Arithmetic was founded 17
Years Ago from a Vision Of
A Different Future —

HEAL THE EARTH. Help Humans
Serve Humanity
Through Design.

Arithmetic’s Vancouver Studio

We forecast change. We envision an improved tomorrow and we build brands that connect on a human level, rich with emotion. We are located in Vancouver, Canada.

With over 40 years combined experience creating graphic and packaging solutions directly in product industries, from fashion to food, we have developed a sensitivity towards trend awareness, emerging concepts, a finesse for materiality and fine-tuned the foresight required to know exactly when is the right time and place to apply them for each market category.

We approach projects by immersing ourselves in the creation of a brand’s unique and own-able story to create a compelling brand voice, define or redefine existing emotion-laden visual language, design and iterate on-brand touch points and narrate its visual aesthetic by aligning the consumer’s feeling aspirations and emotional needs with the brand’s intrinsic and extrinsic offering—in turn creating a common language which unites, celebrates and bonds more than any other commercial experience. Branding, packaging and retail interiors are much more than simply a logo, package and space—they are transportive and they have the potential to be the ‘vessel’ of your brand story, where authentic, humanistic and emotional offering is kept. The touch points; the logo, marketing, printed assets are signals to the human consumer that your cup is full of good stuff to share.

While we are widely celebrated for our packaging design services, our offering is full gamut: brand naming, research & strategy, copywriting, logo development, packaging design, branded interior and retail experiences, social media visual content, website design, POS assets, branded collaterals and much more.

THE ARITHMETIC CONNECTION

Over the centuries, philosophers have explored the link between art and mathematics. But how can we evaluate beauty? Does a formula for aesthetic contentment exist? What makes some design compositions feel harmonious while others feel so wrong or incomplete?

From the golden section, to the rule of thirds, to grids, it’s clear that there is an underlying equation that creates a foundation for aesthetic beauty. This framework of possibility is also represented in the underlying equation that supports the growth of your branding and design process. From intangible processes to solid, rhythmic design, arithmetic can be applied to your branding and business needs.

Our arithmetic is the framework for your heightened brand experience.

“metodo tent a lavorasione” extols the virtues of taking time to make things properly.

Arithmetic’s design philosophy
Services

Brand Art Direction + Brand Research & Strategy + Visual Strategy + Trend Forecasting + Photographic Art Direction + Packaging Design + Sustainability Research & Development + Branded Collateral + Social Media Campaigns + Book Design + Illustration + Prop Creation & Styling + Interior Design + Experience Design + Furniture Design + Industrial Design + Copywriting + Brand & Product Naming + Product Development + Logo Design + Surface Textile Design + Retail Design & Styling + Set Design + Window Display Design + Signage Programs + Way Finding + Website Design + Motion & Video

Design must firstly be human. It must be visceral in emotion yet functional and accessible. We are working to define a new luxury experience — one that is inclusive, connected to Earth, and centered on wellness. 

Design is the voice for change. A voice for Asian lives, Black lives, Indigenous lives, LGBTQIA2S+ lives, the Earth, for health — for collective change through individual action.

We continually work to recognize our inherent bias through listening, continued learning, and financial support. From February to November 2021, we have donated $7,658.28 to The Vancouver Black Therapy & Advocacy Health Fund, B.C. Women’s Health Foundation, and AAPI Community Fund. We plan to contribute further in 2022.

Our diverse in-house team and creative partners are united in social and climate values and independent in thinking. There isn’t a single stream story of experience — there are many stories weaving through our brand-building method. Each project is seen in the different perspectives of our creative thinkers as we co-create with our clients — challenging our personal and collective biases.

We are female-founded, female-led, and female-powered. We are the longest-running, award-winning, female, Canadian-owned, and run design studio where the leadership team are the primary contact for every client. For 17 years, our leadership team has always maintained a direct and intimate design role, whether encompassing the role of designer, diving into research, formulating strategy, or working with our design team to co-create, from big picture to minutia. This is our way of showing our passion in the belief that great design cannot happen without feet on the ground, a constant state of listening, and an open, compassionate heart.

