Guideline (formerly Emma Design Studio) is a creative services firm founded in 2003. Clients come to us with their most vexing branding and design challenges. It’s our diversity of client experience and skills that gives us the edge in delivering unique solutions.

As branding and technology keep changing, the fundamentals stay the same: present a unique look and stay consistent throughout your marketing and messaging. That’s what cuts through the noise and reinforces your brand in the world.

Guideline redesigns the look and feel of brands. We re-strategize marketing direction. And we create full backend systems to address content management, e-commerce and complex functionality needs.

We base each solution on a simple structure and a streamlined process. This allows us to produce big ideas, without the excesses clients often find working with larger firms.


Experience + Continuity.

The Guideline Team

The Guideline team, led by founder and design director Kyle Emma, is made up of a talented and creative group of designers, copywriters and developers. Our core team members are based right outside Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, Boulder and San Francisco.

We assemble seamlessly to address our clients’ most ambitious challenges and day-to-day projects. Our diverse backgrounds, experiences and locations that allow us to stay inspired and continuously learning.

“Guideline was a true partner to our company. From naming our core services offerings to redesigning our identity, they pulled it all together and present a focused and clean vision of Medforce.”

Nathan Apter
Vice President - Head of Medforce Operations
Medforce Technologies, Inc.

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“The identity and creative support that Guideline has provided has been outstanding. They bring a clear strategy, a strong design perspective and dedicated energy that really comes through in the work.”

Gray Mabry
Chief Executive Officer
iVenture Solutions, Inc.

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Get to know Guideline.

What’s it like to work with this group of experienced creative and development pros? Spend a few minutes with founder Kyle Emma, and find out.

Can you give a little history of the company?

We’ve been doing website and branding projects for over 14 years. In some cases our work has defined a brand's identity for its entire lifespan. Guideline started in New York City but now our team collaborates seamlessly from locations outside Philadelphia, Boulder, Baltimore and NYC.

What was the reason for the recent new company name and rebranding?

Perception. The company was “Emma Design Studio.” My last name is Emma and it has caused confusion with new clients over the years. As with all marketing it’s about perception. Although it’s a unique Italian name, “Emma” does conjure images of a single person. It did not really reflect our team of talented people and the fact that we work with some pretty big clients.

What kind of projects excite you and the team?

There are two kinds of projects that we especially look forward to. The first is the opportunity to totally rebrand a company. Every rebrand has its own challenges, but being able to deliver a new consistent look to every facet of a company is always rewarding. The second type of project is one that pushes us to find a technical solution to a data or functionality problem. Whatever the design or development challenge, our team has the skills and experience to make it a success.

What does a small team like yours offer bigger corporate clients?

Over the years we have worked with a whole host of internal corporate marketing departments at larger companies. Some have used us because we’re cost effective, some for our print and web design, some for our development expertise. We are seen by many of our clients as experienced pinch hitters. We also know how to play nice with other partner agencies.

How do you handle workflow with a smaller team?

We have a few safeguards when taking on new work. Most importantly we look for the right fit. We don’t take on new work that we know we can’t handle. We’re not about volume. But our team members are all pretty seasoned. We know how to work efficiently, and at this point we’ve ironed out a streamlined process and workflow.

What sets Guideline apart from bigger agencies?

We offer a more personal approach to client management. Most of the Guideline team did their time in bigger agencies, including myself. We offer a lot of the same kind of services as bigger agencies but our process is focused on getting to the most impactful solutions without that same overhead. Call it big picture thinking in a small agency package. For many clients, this unique combination delivers a better experience.