Tajima Creative Partners is a global community that works with a conscience. And we do it by design. The way we see it, design is about something bigger than aesthetics. It’s about ideas. It’s about putting our creativity, our passions and, yes, even our hope for a solid night’s sleep where our values are. Collectively and individually, we’re on a mission to do good in our little corners of the universe.
Whether it’s sustainable buildings, creative wellness or branding that taps truths, our products and services address the progressive issues we care about. Now, we’re not naïve. It’s one thing to design with a series of beliefs and another thing to make a living at it. Some of us have been shaking up convention for years and some of us are just beginning to. But at the end of the day, we’ve all set out to do the same thing –– prove that you can rethink design and redefine business at the same time.
Our global creative network leads projects across disciplines, merging the worlds of strategy, writing, storytelling, marketing, design, business, and philanthropy. Here are a few of our recent big ideas.
TOM TOR'S "TOUR RIDER" COMES TO THEMES + PROJECTS
CURATION & FINE ART
Partner Tom Tor's new portrait collection "Tour Rider" is appearing with Themes + Projects this fall. Inspiration for each portrait stemmed from the tour rider itself, a document that includes a set of rules that a performer sets as criteria for a performance. This includes all requests or demands either for the artist's comfort or the technical details needed to perform. Upon closer inspection, one will notice the portraits are built up these elements. These riders sometimes unmask the obsession to specific brands and products, depicting the true personality and character of the performer.
The show runs from September 7 through October 26, 2019. Learn More
Partners Elaine Tajima, and John Sabel and Principals Aimee Epstein and Jacob Kemp developed the visual direction and packaging design for Humboldt Farms, California's oldest sun-grown organic cannabis company. Aimee Epstein now serves as the creative and marketing director for the entire brand. Learn More
OAKLEY'S "LITTLE O"
Oakley wanted to create a retail experience for its smaller footprint specialty store incorporating historical information about the company’s design roots and the many patents they hold. With our reputation for client collaboration and efficiency at every level of design and management, Tajima Creative was brought in to design and develop the store on a 6-month build schedule following termination of the original agency.
Civic Entertainment and airbnb wanted to create an immersive hospitality experience celebrating the most interesting people, places and experiences in Los Angeles and at SXSW (Austin). We helped to create custom pop-up listings in iconic locations using the Kithaus prefab system for celebrities like James Franco, Anjelica Huston and Snoop Dogg.
Our brand identity and packaging design client Humboldt Farms (featured here with one of their delivery partners, Eaze) is now appearing on billboards in Los Angeles. Learn More
FILM & TELEVISION
Partner Brad Hennig is currently wrapping post-production on his feature film STAGE MOTHER, starring Academy-Award Nominee Jacki Weaver, Lucy Liu, and Adrien Grenier. Learn More
MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, SEASON 2
FILM & TELEVISION
Principal Jacob Kemp developed and performed a new character set to recur on Amazon's award-winning series, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," directed by writer/creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino. Learn More
When Farmer Brothers decided to remodel their prototype premium coffee café in downtown Portland to compete with coffee retailers like Stumptown
and Starbucks, they asked
us to redesign and build the retail location to create a more inviting, accessible and educational experience for both patrons and employees.
CURATION & FINE ART
Partner Tom Tor created a custom piece for a client, a "map" of Maya Angelou - using words and texts from her celebrated literary works. The art is 5’ x 7’ and printed on both sides of 1/2” plexiglass, to create dimension. Maya’s inspirational phrases are printed on the front while an iconic portrait is printed on the backside. Learn More
CURATION & DESIGN
Partner Elaine Tajima served as a lead consultant on the latest Exhibition Series for Themes+Projects in San Francisco, California. "Global Warming" runs through Nov. 27, 2018. "Interface" runs through January 2018. Learn More
LEVI'S FLAGSHIP LAUNCH
For the launch of Levi Strauss & Co.’s new flagship store in San Francisco, they invited Tajima to create a “big idea” marketing campaign that would celebrate the brand’s history and feature the pillars of the company’s social responsibility philosophy. The goal was to build awareness, create consumer engagement, and drive sales.
We presented four creative concepts, each encapsulating the spirit of the Levi’s brand, and “LocalMotive” was selected.
FOSSIL TIERED-STORE DESIGNS
DESIGN STRATEGY, VISUAL MERCHANDISING
With a strong international retail presence, Fossil Brand needed to create a tiered system of good-better-best store design to maximize growth and efficiency. We were asked to develop specific design concepts addressing their four tiers: standard, premium, high profile and flagship.
We know first-hand what can happen
when that right kind of "good people" come together.
And good people is the very heart of Tajima Creative.
We're super good with numbers.
Here's a few to start you off.
