Why Utopia

Why did we create Utopia?

Because we saw the need for a unique company, combining the talent and quality of a bigger agency with the exemplary service and attention to detail of a boutique shop. Our core group assembles virtual teams with highly experienced Utopia partners to give our clients exactly the skills and resources they need on a given project.

Our clients tells us that we’re efficient, nimble and — most important — that our work gets results. It also wins prestigious awards from national and international publications, like Applied Arts, Studio and Design at Work.

Utopia helps you to achieve your marketing and communication goals in whatever ways make the most sense to your specific situation. Whether that means print, web and new media, broadcast media, or all three, we’ll help you develop a highly effective strategy, and then produce creative that brings that strategy to life in unexpected ways.

Here’s our philosophy in a nutshell.

We believe that truly effective marketing and advertising has three essential components: a focused strategy, a compelling concept and outstanding design and writing. If any one element is absent, the other two just won’t fly.

We also believe that for many organizations, getting great work from a personably small shop is darn close to ideal.

Welcome to Utopia.

Utopia Services

Positioning, brand strategy and implementation, integrated campaigns, media planning

Concept development, copywriting, copyediting, naming products and companies

Corporate identity, collateral, annual reports, event and tradeshow materials, packaging

Website design and programming, Flash shows, banner ads, multimedia presentations

Creative and production

Sourcing and art direction

Discover that a small agency with Big Ideas is Utopia.


Our Inspiration

Creative derring-do is in our blood

Ever wonder where Utopia gets the nerve to walk the fine line between great creative and stellar client service? Creative Director Donna Darby likes to think it has something to do with her bloodline—specifically her great, great, great grandfather Pablo Fanque (born William Darby, 1796) who was a celebrated circus proprietor in Britain.

A famous showman in his time, Fanque may be best known for his mention in the whimsical Beatles song “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite.” John Lennon was inspired to write the song after purchasing a vintage poster promoting the Pablo Fanque Circus Royal.

For the benefit of Mr. Kite (selected lyrics)

For the benefit of Mr. Kite
There will be a show tonight on trampoline
The Hendersons will all be there
Late of Pablo Fanques fare, what a scene
Over men and horses hoops and garters
Lastly through a hogshead of real fire!
In this way Mr. K. will challenge the world!

Donna Darby: A Utopian Creative Director

With more than 20 years of experience and some 70 industry awards to her credit, Donna is one of Ottawa’s most accomplished marketing creatives. Donna brings a wealth of industry knowledge yet attributes her success to a simple creative formula: define a clear strategy; cultivate a range of ideas; then push the best ideas to an even higher plateau. Prior to founding Utopia, Donna served as art director at The Bytown Group for more than a decade and further refined her skills during two-year stints with both Acme Advertising and McMillan.

Through Donna, the spirit of Pablo Fanque lives on at Utopia—where in our own small way, we also challenge the world!

Pablo Poster