Our sustainability role centres on first realigning ourselves with nature’s wisdom. In that connection, we are grounded in the knowledge that there is very little need to produce new raw material — there is an abundance of waste that can be converted into new forms through creative thinking and ingenuity. With optimism and joy, we are inspired by the principles of transparency, collaboration, and discovery. We hope you share this mindset too.

Nature is our unifier, heal our habitat and we will heal ourselves.

We approach climate impact by designing disruptive methods. We dismantle perceptions of what is ‘living’ and ‘artificial’, unifying natural sources with advanced technological innovation.

We co-create a future where nature and humans collaborate, supporting each other in a regenerative ecosystem of life. We look to industry waste streams for materials made from plant or food waste instead of virgin materials.

We is all of us, working together towards this vision.

Connect with us today to grow towards your brand sustainability values and design your next packaging or interiors project.
Corn foam packaging for Good Juju.
Begasse, a sugarcane industry byproduct.
Begasse, a sugarcane industry byproduct.
Millboard, a paper industry byproduct is made from 100% recycled material.
The Team
Margherita Porrà
— Founder, Creative Director

Margherita Porrà, founder and creative director of arithmetic and award-wining designer, is celebrated for her innate talent in synthesizing the unspoken feeling needs of humans, their behaviours, and the market data into an aesthetic harmony, which resonates and creates change. She is equal parts analytical and creative, thriving in the ambiguity of paradoxes and opposites. Her work is expansive in thought and concept, deep in research and connection — evoking the emotion we crave. Highly discerning, Margherita's work is rich in meaning-making through storytelling — actioning the knowledge that our brains recognize and celebrating memorable stories — the most memorable ones being authentic.

She is a driving thought leader in the human-centric branding process where human and soul-based needs come first (where people are not abstracted to simply “consumer” and relegated to data points), connecting human feelings to the outward expression of a brand, stripping away the clutter of marketing jargon to create an offering which is rich in honesty and emotion. It is her belief that once we can connect as humans, we have a chance to engage each others' help in healing our Earth. Margherita has spent her design career deeply aware of dwindling resources, feeling it in her bones and in a panic for change. Margherita leads the arithmetic team in investing in research for alternative packaging materiality and manufacturing partners, continually asking the uncomfortable questions, and changing personal behaviour to understand what is involved in order to incite change in others. By extension, and in action, Margherita is actively redefining what the luxury category is. In her vision, the New Luxury is sustainable, inclusive, values-led with many independent businesses making quality goods with time and care. It is wellness. It is craft. It is honest. It will have a disregard for the overpriced mass-manufactured and over-marketed category that is unattainable and lacks true authenticity. The New Luxury swaps exclusivity for connection.

Following her formal education in graphic design and international business, graduating with honours, Margherita launched her design career in the intensity of the fashion industry. She brought her artistic vision to life through the design of hundreds of products from shoes to textile design to homewares sold worldwide for both leading Canadian and American fashion brands; all the while, honing a keen production sensibility while working hands-on with skilled artisans. With extensive design experience in consumer goods categories, Margherita has worked on everything from brand vision and strategy, identity, packaging, retail interior, and product design. She has over 19 years of industry experience designing for retail-focused product producers, with a focus on health, food, wellness, and fashion, in the luxury market. Inspired by her own health issues, her personal passion for healing through a plant-based diet, paired with her refined taste, has fuelled her work in the health, food, and wellness categories with great success in breaking convention in stale markets.

Over the past 19 years, Margherita has received numerous design awards, including twenty-four in the past five years. She is the recipient of three Pentawards, an inaugural Dieline Sustainability Award, the AACE Award, and the award for Canadian Design Exchange Emerging Graphic Designer of the Year. Her design work has been published countless times in The Dieline, Taschen’s The Package Design Book, Victionary, Applied Arts Magazine, Idn Magazine, Wallpaper Magazine, and Pattern-Base Book, to name a few.

