We didn’t go bankrupt, we just went back to the garage.

You might think of Otterbox as the accessory that keeps the phone-you-spent-too-much-on© safe. But it’s a company with a true American Dream story: An entrepreneur who actually began in his garage. Stratospheric success and failure. And a commitment to corporate philanthropy that goes deeper than PR-ready photo ops. After 20 years, Otter had quite a story to tell. In fact, here’s how we told it.

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Company culture could no longer just be passed down over IPA’s at ‘Tap & Handle’.

When a small, tight-knit company suddenly becomes a multinational behemoth, it needs new ways of giving employees a sense of the culture that led to its success in the first place. For Otter, that meant instilling its founders’ values of innovation, dedication, and a true spirit of giving back to their community. Our video was a key part of the 20th anniversary celebration, and we developed a series of posters conveying these values that stayed true to the brand’s rugged Colorado roots.


Otter’s 20th anniversary was a watershed moment in the company’s history, and the video told the brand’s story to a new generation of Otter employees. The video led their efforts at CES as they launched their new outdoor lines of coolers. Telling the company’s story on the video also equipped Otter’s internal PR team to pitch the Otter story to outside media, leading to Founder Curt Richardson being featured on an episode of the wildly popular “How I Built This” podcast, which averages 19.2 million monthly downloads.

Behind the scenes

The T&C team visited with Frank Baseman at Basepress to find wood type specimens that represented the Otterbox garage band aesthetic. Proof sheets were loaned out, scanned in, and repurposed for layouts.

Proof sheets collected from Basepress.

We casted a young Curt Richardson to tell his origin story.

On location where it all started.

Fort Collins, home to Otterbox and great chow.

The printing press at Basepress.


Creative Director & Writer: Brendan Quinn
Director: Anders Lindwall, Childe Production
Designers: Tim Gough & Stephen Penning
Case Study Photographer: Tom Ammon