Fritz Mesenbrink & Jeremy Pelley are the invincible duo behind creative agency The Official Manufacturing Company, aka OMFGCO.
Not only do they know a thing or two about design, but their execution is impeccable. These guys have truly done it all! From design, full brand identities, logos, signage, packaging, advertising, and more, the amount of companies that OMFGCO has worked with is vast. Their client roster includes Nike, Google, Ace Hotel, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and many more.
OMFGCO’s work is definitely no stranger to Portlanders. When visiting their SE industrial studio the amount of cool stuff situated into their spacious and open studio was stimulating from the moment we entered. Co-founders Jeremy and Fritz are equal parts consultants, designers, ad men, strategists, critical thinkers and brandologists. And, man, do these guys know how to make things look good! Check out the interview (it turns out they both really love global climate change!) and photos of their studio.
1. Why Portland? What was it that drew you to Portland or has kept you here?
F: I ended up here after college in 2002 and have been here ever since. I love the lifestyle and the global warming has been really nice here, too.
J: At first, skateboarding brought me here in the late 90s. All of the benefits of the west coast with none of the California. I left in 1998 and then came back in 2005 to join WK12 year 2. Got a job as the lead Art Director for Ace Hotel, opened three properties, then moved on to establish OMFGCO. The quality of life keeps me here.
2. What are your favorite things happening in Portland (design or otherwise)?
F: I love all of the small companies stared by people who are making/doing something cool and passionate about what they do.
J: Climate change is very real, and seems to be affecting Portland in a positive way. (Sorry, rest of the world.) Also, I like all of the efforts in making a forward-thinking city on all fronts.
3. How did your brand start?
F: J and I landed a project together and about a week into it we said, “We should do this all the time!” So we started a company on a whim at the height of the recession. 5 years later we know a lot more about running a company and have a better idea of what we don’t know, too.
J: We were both tired of working mostly alone, and liked the idea of working together on some stuff. We got offered to brand Olympic Provisions, and that was enough torus to make Official Mfg Co a real thing. We bought officialmanufacturingcompany.com, officialmfgco.com, and then finally stumbled across omfgco.com. It was a gift from the universe.
4. What has been your biggest obstacle?
F: Being a creative person and learning everything the hard way, so yeah, definitely ourselves.
5. What or who inspires your design?
F: Depends on the project for sure. We go deep into research and always find something new to inspire us. Whether it’s learning about flipped classrooms or New Orleans voodoo we’re inspired by finding insights and then figuring out how best to translate them.
J: Everything in the world.
6.What are your favorite things about Portland?
F: Spirit of 77, Woodblock Chocolate, Olympic Provisions, Clyde Common, Stumptown, Ace Hotel, Natural Selection, Portland Meadows, Beam & Anchor, Double Dragon and so on.
J: The bridges, the summers, the food, the coffee, and all of the amazing people.
7. What is your favorite part of your studio?
F: The water cooler. It’s where all the good conversation happens.
J: The far corner over there behind the shelf.
8. Your favorite thing about your workspace?
F : I love the main bay outside of our studio. It’s just such a beautiful building to walk into everyday.
J: It's size. Roomy
9. Tell us two truths and a lie!
F: I used to rappel out of helicopters and put out fires / I suffer from insomnia / I speak German.
J: am typing right now, listening to Beirut, and the sky is falling.
10. 5 things you can’t live without.
F: My wife, my son, cheeseburgers, fries, coca-cola.