Elizabeth Vegh
— Design Manager, Research & Strategy

Inconceivable inner strength. High standards, higher values. A true thought partner who aims her efforts towards driving positive change. Elizabeth Vegh is a multifaceted strategist with specialties in consumer market strategy, creative direction, editorial photography production, styling, project management, research, supplier sourcing and manufacturing management, and client services. She dissects how things work and makes them work even better.

Her in-depth and hands-on approach to the intricacies and, simultaneously, the big picture provides our clients with comprehensive project management and analytics, clear direction in complex projects, and ingenuity in problem-solving. She effortlessly injects the latest industry news and cross-pollinates insights from all market categories to bring an immense bounty of social and cultural awareness and relevance, knowledge, and expertise to the foundation of the brands we build—all this while keeping a sharp eye on the bottom line.

Elizabeth’s work and interests reveal a relentless and enthusiastic pursuit of the idea that design, fashion, visual art and culture are all a confluent means of communication. She is passionate about all facets of visual communication and believes that they do not exist in compartments.

Elizabeth’s experience and education are agents of this belief. The specialties of her formal education are in the social sciences, design, and visual art. Not only does she have experience project-managing large-scale visual art exhibitions and working intimately and directly with internationally-acclaimed institutions, such as documenta, the Barbican, and The National Gallery of Canada, she continues to serve as an integral leader of sustainability, social, and ethics research within our practice. The depth of her extensive experience, dedication, and knowledge has meant that she is a trusted representative for clients, having regularly been assigned to on-site manage manufacturing and negotiations internationally.

It is Elizabeth’s unparalleled creative instincts and unique personal practice that set her apart. She has been a dedicated part of arithmetic’s enduring growth and success for over ten years, and the recipient of 17 design awards since 2015, from the internationally-renowned American Design Awards, Pentaward, and Dieline to name a few.

Lindsey Hampton
— Designer

Interdisciplinary by nature, intuitively creative. A constant observer with a penchant for deciphering the complex into aesthetic honesty. Our Senior Graphic Designer, Lindsey Hampton has over a decade of design experience. Her instantly recognizable style, weaves statement typographic treatments with deep meaning and harmonic colour palettes. Always on point. Always on trend.

Lindsey has always believed that design is never restricted to one medium, that once you learn the principles and learn to follow your instinct and eye, you can design anything. In 2011 she began experimenting in ceramics and has since gained international recognition for her work in that field. She has been featured in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, New York Magazine, Bon Appetit and more. This practice has helped guide her to become a more fluid designer, moving seamlessly between the physical and digital world in many mediums and not being afraid to get her hands dirty.

Rachel Sanvido
— Designer

Born on a quiet corner of Vancouver Island, Rachel spent her formative years outside in the forest. There, she developed an appreciation for natures innate ability to create beauty in all shapes and forms. The time she spent surrounded by nature has inspired her to seek out design solutions that are thoughtful and environmentally conscious. Nature continues to be a source of awe and inspiration in everything she does.

Rachel graduated with distinction from Capilano University, majoring in branding. She believes one of the greatest gifts that design gives us is the opportunity to continually learn and grow. Rachel works relentlessly to master design problems of all shapes and sizes.

Sydney Toews
— Designer
arithmetic designer, Sydney Toews.

At first meeting, it is clear that Sydney’s personal passion for the culture of design is woven into the fabric of her being and forms the lens to the belief that culture connects. Her personal, eclectic interests, span from vastly different sub-cultures and styles providing her a wealth of inspiration which manifests as a unique perspective in her design work.

It is in the rhythm of culture which Sydney finds unique pockets of inspiration — particularly through experimental artists, Japanese film scores, and the poetry of rap — and how sound can be visualized. Music’s nuances and stories are incredible sources of visual inspiration and are amazing examples of how mood can be conveyed both simply, or complexly layered in art and design, and incorporated into culture—inspiring fashion.

