Who We Are
- About SAW
The simple explanation: SAW is a full‐service communications, design and advertising studio. Don’t know what that means? Check under What We Do. It’s all explained there. (We even have diagrams).
We began in the spring of 2005 as a group of three, sharing cool ideas around a kitchen table. We’re now a diverse group of 25 (plus two dogs) who still spend our days sharing cool ideas. We eventually outgrew that kitchen table — and two more after. Now you’ll find us in a nifty, glass‐walled office filled with tables of all sizes, shapes, heights and colours.
- Our Culture
A tour around this site will tell you a lot about our culture. But here are a few more things — seven more to be exact.
1. We really, really value a friendly, enjoyable work environment. We would be very unfriendly to anyone who interfered with this.
2. Awards? We really, really don’t value much at all (we think they often reward the wrong things). Helping our team members grow their skills and create work they can be proud of (because it worked) are more important to us than hardware.
3. We foster success. Our team members can expect: plenty of mentoring from our studio leaders, a collaborative atmosphere that helps us achieve more as a group and individuals, and opportunities to contribute outside their area of expertise.
4. We also foster failure. If you’re not reaching beyond your grasp every now and then you’ll never know how high you can climb. (To be clear, we don’t encourage too much failure — we still gotta get the job done. And there will be no failures within four hours of a deadline).
5. We like to draw on walls. It’s fun. Luckily, most of our walls are write‐on glass. Sometimes we accidentally draw with permanent markers. Erasing permanent ink is not fun.
6. Our office is in the heart of 17th Ave. SW. Many of Calgary’s finest caffeine dispensaries are just steps away. Same goes for pubs, shoe and clothing stores. And the sweet aromas from two bakeries waft by our door.
7. Hugs are free. But they’re also pretty much illegal in the work place so you’ll have to settle for kindness, a nurturing environment, Tom Cruise high fives, lots of laughs and the occasional rub from the wet nose of one of our canine team members.
- The Team
The TeamGEOFF SUMMACHPrincipal / Business DevelopmentDAVE IMBACHPrincipal / CreativeBEV KENDRICKDirector of Corporate ServicesSTEVE PEARSONCreative DirectorIAIN FERGUSONCreative DirectorCANDACE EVANSSenior Graphic DesignerDAN CUNNINGHAMGraphic DesignerKEVIN SEGEDIDigital LeadCHRIS REIDSenior Web DeveloperPHIL MORLEYDigital Designer & Front-End DeveloperJacob McConnellVideo EditorJILLIAN YAEHNEAccount StrategistCATHERINE McCLEARYAccount StrategistCHRISTINA LYNESProject Manager
- SAW Clients
We’re always interested in hearing from talented people. A couple of things to keep in mind: 1) Please have a read through this site to see if you share our values and attitudes. We take this stuff seriously. (Though we’re still a pretty fun bunch). 2) If you decide to apply, please provide work samples where applicable, a resume, and a cover letter that lets us see some of your personality and passion. Points will be deducted for using business jargon.Apply
Positions availableAccount Director
This is a senior position to lead and mentor our client services team, work collaboratively with our creative team, provide guidance where required and drive strategic thinking within SAW.Learn More about this position
- About SAW
What We Do
- About Our Craft
ABOUT OUR CRAFT
Our craft is the things we do. We are a full‐service communications, design and advertising studio. And since it’s a big, multi‐channel, mixed‐media, uber‐connected, ultra‐integrated world out there, we’re equipped with a very broad range of tools and expertise. From research and strategy to design and copywriting to application development for the web and mobile devices to video, animation and motion graphics – and many others in between.
- Services Offered
Nobody wants to read a long boring list of services. Instead, here are two diagrams explaining the skills, talents and expertises residing in our studio. They fall under two categories: analog and digital. (FYI: SAW excels in our ability to combine the best from both, all in the service of creating compelling work.)View diagram
- Our Work
- Case Studies
- Portfolio Samples
- Concept Work
A lot of the best ideas end up on the cutting room floor. Below are a few examples of work that never saw the light of day.
