Headquartered in the heart of sunny San Diego, Ignyte is a different kind of branding firm. We specialize in brand strategy, identity systems, and storytelling, offering a unique range of expertise under one roof. Our purpose is to help companies discover their authenticity, and leverage it to create brand stories that are irresistibly compelling.
When it comes to the faces behind the story, we’re about as eclectic a group as you’ll find. We’re experts in behavioral sciences, communications, visual arts, and technology. We’re fans of rock n’ roll and house music, surfing and snowboarding, sushi and pasta, lattes and green tea. We hail from far-flung corners of the map, and our office is a cacophony of dialects (even our office dog Maya is a rescue from the Mexican jungle). Diversity is our strength but at the end of the day we all speak a singular and unified language: brand authenticity.
It’s a madhouse out there. A real-time, always-on, consumer-driven circus. Brands will sacrifice anything to stay relevant. Even integrity. But when brands try to be something to everyone, they end up being nothing to no one. Consumers don’t identify with compromise. They identify with sincerity, originality, and truth. In short: authenticity.
We believe that when it comes to brands nothing is more essential than authenticity. It’s where purpose, integrity, and passion are born. It sets the stage for honest and heartfelt storytelling. It allows for the profound simplicity that is the hallmark of great design. At Ignyte, we help brands discover their authenticity. It ain’t easy. But, trust us, figuring out who you are and what you stand for is worth a little sweat and tears. After all, there’s one thing every brand should know. Itself.
We are Passionate
We bring an ardent fervor to each and every project we take on. We channel our all-consuming quest for authenticity into your brand’s unique needs and goals.
We are Imaginative
We refuse to rely on stock solutions to strategic planning and creative execution. Our efforts are inspired by boundless ingenuity and unconventional inventiveness.
We are Insightful
Authentic brands are the product of profound introspection. A keen awareness of subtle yet important truths allows us to get at the heart of who you are.
We are Collaborative
If there’s one thing we know it’s that we can’t do it alone. In building your brand, we place the utmost value on open communication and cooperative efforts.
We are Fearless
We aren’t afraid to try bold and innovative strategies that defy conventional wisdom. Safe, conservative, status quo: for us, these serve only as guidelines of what not to do.
We value Excellence
Our standards for your brand’s quality are exceedingly high. We settle for nothing less than exceptional strategic direction and flawless creative execution.
CEO / Chief Brand Strategist
Equal parts eccentric madman and consummate creative genius, Brian helms the Ignyte ship, channeling his relentless passion into realizing the firm’s vision and mission. With degrees in both Communication and Psychology from UCSD, and more than a decade in design and branding, Brian brings a deep-seated interest in behavioral sciences to Ignyte’s unique approach. His strategic vision and creative flair—coupled with a brutally honest and obsessive personality—drive Ignyte’s goal to reclaim brand authenticity. Brian works closely with clients to ensure optimal brand positioning and a compelling brand experience. In his spare time Brian can be found surfing, snowboarding, or hiking somewhere within the idyllic Southern California landscape.
Ricki Yael Subel
Ricki is the deft choreographer of Ignyte’s many valuable accounts, ensuring that client relationships remain our top priority. She’s both the graceful swan gliding across the pond and the frenetic feet paddling beneath. Ricki holds a degree in Communications from UC San Diego, and previously worked in marketing for a French television network and a large-scale Midwestern retail company. Born in South Africa, she has spent time living in both France and Argentina, and is fluent in French, Spanish, Italian, and German. An avowed yogi and bookworm, Ricki also has a keen eye for photography, a hobby she finds as fulfilling as it is challenging.
For nearly 15 years, Doug has worked in communications across a broad spectrum of industries. He’s also dabbled in journalism, writing feature and column pieces for publications both local and international. Prior to his work with Ignyte, Doug served as Director of Communications for Father Joe’s Villages, the largest homeless services provider in Southern California. His savvy as a wordsmith is complemented by a deep understanding of the nuances that make brands authentic. When he’s not banging his head against his keyboard, trying to find the perfect word to describe your brand, Doug can be found at live music venues throughout San Diego or, often, in the ocean somewhere.
André Couturier Maitret is as eccentric as they come. A visual artist in every sense of the word, he rocks an inimitable personal style inspired by his native French-Mexican heritage and impassioned creative vision. André was born in San Diego but spent most of his youth in Veracruz, Mexico. His talents range from digital illustration and 3D animation, to video game development and web design, to photography and videography. His eye for aesthetics has served him well for more than a decade in digital marketing and fine arts. André brings his distinct creative flair to every project, ensuring that your brand’s personality is authentically represented in its visual expression.
