Second Story Interactive Studios

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Second Story Interactive Studios
Publicly owned
Industry Interactive design
Founded 1994
Headquarters Portland, Oregon United States
Number of employees
Second Story’s headquarters in the Mississippi neighborhood of Portland, Oregon

Second Story is an interactive media with studios in Portland, Atlanta, and New York City. It was co-founded by Brad Johnson and Julie Beeler in 1994, evolving from Brad Johnson Presents, which began in 1994 in Berkeley, California. The firm is known for interactive storytelling in many digital formats for a wide range of brands and cultural institutions.[1]

Notable projects from recent years include the Ford Alumni Center at the University of Oregon, The Vault of the Secret Formula exhibit at the World of Coca-Cola, and the media for the Age of Mammals exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. They have designed interactive Web sites and installations for the National Archives, the museum at Gettysburg National Military Park, the Library of Congress, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, National Geographic, Museum of Modern Art in New York, and The Grammy Museum.[2]

In 2004 the studio was a finalist for a National Design Award in Communications Design.[3][4] The University of Oregon project recently earned Second Story an award at the 2012 Interaction Design Association (IxDA) Awards.[5]

In 2012 the studio was acquired by Sapient Nitro. Sapient Nitro [6] SapientNitro’s Donald Chesnut, chief experience officer, said the acquisition strengthens SapientNitro’s ability to craft “storytelling for today’s always-on consumer.” Second Story continues to operate as its own brand while getting pitched as part of the SapientNitro product family.


The studio consists of a team of producers, strategists, writers, content experts, designers, developers, and engineers who engage in an iterative, cross-disciplinary, and collaborative process that focuses on storytelling, content, and technology.

Second Story has worked in most digital media, including Web sites, mobile devices, site-specific installations, and digital environments.


For its work since 1994, Second Story has received many awards in competitions, festivals, and events, including two Best of Shows at HOW magazine's Interactive Design Awards: in 2009 for the visitor experience at the Library of Congress[7] and in 2011 for the Design Your Own Ballpark kiosk at the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame[8]).

Second Story has also been recognized by I.D. Annual Review, the IxDA Awards, AIGA 365, Communication Arts Interactive Design Annual, Print Magazine’s Digital Design Annual, the One Show Interactive, and the Art Directors Awards (including 2 Gold).

In the museum industry their work has been recognized by the American Association of Museums in almost every category of the annual Muse Awards, and their Web sites for cultural institutions have won nine Best of the Web Awards at the annual Museums and the Web conference. Their Web sites have been featured and awarded in the SXSW festival, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Webby Awards.


  1. ^ Read, Richard. "Portland's Second Story lets museum goers step into the picture" The Oregonian. Accessed on March 27, 2012.
  2. ^ Schneider, Keith. "History and Science: The Video Games" "New York Times." Accessed on March 26, 2012.
  3. ^ Warren, Elizabeth. "National Design Museum Announces Finalists for Fifth National Design Awards" on Interior Design. Accessed on March 26, 2012.
  4. ^ "Second Story named finalist for national design award" Portland Business Journal. Accessed on March 26, 2012.
  5. ^ "Interaction Awards Winner 2012" on IxDA's awards site. Accessed on March 26, 2012.
  6. ^ Heine, Christopher. "SapientNitro Buys Second Story; Digital In Store Heating Up. Recent moves indicate interactive retail could be 2013 battleground" Accessed on November 7, 2012.
  7. ^ Taute, Michelle. "2009 Interactive Design Best of Show" on HOW magazine. Accessed on March 26, 2012.
  8. ^ Taute, Michelle. "2011 HOW Interactive Design Awards Best of Show" on HOW magazine. Accessed on March 26, 2012.

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