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

Copy of The Producer

An exploratory process concerned more with free association and creating a vibe than a verbal concept that leads to unexpected and eclectic outcomes.

We work through multiple avenues of form-making that could range from painting styles to a typographic approach to materials studies. Each exploration is done independent of any other one (meaning we don’t worry about how these directions will play together).

We then take all the work we’ve generated and and combine, edit and recombine to design the deliverables.

Well-suited for projects with shorter deadlines, a high amount of creative freedom, and few stakeholders.

Project examples: Rise Up Cleaning | Easy Answer EP



1.1 — The Producer is a non-nonceptual approach to design so traditional research — reading, basically — is off the table. Instead research is a personal matter: we find out what you think about the project — intent, associations, influences, whatever. Then we find out what WE think about the project.

1.2 — We then conduct visual research based on the various ideas, influences, and free associations that we came up with. This might be genres, styles, artists, art movements or tax forms.

We’ll present a document of what areas we want to explore. Each page contains an overview of a visual idea (this might be an art movement, a style, a technique) and why it’s relevant to the project. You will then let us know what imagery and approaches resonate with you.


From there we’ll start exploring the research. We could be making collages, taking photos, designing graphics, drawing or who knows what else. Our goal is to generate stacks of sketches, studies and imagery that can be used in the actual design.


Once we hit a predetermined target—a number of hours, a key date, or just having explored each idea—we take the visual exploration and assemble it into designed deliverables. The diversity of visuals created and how they can be used together means that this stage can create wildly different options. We might present upwards of 10 options.


Depending on the timeline refinement might be a minor adjustment to one option or it could be taking a version and exploring it further.


  1. For an extreme deadline (under 8 hours): rather than make new imagery we may be able to go through existing formal studies and repurpose unused art.
    Example: the painting used on the Halifax demo was originally produced for the Josh Harmony EP.

  2. The method is designed for projects with a multi-day timeline but its also in response to areas of production where a central concept isn’t as necessary (or even desired) so it can be expanded for more complex or larger projects allowing for more thorough exploration at each stage. The initial visual research and exploration stages can be treated as sketching for a more intense Design phase.

Josh Harmony “Easy Answer” EP. The visual research that ended up in the final version was hand-made typography, physical materials (paper texture), vintage 45 sleeve art, and a labelling style that looked like it could be part of a series.