Dan Gardner is Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director at Code and Theory.
With more than a decade of experience designing cross-platform products and brand experiences for clients in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, he and Co-Founder Brandon Ralph have led Code and Theory to become one of the largest independent creative agencies in the United States. Since founding the company with Ralph in 2001, it has grown to ~350 employees, with offices in New York City, San Francisco, London, Manila, and Atlanta.
From pioneering the modern digital landscape with fifty-eight major media launches for publishers such as Bloomberg, Vogue, and the Los Angeles Times, to defining a new standard for how brands like Maybelline New York and Burger King communicate their stories, to reimagining the digital space between government and citizenry through sites like NY.gov, Gardner and Ralph have radically redrawn the map of challenges a creative agency can confront in today’s digital world.
His efforts in growing Code and Theory have been widely recognized. Code and Theory was named one of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Design” by Fast Company in 2015, an “Agency to Watch” and “Hot Digital Indie” by Advertising Agency in 2014, one of the “Hottest Agencies for Publisher Redesigns” by Digiday, a “Top 50 Design Agency” by .net magazine, and one of the “10 Best Agencies in NYC” by Awwwards.com. Gardner received a BFA from the University of Buffalo in 2001.
Brandon Ralph is Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director at Code and Theory.
With more than a decade of experience designing cross-platform products and brand experiences for clients in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, he and Co-Founder Dan Gardner have led Code and Theory to become one of the largest independent creative agencies in the United States. Since founding the company with Gardner in 2001, it has grown to ~350 employees, with offices in New York City, San Francisco, London, Manila, and Atlanta.
In relaunching the digital destinations for some of the most recognizable names in media—from Vogue.com to the Daily Beast—Ralph's passion for harnessing creative energies has had a pioneering influence on digital publishing. Overseeing the Brand Design Group’s creative output, he employs a dynamic, socially-driven touch-point philosophy to help brands like Maybelline New York and Burger King more effectively tell stories.
His efforts in building Code and Theory have been recognized by Gotham Magazine, who named him on their “Designer Power List” in 2012, New York Observer, who called him “Digital Designer du Jour,” and Business Insider, who dubbed him a “design genius” in 2013. In 2014, Code and Theory was recognized by Advertising Age as an “Agency to Watch,” and in 2015, the agency was listed by Fast Company as one of the world's “Most Innovative Companies.” Prior to founding Code and Theory, Ralph led interactive design projects at Draft Worldwide, for brands such as Maserati, American Express, and Macy’s.
As Managing Partner, New York, of Code and Theory, Michael Treff oversees the digital creative agency’s Product and Marketing practices, comprised of more than 240 employees. Since joining in 2011, the agency has grown 40% year-over-year, and garnered dozens of awards, including Webby’s, AD&D, Cannes Lions, One Show; Code and Theory was also named to Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Companies. Under Treff’s direction the agency has expanded it's capabilities to include organizational and business consulting, industrial design and packaging, a diverse and integrated data practice, as well as worked to help reinvent over 75 publications in the past 6 years.
Treff has more than a decade of experience strategizing and designing innovative digital products for some of the world’s most influential brands and publishers. In 2012, Treff was elevated from director of creative strategy to launch and lead Code and Theory’s Product Design Group—which counts The BBC, NBC, Comcast, Hearst, The Los Angeles Times, and SiriusXM among its clients. Treff firmly established the multi-disciplinary, product-focused creative strategy that sits at the core of the company’s system design and original product development today. He also established an integrated Industrial Design and Packaging practice, further expanding the agency’s service offerings.
Prior to joining Code and Theory, Treff was the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Soundscreen Design, a boutique product design company within Warner Music Group. Additionally, he spent eight years working in various creative and strategic account roles at traditional, digital, and integrated advertising agencies including JWT, Agency.com, and TBWA Chiat / Day, where he worked with brands like Snickers, Skittles, Rolex, Choice Hotels, and Maidenform.
Giordano has more than fifteen years experience positioning, building, and supporting brands, with particular expertise in cross-channel, integrated strategy and planning. Giordano is a partner at Code and Theory, co-leading the Brand Design Group and serving as director of client services for all accounts, including Burger King, Maybelline New York and essie. Prior to joining Code and Theory, she spearheaded results-driven branding campaigns, product launches, and major promotions for brands like IKEA, Maker’s Mark, Virgin America, Doritos, and Lay’s. Giordano brings an extensive and varied integrated lifestyle marketing background to Code and Theory. As earned media becomes crucial to marketing efforts in the digital age, she provides the knowledge and expertise for helping brands more effectively embed themselves in culture. Giordano has distinguished herself as a strategic and creative thinker and a collaborator at heart, who thrives on working across marketing disciplines, practice groups, teams and geographies. Her experience with global clients has provided her a strong knowledge of the global landscape and a unique capability in leading creative programs that have relevance in multiple regions.