With a strong foundation in the Fine Arts, Sydney established her passion for creation. Her intrinsic abilities and interest in the art world led her into a deep love for ancient and classical art history and archaeology. She is equal parts inspired by ancient works of art and experimental design — two polar opposites which she feel can beautifully illustrate the common threads in our world and human experience and which she finds equally delightful in their obvious contrast.

These creations and civilizations of the past, and the contrast found in their art, heavily influence my personal design work. As she sees it, classical artwork is like a metaphor that expresses how she can approach design. The story and its meaning are laid down first — a vessel for conveying a theme or emotion — amplified by layers of revision, artistic development, and emotive language — in the end producing a piece that is both communicative and interesting.

Highly empathetic and in-tune, Sydney’s has a unique ability synthesize her life moments with the human experience into designs, copywriting and brand messaging which is sensitive, heart felt, and connects humans to humans in a heart led experience.

Sydney is the recipient of a handful of design awards and honourable mentions, including: Winner 2020 Applied Arts Student Awards for Entire Design Program — Campaign, Silver Winner/Finalist 2020 ADCC Student Awards Project, Honourable Mention 2020 RGD Student Awards Bell Media Award for Typography (Digital), Honourable Mention 2020 RGD Student Awards, 52 Pick-Up Inc. Award for Typography (Digital). Her high standard for academic achievement and learning landed her on the Dean’s List for the breadth of her university career, and valedictorian.

Margherita Porrà
Founder, Creative Director

Margherita Porrà, founder and creative director of arithmetic and award-wining designer, is celebrated for her innate talent in synthesizing the unspoken feeling needs of humans, their behaviours, and the market data into an aesthetic harmony, which resonates and creates change. She is equal parts analytical and creative, thriving in the ambiguity of paradoxes and opposites. Her work is expansive in thought and concept, deep in research and connection — evoking the emotion we crave. Highly discerning, Margherita's work is rich in meaning-making through storytelling — actioning the knowledge that our brains recognize and celebrating memorable stories — the most memorable ones being authentic.

She is a driving thought leader in the human-centric branding process where human and soul-based needs come first (where people are not abstracted to simply “consumer” and relegated to data points), connecting human feelings to the outward expression of a brand, stripping away the clutter of marketing jargon to create an offering which is rich in honesty and emotion. It is her belief that once we can connect as humans, we have a chance to engage each others' help in healing our Earth. Margherita has spent her design career deeply aware of dwindling resources, feeling it in her bones and in a panic for change. Margherita leads the arithmetic team in investing in research for alternative packaging materiality and manufacturing partners, continually asking the uncomfortable questions, and changing personal behaviour to understand what is involved in order to incite change in others. By extension, and in action, Margherita is actively redefining what the luxury category is. In her vision, the New Luxury is sustainable, inclusive, values-led with many independent businesses making quality goods with time and care. It is wellness. It is craft. It is honest. It will have a disregard for the overpriced mass-manufactured and over-marketed category that is unattainable and lacks true authenticity. The New Luxury swaps exclusivity for connection.

Following her formal education in graphic design and international business, graduating with honours, Margherita launched her design career in the intensity of the fashion industry. She brought her artistic vision to life through the design of hundreds of products from shoes to textile design to homewares sold worldwide for both leading Canadian and American fashion brands; all the while, honing a keen production sensibility while working hands-on with skilled artisans. With extensive design experience in consumer goods categories, Margherita has worked on everything from brand vision and strategy, identity, packaging, retail interior, and product design. She has over 19 years of industry experience designing for retail-focused product producers, with a focus on health, food, wellness, and fashion, in the luxury market. Inspired by her own health issues, her personal passion for healing through a plant-based diet, paired with her refined taste, has fuelled her work in the health, food, and wellness categories with great success in breaking convention in stale markets.

