Our Agency
We’re an agency defined by a clear purpose: to use branding, messaging, and design as a catalyst for positive change.

Our Belief

Branding & brand strategy are solutions that extend beyond the confines of business.
Purpose-driven brands can become the vehicle to create positive change. It's a belief that starts with our own agency and one we bring to every project. Our services are built to empower change-making organizations with a desire for global impact.

Purpose as Power

Responsibility and purpose are brand assets - not sacrifices.
Brands that weave a greater purpose into their DNA nurture a deeper, more enduring connection with their audience. These connections benefit all shareholders - employees, investors, and customers alike - and their impacts permeate well beyond the bottom line.
Our Work
Thirteen years of amazing work with amazing people.
Joe Metcalf
Partner, CEO

Co-founder of Arise Design + Brand, Joe Metcalf is an experienced Brand Strategist, Visual Designer, and Artist. Joe's passion for design traces back to the early days of his education, with studies focused on design and engineering before culminating in a BFA in Painting and Sculpture. Driven by a desire to make a measurable impact on the success of businesses he works with, he takes pride in providing the best experience possible.

He is passionate about making a positive impact in the world by using design and branding as a tool to advance efforts ecology, human justice and social equality and has woven those philosophies into the company's values. Outside of the office, Joe enjoys time with family and friends, travel and physical challenges like triathlon and aerial arts.

Although he is proud to call San Diego home, Joe grew up in a small town in the central Rockies, and says his soul still lives in the mountains.

Fun Fact: Joe spent a great deal of his childhood on archeological projects in isolated areas of the western United States.  Much of the time spent exploring the plains and forests while his parents surveyed and excavated culturally significant finds.

Greatest Accomplishment: If you asked him, he's say balancing running a design agency and being a dedicated father and husband.

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Traci Taylor
Partner, Interior Designer

Principal Interior Designer, Traci Taylor, has a 12-year background in award-winning interior design. Her work has become synonymous with innovative design solutions that utilize the best of classic and modern elements. Traci is well known for creating modern, highly functional living environments for a discriminating clientele. Her focus is on Interior Architecture, which includes considerations for flow and space efficiency and that is paired with aesthetics to create unique spaces.

Traci’s goal is to make any project, large or small, manageable for the client. Experience has taught her that the best outcomes are the result of excellent communication and collaboration. She takes great pride in creating beautiful, functional spaces that are filled with originality and character.  Her work has been awarded many times including Kitchen of the Year, Best Multi-use space among many others. Beyond the awards, she has been published in Architectural Digest, San Diego Home & Garden and Modern Builders magazines.

Fun Fact: Traci’s adult life has been enhanced by practice in the Cirque Arts, she spends a few hours per week upside down while training hand-balancing and handstand training.

Alex Edwards
Director of Design & Development

If there ever was someone with creativity woven into their DNA, it’s this guy. At Arise, Alex is an architect of identities and experiences, directing projects from UX to visual design all the way through development. He brings a decade of experience and a resume that includes global firms like Hologic and contributions to the success of upstarts like Ameego. His will to create doesn’t stop when he leaves the office - he’s a musician, composer, conductor, IKEA furniture hacker, and amateur interior designer for himself and his friends. Alex is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music, where he studied Film Scoring & Music Production. He is (probably 80%) fluent in Brazilian Portuguese.

Fun Fact: He once jammed with John Mayer, and has early recordings of his hit songs from Berklee College of Music cafeteria shows.

Stephanie Rivera
Head of Culture & Client Relations

Stephanie is the only born-and-raised San Diegan at Arise, she claims she was born in the ocean and refuses to live anywhere that isn't a half an hour drive from Mexico. There are 3 things she can’t live without - a passport, Instagram, and tacos. She brings a background rooted in intercultural relations and loves combining culture with design to develop authentic content that truly connects with people. Steph’s resume includes a variety of purpose-driven organizations such as the United Nations Global Compact and World Vision. She earned a degree in Journalism and Media Studies from SDSU and an International Relations certificate from Oxford University. Having visited countries across Europe, Africa, and Asia, Stephanie’s exposure to different cultures allows her to see projects from new perspectives.

Fun Fact: She taught English in a small rural town in China one summer… and all her students thought she was Gabriella from “High School Musical.”

Greatest Accomplishment: She once made it on Shakira’s Instagram story and has the screenshots to prove it!

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Caroline Niles
Design Assistant

Due to a strong desire to understand complex human relationships combined with an interest in research Caroline received a Bachelor of the Arts from Arizona State University in Psychology.  She has carried those attributes into her professional career. Her enjoyment of fact-finding and various research methods has led Caroline to be a valuable asset to the design team at Arise.  Advanced product knowledge and the ability to unearth value in a complex market, make for a combination that provides a deep level of expertise in materials, use cases and product applications.

Fun Fact: When working at a music venue in college, Caroline was often sent out on errands.  One of those was to chauffeur Buddy Guy from the airport to his gig. Reportedly, he was a perfect gentleman but his manager was not impressed by her well-traveled ‘92 Honda Civic.

Christy Awbrey
Business Development Lead

With almost 20 years of marketing and advertising experience, Christy takes pride in creating innovative results-driven digital engagement strategies. She has a proven track record of leading teams to deliver award winning integrated multi-platform campaigns for clients of all sizes.

Christy enjoys spending time with her family, practicing pilates, reading and watching movies (especially bad ones!). She is passionate about mentoring young professionals and volunteering. She loves to teach the business course offered at her kids’ school.

Fun Fact:  Her family owns two bengal cats that are obsessed with her kids. The cats love to ride in the car and go for walks!