Small is Beautiful

Oculus is a small studio focused on Branding, Design and Web solutions. We operate on a virtual agency model: pulling together only the team members needed for the job. That means no extra account managers, staff or overhead. This keeps costs fair and projects moving swiftly. It also means there’s no one between you and the people doing the work – we get a better understanding of your business needs that way, and that means better results.

Most of the time the team is just owner Matt Politano, supplemented by trusted associates who are passionate about their areas of expertise and really know their stuff.

Oculus is no fly-by-night freelance operation; we’ve been here since 2007 and we’ll be here for a long time to come. Many of our clients have been with us since day one. We’re partners in their success and they know they can depend on us for the long haul.

We’re small and we’re choosy about our clients. We want to work with businesses and organizations we believe in and that we feel we can really bring value to.

Small is beautiful. It can also change the world.

Experience Matters

Owner Matt Politano has over 16 years of professional practice in the field of branding, design and marketing – as designer, art director, creative director and marketing team lead. He worked both agency-side and client-side for several public organizations and private companies before founding Oculus Design + Marketing in 2007. Oculus’ team of associates are all seasoned professionals with cutting edge skills and enough time in the trenches to know what works.

There’s no substitute for real world, been-there-done-that experience – especially when entrusting someone with your brand. We dig deep and make it matter.

 

Professional Certification

Everyone’s a designer. Maybe that’s true, but it doesn’t mean everyone’s a good designer. That’s why you want a CGD™ Certified designer working with you.

A designer with the CGD designation is recognized across Canada, and internationally, as a qualified professional with an excellent standard of work and ethical business conduct. To achieve certification, a designer must have proven experience in the field and undergo a rigorous review of their portfolio, professional conduct and business practice. Getting certified isn’t easy, but do you really want to work with someone who won’t put in the work?

At Oculus, the owner is a CGD™ Certified designer. Why does this matter to your business? Because you need to know that your designer is a professional that takes his/her business just as seriously as you take yours.

CGD Certified

Process

Most agencies/studios claim to have some secret sauce approach that practically guarantees a brilliant, successful outcome. Frankly, that’s a load of rubbish – good design can’t be reduced to an algorithm, and those special processes are all just minor variations on one another anyway. It’s the collective experience, strategic thinking and insight our team brings that creates results, and we follow pretty much the only process that works:

Define: Before proceeding with any work, we work with you to clearly define the objectives and scope of work. No one likes surprises and we believe in clear communication from the start.

Immerse: Strategically sound work requires clarity about your business and your brand. We’ll dig deep and take the time to develop a solid understanding of your needs and your customers.

Analyze: Successful branding and design comes from insights that only understanding and experience can generate. Good ideas aren’t enough – they have to be practical and actionable.

Report & Validate: The map is not the territory. No matter how sound the strategy or design direction appears to be, it doesn’t get put into action without consultation with you. In some cases, small-scale testing with select clients/users can also be extremely valuable.

Create: By following a proven process and applying the insights we’ve generated we can create work that has real impact – branding, design and web solutions that connect with your customers.
 

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The Team

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Matt Politano

Principal, CGD™ Certified Designer, Brand Consultant

Matt started Oculus in 2007 after years in the trenches, working for Municipal Software, Royal Roads University, Hot House Marketing and the Province of B.C.

Matt is a CGD™ Certified designer and has over 16 years of experience in design and branding. He helps organizations understand their brands & turn that understanding into effective, well-designed visual communications.

When he’s not deep in a branding workshop, Matt leads a double life as a artist, exhibiting at several galleries. You can view his work at mattpolitano.com or Artfinder. You can also stalk him on Twitter.

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Mike Lathrop

Web Developer

BigMike Studios

Creating a great website requires a great developer, and Mike is that developer.

BigMike has been building websites since 1997 – Netscape Navigator was the dominant browser and Google didn’t even exist yet – and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to bear on our projects. Whether it’s a basic WordPress site or a complex application tied into other systems, Mike’s expertise is invaluable.

Mike has a flair for finding solutions to tricky problems. He’s also a heck of a nice guy to work with.

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Stephan Jacob

Designer

iD2 Communications

Stephan brings more than 20 years of experience in graphic/web design and print production. He hails from Berlin, Germany and is known for his sense of style and love of minimalism. Stephan’s design work is polished. It continues to thrill clients and win awards.

Stephan has worked with numerous public and non-profit clients, including the Royal & McPherson Theatres Society, City of Victoria, BC Transit, Red Cross, De Armond Management (Conference & Event Specialist), Victoria CoolAid Society, Aids Vancouver Island, The Green Party and TriMet (Portland Public Transportation).

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Theresa Mackay

Communications & Marketing Consultant

Larchgrove Marketing Group

A proven leader in the marketing and communications landscape, Theresa brings 25 years of experience to Oculus’ branding and marketing clients.

Theresa was a business administration faculty member at both Capilano University and Camosun College before taking her current post as Associate Faculty with Royal Roads University. She is a Communications and Advertising Accredited Professional and was named Executive Director of the British Columbia Museums Association.

She brings her unique perspective to Oculus in providing a practical and insightful approach to marketing, focused on helping businesses prosper.

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Ben Leather

Application Developer

3 Trees Technical/Ben Leather & Associates

Ben is a top-notch developer with experience that predates the internet as we know it, and our other go-to resource for code. Ben specializes in application development and has a gift for solving tricky programming challenges. If you want to know the best way from A to B, ask Ben.

Ben’s infectious enthusiasm and can-do attitude is another prime reason why we love working with him, and why you will too.