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Meet Brandon Cook and Kelly Sarratt of Splinter in Tempe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandon Cook and Kelly Sarratt.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I decided to create a business that would allow me, and the passionate people surrounding me, to create remarkable things. All day. Every day.

Great design work is an exercise in making the complicated simple. I’ve always enjoyed problem solving and have always had an affinity for the visual communications industry. Design is a great blend of both. The strength of our company lies at the intersection of art and commerce. Nothing gets made without being designed first. All the products we consume, from our clothing and technology, to everything you see online or on a retail shelf.

The very beginning of any company, service or product’s life-cycle is rooted in design – with a goal to ignite human action.

We are small, but mighty. That is by design. Our clients enjoy direct, responsive communication with us – and our leaders are the same people creating the work. There’s a goldilocks zone for us; large enough to tackle complex enterprise-level work, yet small enough to remain agile.

Intentionally, we are not an agency that’s everything to everyone, which means we have a lot of time to focus on honing our craft. We’re big picture people who’ve set out to change the world in which we live and work – and we believe that’s an achievable goal. We enjoy working hard, working smart and working together.

For the last eleven years we’ve been busy. Busy creating work that helps our clients stand out. Busy helping established brands evolve. Busy propelling new brands into the marketplace. Busy thwarting the status quo in the name of creating work that is impossible to ignore. What keeps us in business these days is that we’re problem solvers first and creatives second. Our work is the opposite of a commodity. It’s from scratch, and it’s always thoughtful.

Has it been a smooth road?
Life isn’t easy, otherwise everyone would be good at it. Same goes for work. There’s a reason they call it “work”. Albeit, we all love what we do and wouldn’t change a thing. We have good days, great days, stressful days and shitty days. That comes with the territory of solving other businesses problems.

The largest struggle is finding and keeping the best talent. We are small, and compete for the same talent as large agencies, and the coveted tech sector and startup community, which likes to attract talent by providing a physical environment, benefits and perks that is hard for a very small company to match.

In addition, the days of employees working a job for 35 years and retiring is long past. Companies are not offering pensions anymore. Talent likes to resume build and get a lot of experience in different environments: studios, in-house, digital, traditional agencies, etc. Especially with the younger generations, once they’ve learned something and feel they have a good grasp on an industry, skill set or position – they’ll many times look elsewhere to round out their skills or simply to make a move in the interest of keeping things interesting.

No one is to blame for the shift in dynamics of the workforce, but we must see it, understand the nuances and get ahead of the changes. We also must offer a place where well-trained and talented folks want to stay for longer than 2-3 years.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Splinter – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a design studio specializing in corporate brand management, identity, print and digital work. We are here to help businesses communicate their brand with intelligence, power and style. At Splinter, we want to do great work; work that has purpose, work that cannot be ignored. We want the work we do to create better relationships, better business and better lives for everyone. We consider ourselves artisans, producing stand-out work that differentiates our clients as unrivaled and unique. Whatever you need, Splinter helps build a better business by design.

It starts with a little something we call brand therapy. So come in, relax, put your feet up. Tell us about the current state of your business – and where you see the future.

We want to be in a relationship with you. Seriously.

We want to know what makes your brand tick. The things you love. The things that make you want to poke your eyes out with a chilled salad fork. We’ll high-five you. Laugh with you. Cry with you. And — especially —
listen to you.


That’s our process. Our job is to treat you like you’re special. To ask the right questions up front so we can come up with the best solutions for your unique challenges.

Design defines how your clients and customers see you in the marketplace; it can even change how you see yourself.

So it’s important to get right.

We know you’re coming to us because you want a customized plan-of-attack for your project. Because you think your brand is special. Because you believe your challenges are unique.

So do we.


Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Phoenix is ideally suited for growth. It has a strong economy that is attracting corporations in all sectors. It’s now the 5th largest city in the U.S., which provides plenty of destinations, activities and a growing mix of residents.

It’s not nearly as expensive as New York, Chicago or California either, which is nice when starting a business, a family or simply looking to entertain yourself.

We have lots of space. Phoenix has grown outward, not upward. There’s a lot of outdoor activities to partake. We are close to Mexico, SoCal, and Vegas. You can be at 10,000+ feet in less than 2 hours to escape the heat or play in the snow. It’s a destination city, which creates a sense of service. You can’t help but notice how great the service here. We have tons of resorts. We have tons of golf courses. We have tons of incredible food. We have large events, from the Superbowl to the NCAA Final Four. And we have lots of sun. Lots!

What I like least about the city is the lack of a culture or identity. I attribute that mostly to how new the city is in comparison. Phoenix didn’t really start growing until the invention of and easy access to air conditioning in the 50s and 60s. Given that, there really isn’t a rich history outside of Native Americans, Cowboys and Ranchers. When you go to places like Portland, New Orleans or Boston – they have a very clear identity and a culture that you can smell and taste. Phoenix lacks that unique culture in certain areas, but the community is trying. The arts industry here isn’t quite where it should be for the 5th largest city. We’re working on it…

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Pete Lytwyniuk

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