraction and theory.

Clients

Clients View Client Testimonials

Portfolio

Belief

Throughout SAW’s history we have experienced numerous setbacks and changes. It is this experience that led us as owners and leaders to ask ourselves tough questions about how we wanted to define success for ourselves and our company.

The lone metric of profit, and in turn our own personal wealth, was not how we wanted measure our business lives. Yes, we are in business to make a profit and yes, money does offer opportunity, but as a sole motivating factor it is not enough. If our contribution to society was this company, it would need to stand for more. It needed to be rooted in purpose.

We believe that our business can be a force for good, by helping other organizations speak openly and honestly about their own purpose. SAW isn’t setting itself up in judgement over the activities of our clients — it is for the broader public to decide what is good for society. Our contribution is to demonstrate to clients how truthful communications with employees, customers and other stakeholders is the only ethical long-term business strategy.

Dave Imbach
Geoff Summach

B Corp overview

For companies that take social responsibility seriously, a Benefit Corporation designation is a definitive way to measure higher standards of accountability, transparency and performance. The B Corp movement is a community of companies that believe in redefining success in business by using it as a force for good; a belief that businesses have a higher responsibility to compete, not just to be the best in the world, but the best for the world.

Two key principles that convinced us to pursue a designation and join the community:

“Business, the most powerful man-made force on the planet, must create value for society, not just shareholders. Systemic challenges require systemic solutions and the B Corp movement offers a concrete, market-based and scalable solution”.

“As a result of our collective success, individuals and communities will enjoy greater economic opportunity, society will address its most challenging environmental problems, and more people will find fulfillment by bringing their whole selves to work”.

Learn More Here

Responsibility

As part of our pursuit of a B Corporation designation, SAW has started to measure its environmental and social impact quarterly. In the spirit of transparency, we will be building out this section of the site to publish our impact numbers. We will also be publishing articles and sharing sites that we are finding useful as we try to improve our performance as a company. SAW is working on all types of creative materials to share with companies covering issues such as electricity conservation, saving print toner, battery recycling and a host of other topics. Our hope is that they are used and adapted as helpful resources.

Connect

To talk about a project:
Geoff Summach
T: +1.403.513.1356
[email protected]

Dave Imbach
T: +1.403.513.1357
[email protected]

For career inquiries:
[email protected]

For general inquiries:
[email protected]

Contact:
T: +1.403.294.1700
Suite 200, 1013 - 17th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2T 0A7

Careers

A good place for good people

SAW believes that business can and should be a force for good. So we’re always looking for good people to join us. You should be good at your craft, whether that’s analog or digital. You should be a good listener. And you should understand reciprocity in terms of time and commitment required to keep a small business in good health.

You got it? Good.

If you still decide to apply, please provide work samples if applicable, a resumé, and a cover letter that lets us see at a glance how good you could be.

[email protected]

Available positions

Web Designer (freelance)

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