Over the past 19 years, Margherita has received numerous design awards, including twenty-four in the past five years. She is the recipient of three Pentawards, an inaugural Dieline Sustainability Award, the AACE Award, and the award for Canadian Design Exchange Emerging Graphic Designer of the Year. Her design work has been published countless times in The Dieline, Taschen’s The Package Design Book, Victionary, Applied Arts Magazine, Idn Magazine, Wallpaper Magazine, and Pattern-Base Book, to name a few.

Elizabeth Vegh
Design Manager, Research & Strategy

Inconceivable inner strength. High standards, higher values. A true thought partner who aims her efforts towards driving positive change. Elizabeth Vegh is a multifaceted strategist with specialties in consumer market strategy, creative direction, editorial photography production, styling, project management, research, supplier sourcing and manufacturing management, and client services. She dissects how things work and makes them work even better.

Her in-depth and hands-on approach to the intricacies and, simultaneously, the big picture provides our clients with comprehensive project management and analytics, clear direction in complex projects, and ingenuity in problem-solving. She effortlessly injects the latest industry news and cross-pollinates insights from all market categories to bring an immense bounty of social and cultural awareness and relevance, knowledge, and expertise to the foundation of the brands we build—all this while keeping a sharp eye on the bottom line.

Elizabeth’s work and interests reveal a relentless and enthusiastic pursuit of the idea that design, fashion, visual art and culture are all a confluent means of communication. She is passionate about all facets of visual communication and believes that they do not exist in compartments.

Elizabeth’s experience and education are agents of this belief. The specialties of her formal education are in the social sciences, design, and visual art. Not only does she have experience project-managing large-scale visual art exhibitions and working intimately and directly with internationally-acclaimed institutions, such as documenta, the Barbican, and The National Gallery of Canada, she continues to serve as an integral leader of sustainability, social, and ethics research within our practice. The depth of her extensive experience, dedication, and knowledge has meant that she is a trusted representative for clients, having regularly been assigned to on-site manage manufacturing and negotiations internationally.

It is Elizabeth’s unparalleled creative instincts and unique personal practice that set her apart. She has been a dedicated part of arithmetic’s enduring growth and success for over ten years, and the recipient of 17 design awards since 2015, from the internationally-renowned American Design Awards, Pentaward, and Dieline to name a few.

Lindsey Hampton
Designer

Interdisciplinary by nature, intuitively creative. A constant observer with a penchant for deciphering the complex into aesthetic honesty. Our Senior Graphic Designer, Lindsey Hampton has over a decade of design experience. Her instantly recognizable style, weaves statement typographic treatments with deep meaning and harmonic colour palettes. Always on point. Always on trend.

Lindsey has always believed that design is never restricted to one medium, that once you learn the principles and learn to follow your instinct and eye, you can design anything. In 2011 she began experimenting in ceramics and has since gained international recognition for her work in that field. She has been featured in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, New York Magazine, Bon Appetit and more. This practice has helped guide her to become a more fluid designer, moving seamlessly between the physical and digital world in many mediums and not being afraid to get her hands dirty.

Rachel Sanvido
Designer

Born on a quiet corner of Vancouver Island, Rachel spent her formative years outside in the forest. There, she developed an appreciation for natures innate ability to create beauty in all shapes and forms. The time she spent surrounded by nature has inspired her to seek out design solutions that are thoughtful and environmentally conscious. Nature continues to be a source of awe and inspiration in everything she does.

Rachel graduated with distinction from Capilano University, majoring in branding. She believes one of the greatest gifts that design gives us is the opportunity to continually learn and grow. Rachel works relentlessly to master design problems of all shapes and sizes.

Sydney Toews
Designer
arithmetic designer, Sydney Toews.

At first meeting, it is clear that Sydney’s personal passion for the culture of design is woven into the fabric of her being and forms the lens to the belief that culture connects. Her personal, eclectic interests, span from vastly different sub-cultures and styles providing her a wealth of inspiration which manifests as a unique perspective in her design work.

