Hello, reader. How you holding up?

It’s been a minute since I wrote this 2019 Year In Review post. Heck, it’s been a minute since I last read that post. But with 2022 less than 24 hours away, I sat down and revisited it this morning. And looking at all of our smiley photos of in-person collaboration, peppered throughout the vignettes showcasing our 2019 accomplishments … reading about all the optimism and momentum I felt for 2020 and my predictions of what would come … it feels like two hundred years ago.

The last 24 months have brought remarkable displays of resilience, amidst unspeakable devastation. Even the lucky ones who have managed to preserve good health, who haven’t lost loved ones to COVID-19, have struggled with anxiety and isolation, adjusting to the new WFH normal and exhausting news cycles. Social justice issues, from climate change to gun violence to immigration to race and gender equality to education, are more pressing than ever, and (to put it simply) the challenges lack straightforward solutions.

On this day last year as 2020 came to a close, my heart felt too heavy to reflect on Simpatico’s year-end “wins.” Though there’s a sickening feeling of deja vu today as I watch the omicron numbers tick up (especially here in NYC), I can only hope some light is emerging. I applaud our incredible healthcare workers, teachers, and all who turned those wildly ambitious timelines for life-saving vaccinations into reality.

As a small business owner, the past two years have been heavy. But I want to send an enormous thank you to our clients, who have trusted us to continue creating and producing for them throughout the pandemic. And an equally large thank you to my fellow Simpaticos. Working alongside each of you — being blessed and inspired by your talent, humor, and kindness — has made these past two years so much more bearable than they might otherwise have been.

So without further ado, I’m honored and pleased to share some of Simpatico’s bright highlights from 2021.

Wishing you love and light in the new year,

Empty Studio Simpatico Office

Saying goodbye to the office on 38th street in June 2020, and hello to the new WFH normal


After a much needed week off, we return to the “office” the first week of January 2021. A paid Zoom membership and too much time at home has us all debuting and surprising our clients with creative new backgrounds. Our return is fresh on the heels of two particularly exciting end-of-December launches:

The first: A complete visual identity and marketing website for cybersecurity company Praetorian. Based in Austin, Praetorian is both a product and services company with a unifying mission to make the digital world safer and more secure. In our discovery, we listened to CEO Nathan Sportsman describe Praetorian engineers as, above all else, problem solvers. The logo anchors on this theme, as the lines form a maze-like glyph that resembles a “P.”

The second project: A partnership with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) on a groundbreaking initiative, SeeHer. SeeHer’s mission is to accurately portray all women and girls in marketing, advertising, media, and entertainment so they see themselves as they truly are. The site design uses a “frame” concept, a metaphor for how women are framed in the media. This project couldn’t feel more relevant given that history has shown that in times of crisis, the limited progress in gender equality that has been made is at risk of reversal … by decades. In the words of the SeeHer site: “Now more than ever, it is critical for content to authentically represent the people it serves, especially women and marginalized groups who have been hit hardest by both the COVID-19 crisis and the pervasive racial injustice that exists. Ensuring gender and intersectional equality is embedded into marketing, advertising and media plans is essential. We must #SeeHerFORWARD in order to see her through.”

As we remain in hibernation waiting for the Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines to become available, we kick off winter with a large engagement for the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. The project includes a revamp of the New York City nonprofit organization’s visual identity and logo, as well as a from-the-ground-up rebuild of their expansive and content-rich website.

Kurt Weill Foundation for Music

Meanwhile, the brand, creative, and website work we’ve done with Fireblocks for the last two years has not gone unnoticed. We spend the spring helping one of their partners Blockdaemon (the largest independent blockchain infrastructure platform) launch a new visual identity and marketing website.

We also launch the work we built for the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (ASAP), an initiative that identifies, integrates, and accelerates small businesses in developing countries producing climate adaptation and resilience solutions.


Spring has sprung, and begins with a phenomenally exciting announcement amidst a grim news cycle: Simpatico co-founder Sinan is going to be a dad! Needless to say, much is involved in planning for our first Simpatico team member’s parental leave, but the most important action item is ensuring that Baby Imre is set up with some stylin’ Simpatico schwag.

With a full slate of exciting projects in the queue and Sinan’s upcoming leave quickly approaching, after an exhaustive search, we enthusiastically welcome designer and illustrator Angela Huang to the team in May. A graduate of SVA’s illustration program, Angela brings an incredible eye for design, mind-boggling illustration talents, and a rich background of freelancing to the team.


Summer kicks off with a new website for White Star Capital, a global multi-stage technology investment platform that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs building ambitious, international businesses. We partner with our favorite photographer, Kelly Williams, to ensure the White Star team is looking their best. The collaboration with Eddie Lee and Eric Martineau-Fortin marks my first in-person client meeting since the world shut down.

We also introduce a new visual identity and website for Nuasin Next Generation, a charter school in the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx. Among the design collateral that we’re tasked with creating as part of the engagement? School uniforms!

Finally, we celebrate the launch of the enormous Kurt Weill Foundation website, which features media-rich animated timelines highlighting the lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya; a custom built events calendar integration with Salesforce; a robust database of Weill’s works; and much, much more.