To say that Claudia is a stickler for details would be the understatement of this website. With a master’s degree in Graphic Communications and more than 15 years experience in corporate identity and editorial and digital design, Claudia brings a fanatical meticulousness to every client project. Prior to her work with Ignyte, she was creative director and partner at Quatro Design, before which she held graphic design positions at Bear Stearns, NY and Stock Alper & Associates. A native-born Spanish speaker, she has the unique proficiency of working skillfully with bilingual material. Whichever language she’s working in, Claudia’s most obsessive compulsion is delivering exceptional work to our clients.
Bradford is the aesthetic assassin behind much of Ignyte’s bold, minimalist design. He has a degree in Digital Art and Design from UC Irvine and over decade of experience creating sharp, engaging online experiences. A product of the startup culture, Bradford has worked to realize the vision of many early-stage growth companies. Prior to Ignyte, he served as Art Director for the creative agency Macleod Asare Chan. Bradford’s obsession with typography, detail, and minimalism have made him an ideal fit at Ignyte. In his free time he extends his design skills to video, interactive art, and Japanese gardening.
April Huff, Ph.D.
Brand Research Director
A research sociologist with a doctorate in Sociology and Science Studies from UC San Diego, April is an expert at understanding the complexities of consumer opinions and behaviors. She’s passionate about research and its ability to uncover the surprising truths that shape a brand’s story. April has over 10 years experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative research, including one-on-one interviews, participant observation, focus groups, and surveys. She specializes in organizational culture and change, and is skilled at parsing data to extract actionable insights for your brand. After running two half marathons, April has decided that 10Ks are really the perfect length.
Jon Shafran, Ph.D.
Brand Research Analyst
A sociologist by training, Jon has over a decade of experience gleaning valuable insights from the study of social groups. His skills in qualitative and quantitative analysis are central to Ignyte’s robust research offering. Jon’s work brings to light the important perceptions of your customers and employees. He holds an MA in sociology and is completing his doctorate at UC San Diego, where he’s created and instructed courses on research methods and design. Jon takes advantage of San Diego’s 146 days of sunshine by hiking the county’s scenic terrain and exploring its seemingly endless array of world-class taco shops.
A product of South Carolina, Marc Hedges personifies “Southern charm at its best.” For 20 years he’s delivered innovative, brand-focused creative execution. His work experience is ever evolving—designer, entrepreneur, operations manager, creative executive, mentor, and more. His design leadership has driven brand identities, advertising, and event promotions within a variety of industries. Marc serves on the boards of both San Diego AIGA and the Digital Arts Center at UC San Diego Extensions, where he participates in class critiques and mentors students. When he’s not breathing life into the vision of our clients, Marc enjoys quality time with his wife Susan, daughter Fiona, and dog Chloe.
Greg is no stranger to the development of dynamic websites that convey authentic brand narratives. Since founding a web development firm while attending UCSD, Greg has become proficient in all areas of web design, development, and digital marketing. He’s helped thousands of businesses worldwide with online and offline enterprise-level projects. Critical to Ignyte’s mission to embrace mobile, Greg architected our unique framework for developing responsive, mobile-first projects that help our clients better connect with customers. In addition to a husband and father, Greg is a die-hard surfer. You can be sure his thoughts are on the waves when he’s not busy marshaling the Ignyte development team.
Since the earliest days of the paid search era, Brent has leveraged his unique background in business development and analysis to generate impressive results from all the major search network advertising platforms. For 12 years he’s been building and managing lucrative digital marketing campaigns for companies across a broad range of industries. Brent’s approach emphasizes incremental improvements through meticulous strategy, testing, and optimization. When he’s not obsessing over CPAs and CTRs, Brent plays soccer and is a fervent supporter of the Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. #COYS!
Zoë hails from Boulder, Colorado and studied at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. She went on to get her degree in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College in New York City—a background that serves her well within Ignyte’s behavioral sciences-driven approach. In addition to her dedication to client service, Zoë offers up a range of expertise, including market research, customer interviews, content development, project management, and more. She grew up partly in Mexico learning how to dance kumbia while her Spanish fluency got muy bueno. Zoë has a deep and unabashed affinity for popsicles, unicorns, cats, and writing.