About Character

Character is a San Francisco-based, independent creative agency with a passion for launching, rejuvenating and propelling brands. Our goal is to create lasting and meaningful relationships between our clients' brand and their audience through smart thinking and thoughtful design.

Achieving that goal involves much more than moving the needle (which is important, don’t get us wrong). It takes creating a lifestyle image and engaging people on a personal level. We strive to help brands become iconic and to help make products become part of a customer's self-image and everyday life.

Over the past 11 years we've had the pleasure of partnering with some of the world’s most renowned and revered lifestyle brands across multiple categories, from beverage, retail and
e-commerce to footwear and consumer electronics. We've partnered with companies of all sizes and provided a wide range of services, from developing branding systems for successful startups like Android to designing global retail systems for established brands like Nike.

We enjoy what we do, we have fun, and we like meeting people and making friends along the way.


01. Brand Strategy

At Character we build all our creative development on a solid strategic foundation. Without a well-defined core brand strategy, even clever communications risk becoming a hit-or-miss expense. At Character we evaluate our work not just on how good it looks or how innovative it is, but on how effectively it solves our client's strategic and business challenges.

To gain the insights that underpin a sound strategic framework, we work first to fully understand our client's brand and all its attributes. Realizing that no one knows their brand better than the client, we work together with the client to articulate their brand vision, as well as their brand values, culture and personality. We then look at their business in the context of its competitive landscape. We analyze relevant market trends, and we define audience requirements and patterns of behavior. If necessary, we supplement existing audience research by conducting our own focus groups and other ethnographic studies.

  • Brand Strategy & Positioning
  • Brand Architecture
  • Brand Plan
  • Naming Development
  • Content Creation
  • Research
02. Brand Identity

Whether we're creating a new identity, or evolving an existing one, our approach to identity development is guided by the same principles. We work closely with our clients to handcraft systems that draw people in, make people think, and are hard to forget. Our design exploration is rigorous. We assemble a team of writers and designers to develop an identity that represents our client’s unique character, creates differentiation, and leaves a lasting impression on their audience.

We look at brand identity systems holistically, considering all visual elements including logo, typography, color, iconography, and photography. The systems we create are both timeless and dynamic, designed to evolve with the business, service or product they represent.

  • Brand Identity
  • Messaging Development
  • Creative Testing
  • Business Applications
  • Brand Book
  • Brand Guidelines
03. Brand Experience

With the graphical building blocks established, we begin to bring our client's brand to life by combining powerful visuals and effective messaging to create consistent and lasting branded experiences.

Today people interact with brands in more ways than ever before. To create truly holistic brand experiences, we execute across multiple channels, in both on- and offline media. From retail and event applications, to packaging systems and integrated digital experiences, we tell compelling brand stories that communicate a clear message to a targeted audience.

We take enormous pride in our work, partnering with best-in-class print, production and media teams to ensure that the work exceeds expectations and leaves a lasting impressing with consumers.

  • Website UX/UI
  • Mobile UX/UI
  • Marketing Collateral
  • Packaging Systems
  • Retail Systems
  • Environmental Design
  • Event Systems




Ben Pham
Partner / Strategy

Ben began his career in 1994 as a designer at Hidekawa Skugstad Design where he was the lead designer for the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Ballet accounts. In 1997, Ben joined Cahan & Associates as Senior Designer, leaving in 1999 to co-found Character with longtime friends Tish (who is now his wife) and Rishi.

At Character, Ben has worked with clients such as Apple, Nike, MTV, Kohler, Levi Strauss, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn Kids and Android.

When Ben is not scheming for his next project you’ll find him knee-deep in fresh powder on the slopes in Tahoe.

Tish Evangelista
Partner / Creative Director

After dabbling in photography and broadcast news in Manila in the Philippines, Tish relocated to California to pursue a career in graphic design. After graduating from CCA, Tish joined Chronicle Books, where she was Art Director on titles such as Danish Chairs, Runway Madness, A Good Day for Salad and Sumo.

While at Character, Tish has led projects for Nike, Kohler, Restoration Hardware, National Geographic, Pottery Barn Kids and Shutterfly.

Outside of Character you will find Tish tending to her Yorkie, Wally, updating her blog, or finding new places to scuba dive.

Rishi Shourie
Partner / Creative Director

Rishi began his career at Foote Cone & Belding’s retail design group, where he created retail, packaging and branding programs for Levi Strauss as well as print and TV advertising for clients such as MTV and Sega. In 1999, Rishi left Foote Cone to co-found Character.

Rishi shares creative responsibilities with Ben and Tish. Over the years his clients have included Nikewomen, Kohler, Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, Pottery Barn Kids, Danger Inc., and Apple.

When he's not hard at work you’ll find Rishi in the park with his Pomeranian, Cowboy.

Ollie Ralph
Partner / Managing Director

Ollie is a recent addition to the Character team who comes to us from the land of tea and crumpets. Before Character, Ollie spent six years at the international branding, advertising and digital agency Dentsu ATTIK, where he led their business development efforts.

During his career Ollie has won accounts across multiple industries, and from successful startups such as Icon Aircraft and OnLive, as well as established brands like the NFL, Shutterfly, LucasArts and Sony.

When he's not drumming up new business you'll find Ollie pursuing his passion for triathlons.


Join Our Team

We’re always looking for talented and passionate people to join our team.

If you're interested, feel free to email us your resume (jobs@charactersf.com). If you're attaching your portfolio, please limit the file size to 6MB.

Currently Looking For

Senior Brand Strategist
Art Director
Senior Designer
Front End Developer