KWF Various Desktop and Mobile Views

With Corey returning to school in the fall, the time has come for Simpatico to add another developer to our team. Zeth De Luna stands out from the pool of applicants, and joins us as our first West Coast team member. With a background in astrophysics (wha?), our new Los Angeles native is a recently self-taught front-end developer with a fantastic eye for design. Zeth dives into WordPress immediately, and achieves Simpatico rockstar status in a matter of weeks.

Chilling with Zeth in Santa Monica, California

Back in New York, the fully vaxxed Simpatico design team members gather for our first in-person meeting since we vacated our office in March 2020. (Like most, the circumstances of such were jarringly sudden as the country awakened to the threat of COVID-19. We left the office one evening unaware it would be our last day, and never came back. When I returned three months later at the end of June to clean out the office, there were cups of coffee and employees’ to do lists from March 12, 2020, frozen in time.) Bruce, Angela, Corey, and I meet to brainstorm design concepts for the new site we’ll be designing and building for legal tech startup Alt Legal.

Angela and Bruce

Angela and Bruce enjoy our first (fully vaxxed) in-person collaboration

The team celebrates the much-anticipated launch of our incredible collaboration with AmpleHarvest.org, a nonprofit organization whose website connects gardeners with surplus produce with local food pantries. The site has a little bit of everything that showcases Simpatico’s myriad capabilities, including robust Google Maps functionality (shoutout to Evan), a completely bespoke backend so staff can manage pantries (shoutout to Corey), and custom illustrations (shoutout to Angela).

As summer is coming to an end, we receive some bittersweet news: Sinan (now a proud, phenomenal papa to new baby Lidya) will not be returning to Simpatico. He’s made the amazing decision to be a full-time parent.

Tamara Bruce and Sinan

The passing of the torch: meet Simpatico’s new head of design

We cap Sinan’s brilliant four-year run at Simpatico with beers at my LIC watering hole, The Baroness. At drinks, I can’t properly put into words how much working with Sinan has meant to me. And I still can’t. But as bittersweet as change can be, it reliably brings with it new opportunities. In that vein: I’m over the moon that Simpatico’s design team is in such capable hands moving forward. In September, design mega-talent Bruce Viemeister assumes the role of Head of Design. In conjunction with the announcement, Amber Weinberg’s official title changes to “Head of Development” (representing the leadership role she’s already had within the studio for years). A new triangle of leadership is born, and a new chapter for Studio Simpatico begins.

Tamara and Sinan Laughing

Simpatico will miss you, my dear friend. Thank you for four amazing years!


That crisp ‘back to school’ feeling permeates the air. With the return to the classrooms, we’re thrilled to see how Nuasin Next Generation is extending the brand identity we created for them in exciting and gorgeous ways. Check out this sweet sign!

As temperatures drop, Simpatico drops several new website launch announcements:

We partner with Alt Legal’s leadership team to update their visual language (type and color), and design a new marketing website to showcase their offerings. We spend a great deal of time in AfterEffects creating product UI animations to bring Alt Legal’s unique feature set to life. The new site launches in September.

Next up: We apply Frogslayer’s brand language to a new marketing site to tell the story of the Texas-based software development company. The new site launches in early October.

On the first of October, our long-time client Ten To One Rum breaks some exciting news: Founder Marc Farrell brings on the legendary Ciara as investor, co-owner, and director. We support the website with the exciting announcement.

And that’s not the only celebration.

After having postponed the happy occasion several times thanks to the damn pandemic, senior Simpatico developer Evan Thompson gets married!!

Fall also brings an opportunity to collaborate once more with our favorite folks at Haven Life to bring a new website to life. Haven Technologies is an advanced platform for life, annuity and disability insurance that is now available as a service to everyone.

Meanwhile, I take a massive step outside my comfort zone and agree to appear as a guest on two podcasts to chat about the challenges involved in running a small agency: From the Ground Up and Agencies That Build. The hosts are delightful, and I enjoy both experiences even more than I expect.

Approaching the Holidays

As our list of clients grows, we realize it’s that time again: We’re ready to welcome another designer. Our October candidate search lands us the talented Klein Maetschke. A hybrid designer/developer, Klein brings years of agency experience and superb design chops to the team. Check out his stellar podcast microphone setup in our Brady Bunch style Zoom grid below.

Zoom Simpatico Team Call

All smiles realizing the holidays are only a few weeks away

Finally, as the year comes to a close, work for our favorite ongoing client Fireblocks picks up as they announce their jaw-dropping $8 billion company valuation. Among countless projects, we help them design and develop an innovative storytelling landing page to share their milestones and accomplishments.

Looking Ahead

Happy New Year, friends of Simpatico, and stay tuned. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram in 2022 to stay in-the-know about all our plans for the new year:

  • The hiring of new Simpaticos (are you the PM, designer, or developer we’re looking for?)
  • The launch of the digital Iron & Air, a gorgeous motorcycle print publication
  • A new identity and website for Grasshopper Bank
  • The launch of a new Forward.com
  • An exciting partnership with WordPress VIP