What do Pearl Jam, NASCAR, Nike, K2, Mini Cooper, the Hawks and Pagliacci Pizza have in common? A vital Seattle-based graphic design firm with global reach, and the designer of our latest pizza box: Ames Bros.
Barry Ament and Coby Schultz are the creative force behind Ames Bros. Friends from Montana State’s School of Art, Barry and Coby moved to Seattle after graduation to pursue creative careers. Things took off when a collaboration with Pearl Jam took root. It began when Barry and his brother, Jeff Ament, the bassist for Pearl Jam, were traveling together.
“Back in ’95, on a snake farm in Bangkok, my brother and I hatched a scheme to create a series of screen-printed posters for some upcoming shows,” Barry said in an interview with EMP. The poster designs yielded Grammy nominations and a diverse range of top-flight design clients.
Pagliacci’s connection to Ames Bros came about organically. Matt Galvin, co-owner of Pagliacci, had an office across the hall from Ames Bros. The relationship started with neighborly chats in the hallway. Eventually, we partnered with them to design a unique Sasquatch pizza box to promote ordering online.
Barry says, “We’ve been doing this for 25 years and are fortunate enough to drive our business with a few simple rules, one of them being that we work with people we like and businesses we believe in. Pagliacci certainly falls into that category. I survived off two slices and a soda for my first summer out in Seattle in 1991 and all these years later, it’s a Friday night tradition with my kids to grab a few slices out in West Seattle.
The Sasquatch design was so popular that when we launched our Pags Reward Program and new mobile app, we turned to Ames Bros again. The loyalty program is built around collecting Pags, which customers can exchange for discounts on future orders. Barry and Coby imagined them as tangible objects.
“We imagined Pags as a physical thing, like gold coins or tokens, and envisioned a whole treasure chest full of them,” Barry says. “To give it a Northwest flavor, we thought about the sea and all of the life and characters under the surface. We came up with a scenario where a deep-sea diver is fighting off an octopus to get to a chest full of Pags.
Barry and Coby work with lots of famous clients and internationally renowned brands. Yet, at the heart of it all, they’re a couple of unpretentious local guys who love Seattle and enjoyed working with brands and people they like. To be in that mix is pretty cool.
But what’s even better than working with a couple of iconic local designers that have become personal friends?
The new design.