Cups of Joe
Tajima Creative Partners is the brainchild of Elaine Tajima, an idea-generating army of one who has founded and supported numerous projects that advance social and environmental issues. Elaine is one of those people who –– how to put this? –– cares. A lot. About big issues. Women’s rights, ecological activism, global peace –– that’s the stuff that races her heart morning, noon and night. The companies that are part of Tajima Creative Partners share her set of progressive ideals. And they do so in unique, transformative, wow-that’s-cool ways. As founder and CEO of Tajima Creative, an experiential marketing and design firm, Elaine believes that it’s possible to advocate change with design and to create viable businesses while doing it. And Tajima Creative Partners is happy to prove it.
The more puppies in the office, the merrier.
There’s something about Aimee. Maybe it’s the way she blends the ethereal with the essential. Or maybe it’s how she introduces objectivity to creativity. Or maybe it’s that she’s equally comfortable in Manhattan or Machu Picchu. The daughter of two entrepreneurs, they apparently sprinkled can-do philosophy on her breakfast cereal, because she makes things happen. Wherever she goes, there she is. Her mix of left and right brain skills led Aimee to adventures (okay, some might call them “jobs”) ranging from Broadway production companies to Martha Stewart Living. She rounded out her years in New York City as an academic advisor at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where she also coordinated special events, and as a certified yoga teacher. Luckily for us, Aimee is discerning but not discriminating. Whether she’s creating designs or creating spreadsheets, writing bids or writing copy, she gets it done.
Ask me again after yoga... ommm.
When Ann isn’t busy rappelling off a multi-story building for charity, she manages new and existing client opportunities for Tajima Creative, focusing on Southern California. A Business Development Consultant with more than 15 years of experience, Ann has worked on design and marketing projects for RSA Films, The Organic Pharmacy, Eames Foundation, Natural History Museum, Millennium Hotels, Quiksilver, and Nordstrom.
I like the deep dive.
Jacob is Tajima Creative’s polymath on a mission. An artist, actor, writer, musician, yogi, designer, stylist, and creative director - he’s our modern Renaissance Man. Jacob graduated from Yale, with distinction in the arts, having worked on over fifty productions of theater, music, and dance in four years. So, he’s an overachiever - but the guy only takes his work seriously, never himself. Whether creating the aesthetic character of a brand through typography and illustration, or singing at Carnegie Hall or the White House; whether collaborating with Fortune500 companies or serving as the creative director for independent non-profits - Jacob is our resident mold-breaker and inter-disciplinarian. While living out Tajima Creative’s mission of advocating for positive change in the world through the arts, he also makes a mean puttanesca sauce, and should probably start charging for his baked goods.
Can we turn it upside down?
Tom Sandonato is an environmental designer who also happens to be a visual merchandising renegade, a sketchpad connoisseur and a “c’mon-kids, let’s-put-on-a-show” kind of guy. And really, it can get kind of exhausting just watching him. While most of us are busy putting one foot in front of the other, Tom has already raced around the corner into stuff we’ll discover years later. Sustainable products. Off-grid living. Ordinary throw-aways transformed into way-cool designs. That’s the stuff that gets him going. Currently, Tom works in two universes. He’s the founder of KitHaus, modernist pre-fabs that are being snatched up daily by people who know a good thing when they see it. He also continues his career as a visual artist, honing retail environments for high-profile clients.
Let me get back to you on that.
You never know where John will be working - some days it’s under an umbrella at the beach or in his car driving down from Big Sur. If he finds a clean surface and a pen, he’ll be practicing his Spencerian script. He’s the life of the party, the guy with the hat and a great story about how he started his career in design with the dead man’s suit. He’s an executive creative director who, when he worked at Disney, convinced people to look UP, turned the number 3 into one of the top marketed animated films, and literally stopped traffic with the first use of super graphics on a building next to the 405 freeway. If you have an idea, John will jump in feet first!
Be bold, be iconic, and be memorable.
TT, as we know and love him, graduated from Art Center College of Design and has been recognized for his design work, including receiving the United Nations Award for his campaign for landmine awareness. Tom leads the way on many of Tajima’s digital and 3D animation projects after cutting his teeth at Ogilvy & Mather and TBWA/Chiat/Day. His incredible illustrations and bleeding edge ideas never cease to amaze.
I like my eggs just how I like my life.
When it comes to entertainment and retail marketing, Brad definitely knows his stuff. He’s an independent feature film screenwriter and producer, a marketing, PR and promotions bigwig and an all-around nice guy whose work on award-winning campaigns hasn’t gone to his head. Which, frankly, we think is really nice of him. Over the course of 20 years, Brad has overseen a huge number of entertainment and retail initiatives, including programs for MGM’s James Bond feature film franchise, and global campaigns for Visa, IMAX, JCPenney, and Capitol Records. In 2013, he wrote, produced a released an indie feature film comedy called “The Hot Flashes,” about middle-aged women playing basketball against high school girls’ teams starring Brooke Shields, Wanda Sykes, Daryl Hannah, Virginia Madsen and Camryn Manheim.