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Meet Jessica First, Joe Prichard and Steph Chan of Kilter in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica First, Joe Prichard and Steph Chan.

Kilter was founded by a trio of partners. Joe with a background in design and film, Steph with a foundation of ad campaign development and copywriting, and Jess, an experienced Brand Strategist. As such, we started our agency structured to favor the team method. This collaborative approach propels projects as they are shaped by strategy, language and design. Since our start less than four years ago, we have grown in so many ways. We now have a top-notch design, illustration, and animation team in place. We have also expanded to serve clients in multiple sectors ranging from non-profit arts organizations to established tech companies.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think starting an agency could possibly be a smooth road! We knew from the outset that growth would be a challenge. We started with one client and one dedicated desk in a co-working space and now have a full roster of folks we work with. So that was the first hurdle. Building our roster took time and a variety of creative strategies. Then we had to find the right team members. We wanted a team of diverse talent that had the ability to embrace creating all forms of communication. So finding the right people was also a challenge. Now, due to COVID we have made the pivot to working fully remotely and had to find new ways to collaborate. So, every stage has certainly had its challenges.

Kilter – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our expertise is in Brand and Campaign Development. So our best engagements are ones in which we are able to craft a brand narrative and then deploy across all touch-points. This nearly always calls for a campaign to activate the brand. So these two pieces really go hand in hand. What makes us different behind the scenes is our team-based approach. I think to our clients, it’s the thoughtful translation of this into brand platforms and executions that go beyond a logo, as well as the ability to confidently execute whatever is needed from brand strategy to website development to video campaigns or publication design.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
We define success by the impact our work has for our clients. Internally, success means we have created work that we are proud of and is better than it needs to be. We are always trying to stretch and do something new and different from both an artistic standpoint and the ways we deliver that message to consumers. What will ultimate success look like? I guess when Kilter becomes the go-to agency for branding work.

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