The MVA Studio creates original and effective graphic design through fast and easy collaboration.

About

The MVA Studio was founded and operated by Joshua Hardisty and Kimberlee Whaley. We want to design books, packaging, marketing, and installations around projects that matter. To us. Music, art, people whose business is their passion. That’s what we care about.

Writing bios has never been our strong suit. Here’s 5 lists that might give better insight into to who we are and what we do:

5 THINGS THAT WE BELIEVE

  1. Quantity over quality
    We don’t try to make good work. We create a lot of work and then just pick out the best stuff. 

  2. Process is everything
    We believe the method determines the quality of the outcome. We don’t worry about making good work because we have good methods.

  3. Production beats perfection
    We don’t believe in perfection and think the pursuit of it very often compromises the quality by cutting into the time needed to execute the work and manage production. 

  4. Design should be easy
    If it’s hard you’re doing it wrong.

  5. Meet early and often
    We don’t believe in waiting to present work until its finished or a presenting a single option (or, really, even 3). We want to show work before we have a chance to get attached to it. You know how designers talk about being passionate about a solution? That’s not us. We’re passionate about the process but try to be dispassionate about the outcomes. We want you to decide what to move forward with and we want everybody involved to be on the same program.


4 PROJECTS WE’RE MOST PROUD OF

  1. New Skateboard Graphics
    We wrote and designed this book for Mark Batty Publisher in 4 months (while working 4 days a week at Knock AND teaching) despite having never written or designed a book before. And it still holds up.

  2. RUR poster
    This was the 2nd or 3rd project we did utilizing Bedno diagrams and it was a breakthrough. We NEVER would have had an idea like this prior to 2013. The method changed everything.

  3. Josh Harmony “Easy Answer” EP
    This was another process break through. Over the course of a couple of weeks Joshua drew type, made paintings, created patterns, and experimented with images in Photoshop. Then he just started throwing all those pieces together to see how they interacted. The final result hit a lot of the points that were discussed with the band but was still a surprise.

  4. Adidas EQT installations at UBIQ, A Ma Maniere and Notre
    “The second legit experiential project I worked on. I learned a ton about prototyping and producing large-scale works (like, ask more questions to your vendors) but also made something cool: an in-store exhibition of Wolfgang Tillmans’ campaign photography (including actual Tillmans’ books at each site) and a history of the EQT that was displayed on a 8’ tall freestanding museum storage wall.”—mvajoshua (designed when he was at Latitude).


3 PROJECTS THAT WE BLEW IT ON

  1. Atmosphere “Fishing Blues”
    The project was fun and turned out great but I was working full-time at Latitude and agreed to do it because the time-frame was supposed to be brutally fast (2 weeks). But, of course, it went longer than that because its an important project and my communication/response times sucked. Sorry Rhymesayers. We really did appreciate the opportunity but we also didn’t do another project for a year and a half because we didn’t want a repeat performance.

  2. “Ordinarily Here” exhibition materials for the Weisman Art Museum
    The design of this turned out awesome but and it’s a big BUT, we learned a rough lesson about dealing with copy: ALWAYS COPY AND PASTE FROM THE CLIENTS MATERIALS. Never type it in yourself. Never ever. This project went to print with one of the artists names not even spelled wrong but completely made up because Joshua put in as placeholder. Then the client approved it. More than once. So a second lesson: ALWAYS PROOF AGAINST A MASTER DOCUMENT.

  3. Asche & Spencer “Box Set”
    We learned the “always trust your gut” rule hard on this one. We loved the client and the graphic design turned out great but the strategy was wrong. We stuffed our doubts way down and said nothing. The karmic debt was real. Everything that could’ve went wrong on this one did and we lost a lot of money, time and credibility with the client.


2 AWARDS THAT WE REALLY CARE ABOUT

  1. 2017 — Type Director’s Club Communication Design
    for “Latitude Realty: Life Is Community” poster (designed by Joshua at Latitude)

  2. 2011 — AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers
    for “DIY Album Art: Paper Bags & Office Supplies)


1 THING WE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED EARLIER

  1. Try to have interesting problems. In our first period of business we had all the normal boring problems:

    “How are we gonna pay the insurance this month?”
    “Did you hear back about the project?”
    “Should we get jobby jobs?”

This time we’re trying to have good problems like “How are we gonna get all this work done?” or “We need to hire 3 freelancers right now”. Cool problems.