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What’s Kept Matchstic Burning After 20 Years?

It’s hard to believe, but it’s the 20th anniversary of Matchstic. That’s two decades of building incredible brands while hunching over our keyboards the way our doctors told us not to. 

Back in 2003, we didn’t have a grand vision for Matchstic, but we were confident success was possible if we treated people well and did good work. It wasn’t until 2008 that we started searching for a greater purpose. Back then, books like "Good to Great" by Jim Collins and "Designing Brand Identity," by Alina Wheeler were transforming the way we thought about Matchstic. 

That’s when brand identity became our focus.

Branding is so much more than logos. It’s an exercise in empathy, listening, and seeing our clients for who they are. It’s a dynamic fusion of research, strategy, visuals, and words that breathe life into companies. Great design can go far, but the thinking behind the design is what inspires others to carry it with them.

2008 was the year we decided our purpose was to help clients find their purpose—to raise flags they were proud to fly. But to do that, we knew we were going to have to do things differently.


Radically Relevant

Today, we define that difference as being radical and relevant. A concept so important Blake wrote a book on it. Too often, brands grow insular and fail to evolve for the needs of their audience, thus becoming irrelevant. Other brands, meanwhile, shy away from distinctive and original ideas and turn invisible—losing their distinction. 

For us, being radical and relevant is how brands come to life. It’s how companies use their identity, audience, and market position to succeed. 

It’s the culmination of our 20-year practice and how we make a positive impact for our clients in a more effective, efficient, and—frankly—fun way.


The Difference is People

As we celebrate Matchstic's 20-year journey, we want to recognize the people who made it possible. 

Every teammate has guided, supported, and inspired us to be who we are now. Without their trust, time, and passion, the impact on our clients wouldn’t be anything like it is today. Our team is what makes radically relevant somehow radically possible. 

After 20 years, I'm constantly reminded of the impact our team makes and I love seeing our work out in the wild helping great organizations better project their identity into the world.

In many ways, Matchstic feels like an overnight success, but we have the fond memories and hard work to prove it was 20 years in the making. So, let’s raise our glasses and recognize the people who have taken us this far, and to many more years of creativity, collaboration, and kindness. We're thrilled to have you with us!

With gratitude,

Craig Johnson