aesthetic portrait
photo portrait
Left to Right: Scott Stowell, Cat Kirk, Jason Jude Chan, Ryan Thacker Not Pictured: Dominic Amatore, Niko Arranz, Heather Asencio, Susan Barber, Tim Barber, Andrea Beaudry, Debra Bergman, Josh Berta, Elliot Blanchard, Cara Brower, Andrew Brown, Mo Caicedo, Rob Carmichael, Jenny Carrow, A. Purcell Carson, Lu Chekowsky, Yussef Cole, Annabel Coleman, Gemma Corsano, Erin Dean, Rob Di Ieso, Moreno DiMarco, Jessica Disbrow, Ken Edge, Gary Fogelson, Rosie Garschina, Lucia Vera Gehrenbeck, Erica Gorochow, Hope Hall, Matt Hanson, Carol Hayes, Drew Heffron, Bala Heller, Sabrina Henley, Amelia Hennighausen, Yoshié Hozumi, Tian Hughes, Ian Hutchinson, Zak Jensen, Matt Johnson, Bayard Jones, Bryan Keeling, Patricia Kelleher, Monika Kim, Kate Kittredge, Michelle Kratchman, Matthew Lane-Smith, Heather Larimer, Erika Lee, Jun Lee, Josh Levi, Bethany Liebmann, Eric Linn, Louise Ma, Walter Lubinski, Dennis Mabry, Peter Mannes, Tom Manning, Nicci Martinez, Martha McGill, James Mckinnon, Leslie Mello, Sam Mestman, William Morrissey, Jolie Newman, Neda Niaraki, Serifcan Ozcan, Ollie Perishic, Simone Pillinger, Cynthia Ratsaboush, Scott Reinhard, Chad Roberts, Nick Rock, Danny Rosenbloom, Rob Sabatini, Naz Sahin, Tamar Samir, Rich Scurry, Trevor Shimizu, Dave Stoy, John Surdakowski, DeDe Sullivan, Julie Teninbaum, Chris Thomas, Anna Tribelhorn, Lindsay Utz, David Van Riper, Emre Veryeri, Corinne Vizzacchero, Garry Waller, Lauren Wang, Chip Wass, Rich Watts, Amit Werber, Peter Wegner, Chris Wilcha, Emily Wilson, Christian Wolfe


Studio Size

Small (1-5)

Year founded




Studio Bio/Philosophy

Open is an independent design studio that creates rewarding experiences for people who look, read, and think.

The Team

Open has 5 people. Of those, 1 is a studio head and 1 is managerial.

60% of studios are small-sized (1-5 people).

Gender Breakdown

60% male

40% female

Average height


Shortest: 5’4”
Tallest: 6’3”

Average age


Youngest: 23
Oldest: 44

Number of freelancers/year


Number of interns/year


Average: 1-2

Studio Disciplines

Breakdown of Work





Number of studio projects


Pro-bono projects



50% Strategy

50% Execution

Primary Specialties

  • Art Direction (58)
  • Books (52)
  • Brand Strategy (42)
  • Branding & Identity (77)
  • Broadcast Graphics (18)
  • Editorial/Publication Design (51)
  • Environmental Design (38)
  • Experience Design (33)
  • Illustration (45)
  • Information Graphics (41)
  • Interaction Design (36)
  • Mobile Design (30)
  • Motion (29)
  • Print (75)
  • Web Design (59)

Clients’ Industries

  • Advertising (22)
  • Education (40)
  • Local & community organizations (41)
  • Media & Publishing (58)
  • Movies/Film (19)
  • Music (28)
  • The Arts/Cultural Institutions (71)
  • TV (17)

Biggest Competition

everybody in this show

Open’s Clients

Scott Stowell, proprietor


Age 44, Male, from North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, United States, now lives in West Village, New York, New York. Formal education is undergraduate degree, primary design education is school (Rhode Island School of Design).

What’s been the biggest influence on your design career?

conceptual art, documentary photography, bad printing, common sense, electronica, international travel, friends, manual typewriters, economic justice, Talking Heads, directors' commentaries on DVDs, math, canned food, underground 'zines, Noam Chomsky, stationery stores with outdated products, Charles and Ray Eames, Japanese television, sign painters, improvisational comedy, John Heartfield, silkscreen, urban planning, cheap novelties, idealism, the Guerrilla Girls, morning, the Macintosh, Venn diagrams, old type-specimen books, subway maps, the United Nations, old soda bottles, magazines and newspapers, Alvin Lustig, jokes, brown kraft paper

Years in Design Industry

27 years

Average: 17 years

Industry before design

supermarket cashier

Teaching Design

  • Yale University — 14 years
  • School of Visual Arts — 9 years
  • Cooper Union — 1 years
  • New York University — 1 years
  • SUNY Purchase — 1 years

Board Member on Professional Design Organizations

  • AIGA/NY — 2 years

Time spent designing

50% actual

50% desired


The Space

The studio is about 1000 square feet. It’s rented and they’ve been there for 15 years, 4 months.

Number of times moved


Total people in space



  • Cleaning service (44)
  • Coffee maker (53)
  • Dishwasher (24)
  • Doorman (23)
  • Elevator (54)
  • Espresso machine (23)
  • Free booze (28)
  • Free drinks (27)
  • Freezer (43)
  • Library/book collection (67)
  • Pin-up board (43)
  • Waiting area / reception (26)

Number of conference rooms


Client meetings held in studio: Approximately half

Number of plants


Type of chair



Books and bookshelves, Our work, Process materials for ongoing projects, a clock

Desk Policy

We keep our desks clean and tidy.

Space Satisfaction

We like it, but plan to make some changes to the space

Working Days

Working week

The work week is 50-59 hours/week, core hours are 9:30-6:30, with the first in at 8:00am and the last out at 8:00pm.

31% of studios work 50-59 hours/week.
The average is 40-49 hours/week.

Paid Vacation

6-10 days

26% of studios in this range

Paid Holidays

10 days

Average: 7

Work Weekends?


Take Summer Fridays?

Most weeks

Busiest Time of day?

It’s high intensity all day



Plays music for 50% of the day at an average volume. Currently obsessed with Daft Punk.

Biking to work


127 bikers across all studios

Pick your poison


Overall Noise Level


59% of studios are average

Working groups



Encourage freelance work?


Internal studio meetings

A couple times/week

Lunch Habits

Everyone eats together

Favorite delivery/take-out: Chipotle, Dig Inn, Pret

Eat out for lunch?

Once a month

Favorite sit-down lunch: Hundred Acres

Critiquing Process


On-screen reviews

Studio Outings

Drinks after work

Favorite Place(s): Ear Inn


  • #answers
  • #care
  • #clarity
  • #connections
  • #designforpeople
  • #joy
  • #meaning
  • #payattention
  • #questions
  • #stories
  • #surprise
  • #texture
  • #value
  • #wit