The idea of The Engine Room began in 1999 with a casual lunch conversation between good friends. We slept on it for a while, then over rounds of beer, games of chess, and shared dreams of the kind of design we both wanted to do, The Engine Room was born. We worked late nights at Mike’s home office in Sausalito and never got tired. Our fantasy had become reality and we soon found ourselves setting up shop in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood on 22nd Street and 3rd. And this is where we are today, but instead of 2 we’re 4. Take some time to meet the Team.
GOOD SPACE MAKES GOOD DESIGN
We designed our space to function as an inspirational arena for sound thinking and sound creative. Its elements project clarity, simplicity and purpose which are the very qualities we want instilled in our design work.
COLLEGE FRIENDS TO BUSINESS PARTNERS
Dave Braden and Mike Cotsifas both come from ‘Humboldt’ beginnings — both having studied fine art and design at HSU, in the redwood cathedralesque landscape of Arcata, CA. It is here the two founders met, studied together, and by virtue of an incessant need to create stuff, pushed one another to become better designers.
The brand of design we have here is not necessarily driven by the desire to see our work permeate our culture. It is likely first and foremost a result of a need to create. While this is a selfish pursuit, it drives all else. It drives sound thinking. It drives problem solving. It drives customer service. And it drives effective brands. Because that’s what design is. That’s what we signed up for. Solving visual communication problems and helping form connections.
A little trivia: Nobody wants canned design, but the building we call home actually used to be a can and bottle manufacturing facility dating back to 1915. The American Can Company cranked out cans and bottles until 1969.
When we create or update a brand, we don't wave goodbye when the first scope is done. An ingredient in our success may just be our loyalty, as our tendency is to continue caring for the brand (maintaining it) over time. So if your business is open to working that way, we are too. We're used to it.
His sites were set beyond, however, to create his own agency where quality, clientele and pace could be better controlled. Mike cofounded The Engine Room in 1999 with Dave Braden and he hasn't looked back. His drive for superior design has helped lead The Engine Room to cement itself as one of the best and most enduring boutique design firms in the Bay Area.
Dave’s professional life has always been steeped in design, but he finds it just as important to step outside of it to pursue complementary interests. Whether it's distance running, chess, painting or quality family time, Dave feels his penchant for variety makes him a better designer and a better thinker.
Prior to joining TER, Vicki worked at PureRed, where she was responsible for print production on large brands such as Safeway, Grocery Outlet and OSH.
She has been a key team member at The Engine Room now for over 8 years and her meticulous work today helps brands like Fra'mani, Snapdragon Foods, Sonoma Gourmet and Sukhi's hit the shelves with power and perfection.