Christa BIANCHI received her BFA in 1991 from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. A free spirit, she then worked freelance in New York City, trying her hand at everything from packaging design to publishing. In 1999, when the Carbone Smolan Agency was transforming the ‘Children’s Television Workshop' into Sesame Workshop, Design Director Justin Peters asked her to come on as lead designer on the new identity system.
After a successful Sesame Workshop launch, which included a trade show booth and a 100+ page brand standards manual, the Carbone Smolan Agency asked Christa to stay on and head up more branding projects. Eventually, the firm recognized the need for an interactive director who was as comfortable in the print world as online. They chose Christa for that critical role.
Subsequent projects included the Deloitte & Touche Women's Initiative Annual report in 2000 — an e-brochure using then–controversial and pioneering technologies for which Christa was quoted in Graphic Design USA as saying “Change and accessibility were the themes that drove the creative process.”
Recognizing the firm's need for an online portfolio, Christa headed up the initiative to re–design carbonesmolan.com. The project was challenging, as the firm already had a website, the performance of web browsers had not been standardized and the penetration of broadband was questionable. Because Carbone Smolan’s strengths lie in the quality of their creative, Christa advocated a Flash portfolio. Those choices ultimately made an effective portfolio site for the agency.
At the same time, Christa was studying web design and development; earning certificates in both, alongside some of the most award-winning pioneers of interactive design of the time. At The New School and Parsons in New York City, she took classes with inspired interactive NYC professionals including the late Keith Alexander (then interactive director at BBDO), Jacob Dobkin (then IBM’s head information architect, now publisher of Gothamist), Matthew Richmond (owner of the award-winning Chopping Block) and the world – renowned Flash developer, Josh Davis (originally at praystation.com).
Christa had a vision of interactive design playing a vital role in creative strategy and branding. She recognized a need to bring the refinement of print work to the dynamics of online, and vice versa. The cross-pollination of conventional and contemporary design processes are emerging as greater than the sum of their parts. She incorporated BIANCHI in 2003 with this vision in mind. Since then, BIANCHI has become a thriving network of creative professionals with the capabilities to deliver the best that print and web media have to offer.