We’ve reached an important milestone at ps:studios. We’ve turned 30. And like a lot of “millennials”, we’ve been reflecting on our life so far. Let’s take it way back to the beginning. ps:studios was born when Peter Shikany — the guy behind the PS in our name — was hired by the prestigious Phoenix ad agency Pollick & Associates…and then laid off a year later when the company lost their biggest client. But the owner, Dan Pollick, saw Peter’s talent and set him up with office space to start his own design firm. He took advantage of that generous offer for a couple weeks before striking out on his own renting a small space in downtown Phoenix.
You might say Peter was wearing many hats at first. Actually, he was wearing all the hats. His one-person shop was doing a lot of great work and getting noticed in the community. Soon, Peter was able to hire the first two employees in late 1989. Judy Smith retired last year, and the other, Margaret Dixon, is still here working everyday. The company kept growing, with more and more talented people calling ps:studios home. When it came time to find a bigger space, Peter purchased an iconic building designed by Al Beadle — the father of desert modernism. We’re not sure whether Peter did it out of a passion for design and architecture or because he used to skateboard on the site when he was a kid. (OK, maybe a little bit of both).
Peter’s always been a strong believer in a healthy work-life balance. This attitude helped create a company where people are relaxed and happy at work. And when you’re in a good mood, it’s easier to create award-winning work. We’ve had two team members named “Art Director of the Year” by the ADDYs. And we’ve won more local, regional and national accolades than we can name and maintain any sense of modesty.
Of course, we couldn’t have done any of this work without so many excellent clients — some of whom have been with us from the beginning. We’re proud of our long-term relationships, like 29 years with Jarson & Jarson Real Estate and over 20 years working with illy caffe. We’re also pretty thrilled to have done projects for nearly every cultural and arts institution in Phoenix. Each client gets our best work and our full attention.
So now that we’re in our 30’s, what’s next? You might have noticed we changed our name from P.S. Studios to ps:studios. Might seem like a little thing but, in the world of design, there are no small changes. The colon grammatically signifies, “that what comes after it defines what precedes it” – A nod to the very talented people who make up the studio. We’re looking forward to building on the company that Peter created and taking that vision into new and exciting places.