It is in the rhythm of culture which Sydney finds unique pockets of inspiration — particularly through experimental artists, Japanese film scores, and the poetry of rap — and how sound can be visualized. Music’s nuances and stories are incredible sources of visual inspiration and are amazing examples of how mood can be conveyed both simply, or complexly layered in art and design, and incorporated into culture—inspiring fashion.

With a strong foundation in the Fine Arts, Sydney established her passion for creation. Her intrinsic abilities and interest in the art world led her into a deep love for ancient and classical art history and archaeology. She is equal parts inspired by ancient works of art and experimental design — two polar opposites which she feel can beautifully illustrate the common threads in our world and human experience and which she finds equally delightful in their obvious contrast.

These creations and civilizations of the past, and the contrast found in their art, heavily influence my personal design work. As she sees it, classical artwork is like a metaphor that expresses how she can approach design. The story and its meaning are laid down first — a vessel for conveying a theme or emotion — amplified by layers of revision, artistic development, and emotive language — in the end producing a piece that is both communicative and interesting.

Highly empathetic and in-tune, Sydney’s has a unique ability synthesize her life moments with the human experience into designs, copywriting and brand messaging which is sensitive, heart felt, and connects humans to humans in a heart led experience.

Sydney is the recipient of a handful of design awards and honourable mentions, including: Winner 2020 Applied Arts Student Awards for Entire Design Program — Campaign, Silver Winner/Finalist 2020 ADCC Student Awards Project, Honourable Mention 2020 RGD Student Awards Bell Media Award for Typography (Digital), Honourable Mention 2020 RGD Student Awards, 52 Pick-Up Inc. Award for Typography (Digital). Her high standard for academic achievement and learning landed her on the Dean’s List for the breadth of her university career, and valedictorian.

Studio
Arithmetic design studio on Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada.
Deeply connected to heart led intuition and science backed data, we combine our equal parts analytical and creative method to the human journey of consumer behaviour, pinpointing the feeling need and connecting it with your brand offering. Connect with us today for your brand's tomorrow.
Arithmetic's interdisciplinary design studio in Vancouver.
Branding and packaging design studio on Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada.
arithmetic is grateful to operate on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

Awards

2021

GDUSA American Package Design Award — United & Free

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The Dieline Award for Sustainability In Packaging Design — Good Juju

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GDUSA American Package Design Award — Feel

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German Design Council Award, Jury Selection Nomination for Excellence in Design — Good Juju

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Pentaward Bronze — Feel

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2020

Applied Arts Packaging Design Award — First Light

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GDUSA American Package Design Award — Melanie Auld Jewelry

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2019

GDUSA American Package Design Award — Nala

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GDUSA American Package Design Award — La Glace

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GDUSA American Package Design Award — Roque

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Applied Arts Awards Jury — Margherita Porrà

2018

Pentaward Bronze — La Glace

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Restaurant & Bar Interior Design Award, Finalist — La Glace

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2017

Applied Arts Packaging Design Award — Hollow Tree

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Applied Arts Packaging Design Award — Woodlot

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GDUSA American Health & Wellness Award — Living Alchemy

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2016

German Design Council Award, Jury Selection Nomination for Excellence in Design — Granville Island Pet Treatery

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GDUSA American Package Design Award — Grand Health

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GDUSA American Package Design Award — Middle Sister

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GDUSA American Health & Wellness Award — Nourish

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2015

Applied Arts Canadian AACE Award for Design — Margherita Porrà

Communication Arts Design Packaging Design Award — Amola Salts

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GDUSA American Health & Wellness Award — Grand Health

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Design Council of Canada Emerging Designer Award — Margherita Porrà

2014

Applied Arts Packaging Design Award — Granville Island Pet Treatery

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Applied Arts Packaging Design Award — Amola Salts

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Communication Arts Design Typography Design Award — Amola Salts

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Pentaward Silver — Granville Island Pet Treatery

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Press