- Six Month Snapshot Video
- About Our Craft
How We Do It
- The SAW Philosophy
THE SAW PHILOSOPHY
We focus only on what matters
It sounds kind of obvious… but it really isn’t. We’ve all seen it. The way things like personal agendas, blame storming, turf guarding, cynicism, giving 72.5%, crabbiness, and ultra clever work that doesn’t actually work distract us from the things that do matter.
With all those anti‐what‐matters moods and modes gone, we’re left with worthy things — like craftsmanship, mind‐blowing strategy breakthroughs that still seem mind‐blowing the next day, wit, collaboration, and that moment around 9:15 a.m. when the caffeine hits your bloodstream and you stare at the blank screen and can’t wait to fill it.
And then there’s the big one. The thing that REALLY, REALLY MATTERS: the objective of the job at hand. When you focus on that — on doing what is right for the ad, website, TV spot — you remove all layers of subjectivity. It’s not about what we want, or what the client’s boss likes, or what the judges for some arbitrary award think is cool. It’s about what the project needs to accomplish its task. Keep your eye on that and brilliant things will happen.
- Our Approach
A quick analogy: Your car is making a horrific “karfumph” noise. Your mechanic asks you to describe the karfumph in detail. She knows it’s not the real problem (if it was, she could just tell you to turn up the stereo), but by asking the right questions she’ll discover the real problem. This is listening thoughtfully.
Our clients’ karfumphs are things like “I need an ad to generate leads,” or “I’ve got to get on social media!” Each problem demands that we listen hard, assume nothing, ask questions and listen some more. Otherwise we might as well turn up the stereo.
This means: 1) Rock the boat! We go at the problem or opportunity at hand with all we’ve got. And we never settle for the early ideas or easy solutions. 2) We constantly remind ourselves what the problem or opportunity is. Rocking the wrong boat is a big time waster. 3) We are not afraid to push the boundaries. Sometimes a crazy idea works. 4) We are not afraid to unpush the boundaries. Sometimes a demure, well‐crafted, no‐concept ad works. 5) We always measure against the goal. Plain and simple: it’s gotta work. 6) We repeat 1‐5 until we have something we love, and you do too.
We’re not yes men and women. We’re not even sugar‐coat‐it men and women. We’re tell‐the‐truth men and women. It’s something we all learned to do as kids, and it’s something we make a concerted effort to continue doing now. You will always know exactly what we are thinking.
And our work is always honest. We make your product as shiny, sweet‐smelling and eye‐catching as possible, but before it leaves our shop we completely scrub it of any BS, phoniness or fakery. We do this because honest is what connects with people — and that is where effective communication starts and ends.
Our team leaders set the tone with exacting standards for craftsmanship and fulfilling the objectives of each project. These values are passed to our gifted team members — each one skilled in all the subtleties of their own craft, and all of them dedicated to creating wonderful things for our clients.
Having high standards also means we stick to our knitting. We have no intention of being all things to all people. If a job just isn’t for us we’ll say so.
- A Little Bit About Process
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT PROCESS
What can we say about process? Well, since it’s unkind to knowingly bore people, we will say very little. Suffice to say that we have a very well proven process that takes us from Point A (your problem or opportunity) to Point B (an effective solution) briskly and efficiently.
Ok. We’ll keep it short. Our process relies heavily on a lot of touch points with the client — we are very big on collaboration and having clients see and help shape the work from the earliest stages. It helps us create and link smart strategy to effective tactics to intelligent and imaginative creative executions — with very, very few bumps in the road, miscommunications, false starts or embarrassing typos. It’s actually pretty cool.It kinda looks like this
- Our Approach
- The SAW Philosophy
or business matter:
[email protected]orGeoff Summach
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Suite 200, 1013 - 17th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2T 0A7