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The Official Manufacturing Company

A creative trio of W+K and Ace Hotel vets taking on interiors, branding and marketing

by Adrienne So in Design on 22 April 2010

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The Portland, OR-based Official Manufacturing Company, made up of three creative types (Mathew Foster, Fritz Mesenbrink and Jeremy Pelley), come up with everything from signage and print materials to interior design for their clients. As the self-professed "thing makers" recently said in an e-mail, "If we come up with a great idea, we will find a way to make it happen."

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Like their tweaked acronym OMFGCO might suggest, the youthful trio has their finger on the pulse, embracing a holistic approach to re-branding and the du jour overall take on the marketing model that comes with it—ideally suited to smaller companies. The creative studio's responsible for the clean, quirky look of prominent Portland businesses, such as popular charcuterie Olympic Provisions (recently featured in the New York Times) and re-imagining the local branch of the Ace Hotel as a city-specific, communal experience, complete with local art and a record player at the front desk. The latter client isn't new to Pelley, who formerly worked as the lead art director for Atelier Ace, lending the group enviable chops—as do the backgrounds of the other two.

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Mesenbrink and Foster both worked as designers for Wieden + Kennedy, where the group first connected in 2005 at the ad giant's experimental school. But it wasn't until finding themselves sharing studio space in downtown Portland in the summer of 2009 that the triumvirate began to work together and the company took off from there.

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"We might work a little more these days than before," they said (even answering e-mails en masse). "But the difference is that we're working with each other, our friends and the businesses we believe in. We've got some upcoming projects that we're very excited about, which will find us in more of a leadership role."

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In addition to their marketing work, OMFGCO also sells limited-edition merchandise. Check out more things by the thing-makers, and news about their upcoming projects, on their site.

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