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Brian makes complex motion designs look simple

By BB Bickel

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Image by Thad Allen

When asked what he does, our motion designer Brian Dionisi very simply says, “I make videos of complicated concepts and use shapes and colors to make them understandable and easy to follow.” That is Brian’s approach in a nutshell. He gets to the very essence of a topic so anyone can understand it. 

But this isn’t surprising from someone who has two degrees and a storied career. Brian is well versed in picking up new skills and applying them to his day-to-day work. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Printmaking from the University of Central Florida, he went on to teach English as a second language in Italy. Then he came back to the U.S. to teach Italian and later graduated from the University of Washington with a Master of Arts in Italian studies. All mixed in were his stints as a customer service representative, a quality rater for Google, and a translator for a startup. 

Having drawn all his life, Brian became a freelance illustrator. He got into the Seattle arts scene by participating in a comics collective where a group of cartoonists self-published and distributed a quarterly anthology around the Pacific Northwest. It was then he decided he wanted a career in illustration, design, and animation, where he could develop characters for TV shows. So he went back to school for digital media-animation at Otis College of Art and Design in California. But his love of moving from one adventure to the next led him to a new opportunity—a design internship at an aerospace company. 

When Brian saw 2A’s job posting for a motion designer, his eyes lit up. Here was a creative agency that was neither a startup nor a big, faceless corporation. His hunch was validated during the interview process, where it was clear that 2A’s welcoming atmosphere meant he could be a vital part of the team. 

Outside of work, Brian draws fantastical and whimsical characters and environments, influenced greatly by 70s French sci-fi cartoonists. He’s singularly drawn to the aesthetic shape of the egg because of its fluid curves, and this shape informs his endless fussing over home décor decisions. Brian is also extremely meticulous and detailed, a trait that bodes well for developing tricky motion videos. 

When asked what he’d like to be known for the most, he replied, “I want to be that approachable person you can easily talk to about anything while also putting a smile on your face.” Having already won the hearts of 2A clients—and staff—we think his hopes have already been set in motion. 

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Olivia sees the big picture in consulting

By BB Bickel

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Image by Emily Zheng

Being an anthropologist makes for a great consultant. What’s that again? Yes, when it comes to Olivia Witt, 2A consultant extraordinaire, her years spent learning why people are the way they are now helps her wow 2A clients. Adding to her expertise on the science of humanity, her previous tenure at boutique marketing and advertising agencies revealed her love for producing content that best reflects a brand’s vision.

While studying anthropology, Olivia became a real coffee nerd. During college she helped the Husky Grind, the school’s only student-led specialty coffee shop. For three years she worked with farmers and roasters all over the world to learn about the roasting process, ordered coffees for the shop, and attended cuppings (coffee tastings). Ask her what a double espresso with three ounces of seltzer water—a drink known as espressoda—tastes like, and she’ll swoon!

Olivia is also a photography buff, a passion that stemmed from an anthropology course taught by a National Geographic photographer. She got the picture-taking bug so intensely that when she traveled to India for her honors thesis, half of the 90-page paper featured her ethnographic photos, which captured the textile industry in South India. During her senior year in college, Olivia served as a photography intern at the Seattle Met, honing her skills on depicting people in their everyday lives. Because Olivia finds snapping shots of people in their own element fascinating, she always wears her Nikon camera around her neck when she is out and about—she never knows when she’ll see the perfect human tableau.

One thing that likely no one else but Olivia can say is that they have 16 pets, which includes two dogs, a bearded dragon, and a giant green iguana. Yes, they all live inside and yes, she loves them all equally.

Olivia, who firmly believes that 2A is the unicorn of all companies, adds to its uniqueness with her ability to be a welcoming resource from coffee to copy—and we know clients will appreciate her distinct perspective on every project.

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Three stand-out technology trends for 2023

By BB Bickel, Richa Dubey, Mai Sennaar

image of a paper calendar. The 2022 page is being removed, showing just the 2023 page

Image by Thad Allen

A new year always presages new trends and developments in the constantly fluctuating world of technology. Since technology is part of 2A’s DNA, it’s only natural that we’d pick out a few trends to highlight. Three notable movements stand out to us, which were backed up by their featured prominence at the latest AWS re:Invent conference. They are:

  • Innovation can be experimental and disruptive
  • Responsibility and bias mitigation in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
  • Sustainable and renewable technologies

Solutions arise from falling in love with the problem, not the product

Technology companies are making high-quality, high-velocity decisions. The outstanding ones remain stubborn on vision and flexible on details. Those that focus on building features customers will love, whether or not it’s the easiest feature to make, will succeed. Experimentation is the holy grail this year, with the goal of being bold and disruptive while innovating. True innovation is agreeing first on what the customer would love, and then developing a product to address that desire (or need), not the other way around.

Innovation also involves a bias for action, with blessings to move ahead with 70 percent of the data. This goes back to the roots of AWS. As Jeff Bezos said in his 2015 letter to shareholders, “…failure and invention are inseparable twins…Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time. But you’re still going to be wrong nine times out of ten…Big winners pay for so many experiments.”

Thus, if technology companies are going to win big, they’re going to fail big too. They will walk through the door and close it behind them. It’s all part of the process. They will constantly reinvent themselves by keeping the dynamism of Day 1 and consider a Day 2 mentality as stasis.

Responsibility in AI and ML

Diversity brings more perspectives to the table and is therefore critical to building responsible and inclusive AI and ML. Only with truly diverse teams can a company mitigate bias in their algorithms. People are at the center of these technologies and drive the decisions; machines only make recommendations.

People-centric design has become a different model for AI, as it considers others and seeks out not only explicit but implicit bias. Today, leadership places emphasis on helping engineers develop the right skills so that fairness, integrity, and dignity become part of AI’s DNA. In fact, in December, Amazon’s Machine Learning University launched a new course, “Responsible AI—Bias Mitigation & Fairness Criteria.” It is an entry-level course for technical individuals and explains where bias in AI systems comes from, how to measure it, and ultimately how to mitigate bias as much as possible. Since AI and machine learning touch so many aspects of peoples’ lives, it’s crucial to build trust and prevent disadvantages among subgroups of customers.


Sustainability could conceivably be the most important word in our world today. The statistics on climate change are horrific and only a focus on sustainability and renewable energy will make a dent. Thankfully, wind and solar energy technologies are growing at an unprecedented rate, and there is a greater interdependence between gas and electricity. According to Gartner, 80 percent of CEOs who plan to invest in new or improved products in the coming year cited environmental sustainability as the third largest driver, making it a competitive differentiator.

Among the cloud providers, AWS has done the lion’s share of work toward sustainability. The company’s mandate is to achieve net zero carbon by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Climate Accords, and it is working toward 80 percent renewable energy by 2024. Amazon buys more renewable energy than any other corporate buyer on the planet. In addition, Amazon has already invested $2 billion in clean technology.

As we kick off the third year of what has been the most unpredictable decade of the 21st century, here’s to making disruption work for us—and our planet.