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ELEVENDY talks about being the new visual assassins of entertainment, ads

From video games to sports teams, Roseville design firm makes its presence felt
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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For information about ELEVENDY, or to see its key art, designs and blogs, visit: http://www.elevendy.com

They think of themselves as creative ninjas, and one glance at the moody intensity and cosmic-coded dynamics of their visions and it’s not hard to see why a young Roseville design team is taking the katana blade to its competitors.

Though only two years have past since Dave Cox and Wil Wells teamed up to start ELEVENDY — an image studio that does the heavy lifting for celebrity brands, sports teams, small businesses and video games — they’ve already assembled a group of mavericks who collectively made a huge showing at this year’s Addy Awards, taking home 14 and 29 gold trophies.

As far as the team’s concerned, the sky’s the limit in what it might achieve in the advertisement and entertainment industries.

Cox is the son of a graphic designer and has himself 25 years of experience in various tech fields. Wells is a former musician and die-hard comic book fanatic with an eye for bold experiments in the digital medium. Together, the two made a conscious decision to locate ELEVENDY in Roseville, with hopes the city’s high quality of life would help draw top-notch talent to their new firm. Both men also hope continued success will put the Sacramento region on the map for creative consulting and design.

“Basically, we’re called in when a client has an idea that’s bigger than they can actually execute,” is how Cox explains it. “The people Will and I have added to our team are passionate about the style of work we put out, and the level of clients we do business with on the national and international level.”

And the group Cox and Wells assembled has remained extremely busy. They recently created the cover art for “Assassin’s Creed” and “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” — top-selling video games that were global sensations. The team also designed a series of nearly mythic-looking player images for the Sacramento Kings. A number of jewel-colored, high-action character frames for California Family Fitness proved that ELEVENDY could apply its same skills to dramatic effect for an average, mainstream business.

With projects that now stretch from Utah to Brazil, the team has no shortage of clients to talk about. Still, it’s the mention of a pro-bono job ELEVENDY recently got involved with that brings out the real grins inside its office on Galilee Drive: Cox, Wells and crew are teaming up with the likes of Seth Green, Samm Levine, Weird Al Yankovic and Chris Hardwick, founder of the Nerdist blog. Together, these personalities and ELEVENDY are creating a vast, digital art narrative that will be auctioned off as seven 24-by-36-inch gallery wrapped canvas prints and a massive 36-by-168-inch canvas print. The proceeds from the auction will benefit Operation Smile, a nonprofit group of cosmetic surgeons who operate on children with extreme facial disfigurations.

ELEVENDY was brought into the project through the image work it’s done with Team Unicorn, a group of femme fatale “geek girls” that includes actress Clare Grant, wife of Seth Green.

“A lot of celebrities use the type of images we create to help pitch different show and project ideas,” Cox said. “In some cases it could make the difference in helping an agent or executive picture them in another type of role than what he or she is known for.”

One of the biggest dreams Cox and Wills are now focusing on is designing big-budget film posters and promotions. At the moment, a mere six design companies are splitting up the lion’s share of that work. The ELEVENDY team thinks its unique visual lens could eventually crack that market.

“We have an environment where ideas get escalated,” Will observed. “We throw things out there that are grand and epic in scale.”

He added, “We’re always evolving with the looks we come up with, because the most important thing to us is to be creating something new — something that’s never been seen before.”