Athletics Quarterly. Edition 5

Welcome to Athletics Quarterly! The AQ newsletter surfaces ideas and dialogues that embody our values as a brand studio, express our views on business, design and technology, and provide a window into our thinking and culture.

As we settle into midyear enjoying the summer months, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite recent projects along with some of our latest news. We hope you enjoy this edition of Athletics Quarterly!

Brands at Work

Principled. Progressive. The Nation.

For more than a century The Nation has been a beacon for progressive ideas, democratic politics, women’s rights, racial and economic justice, and peace. The Nation engaged us to help reinforce and amplify their position at the forefront of progressive political and cultural discourse through a modernized site experience and dynamic storytelling. The Nation’s intuitive and inviting editorial platform is designed to engage more deeply with new and existing users, while celebrating its modernity and relevance. This encompassed re-envisioning The Nation’s brand behaviors for digital while also improving user journeys, taxonomies, simplifying article types, and increasing subscriptions and conversion.

Explore the Case Study

Visit the new site


Software in the Spotlight. Reaktor

“Athletics partnership and collaboration helped us develop a new brand system that is a true celebration of Reaktor’s work and people.” — Riikka Friman. Chief Marketing Officer at Reaktor

Reaktor builds custom software of the highest order, digital products powering some of the world’s biggest brands. They even launched Finland’s first commercially built nanosatellite. Reaktorians are the consultants behind many of today’s hottest companies, though they would never say so publicly. Helsinki-born, Reaktor brings a refreshing Nordic humility to their category-defining work, along with a reticence to toot their own horns.

We started by defining a brand platform that maintains the tension between Reaktorians’ ambition and their humility. Instead of dreaming into a distant tech future, Reaktorians root themselves gamely in the present. Instead of harping on about digital transformation, they commit themselves to iterative, one-step-at-a-time progress. Instead of claiming to be the best in the business, they champion innovative ways of working that will help Reaktor and their clients improve. This is Reaktor’s “Culture of Better,” a platform for both external marketing and internal company practice.

Explore the Case Study



In 2014, we worked with Major League Soccer to create a new identity reflective of the explosion of soccer fandom in the US and Canada. This year, we have joined forces once again to launch a brand identity, positioning, and name for MLS GO—a youth recreation program designed to boost grassroots participation with a fun, affordable, and local soccer experience.

Whether destined for fandom or stardom, MLS GO will be the first step to developing a lasting love of the beautiful game among today’s youth.

Read the Feature in It’s Nice That

Watch a breakdown on MLS GO’s mascot via TikTok


Building a future of work for everyone. Guild

“Thank you Athletics for your incredible work on our new Guild website. Without your contributions, we would not have launched a beautiful, functional and scalable site on time with our Brand launch! It has been an incredible journey and we have enjoyed partnering with you throughout.” — Karthik Chandhramoulie. Sr. Director of Marketing at Guild

Guild helps employers provide tuition-free education, skilling, and career mobility to their workforce. Building from their newly developed identity, Athletics collaborated with Guild to extend their brand into an immersive and engaging site experience. Central to the site is bringing Guild’s companies, learning partners, and employees to the foreground. Athletics developed a versatile Member Spotlight solution that allows Guild to combine narrative, data, and video into a singular storytelling flow. The Guild site leverages learnings from our deep partnership with WordPress VIP to create an intuitive and easy-to-use publishing experience, while providing a rich, modular and dynamic journey.

Explore the Case Study

Visit the Guild site

Ideas and Dialogues

In Conversation with Jake Sherry of Isolation Proof

We’re joined by Jake Sherry, founder and distiller at Isolation Proof, a small batch distillery focused on cultivating a sustainable product with refreshing and colorful seasonal ingredients. Jake chats about his background in film, how he discovered his love for small batch distilling, the magic of the Western Catskills, and his passion to create a no-nonsense, spirit-forward cross between a London Dry and New American style gin, all while building a down to earth brand that is constantly evolving.

Read the full interview

Athletics in the News

Katherine Lee

How I Work: Katherine Lee

The Creative Factor chats with Athletics’ Executive Strategy Director to discuss how she balances ritual, process, and a toddler that screams like a pterodactyl.


Brand design in the age of AI: Aaron Poe, Zapier

Aaron Poe, head of Zapier’s brand studio, discusses AI’s impact, brand, design, music, motion, inspiration, and our work together on Otto for Square.

Miscellaneous - Summer 2023

Athletics Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous is our no-frills round-up of the cultural items inspiring our team. Featuring exhibits, concerts, experiences, reading material, music, and more, we’ve been sharing the media that moves us since 2017.

The Honorable William Wall

Willy Wall is Manhattan Yacht Club’s floating clubhouse in the harbor. This summer, BYOP (bring your own picnic) and catch some sun on this floating bar anchored in the Hudson.


The Perpetual Stew Club

Head down to Bushwick and add to the stew. Watch it simmer. Watch it bowl. Become ONE WITH THE STEW. Plus it’s vegan!


Ed Fella: A Life in Images

A Life in Images charts Fella’s epic creative journey, including a wide selection of pieces from his 60 years of work across two careers.


Trillion Dollar Coin

A trillion-dollar coin sounds unbelievable, but that won’t stop curious designers from offering their take on what that might look like! Athletics is honored to be asked to contribute.


See the rest of the list here.

Explore the Miscellaneous archive.

Until next time…

Thank you for reading this installment of Athletics Quarterly.

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If you’d like to share your ideas with our team, or have a brand project you would like to discuss, please reach out.

If you’re interested in working with us, visit our jobs page.

In solidarity,

Team Athletics

For more like this, explore our News section and read the previous edition of Athletics Quarterly