- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 10, 2005

Most eyes at Sunday’s Grammy Awards will be focused on the dozens of music stars at the show, but Peter and Jean Buttecali’s will be gazing at their graphic design firm’s most recent work.

Their company, Woodpile Studios Inc., designed the official logo for the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, which will air at 8 p.m.

Mr. Buttecali, who designed the logo, said the project is a “career high point” for him.

“I don’t know how to put it in more dramatic words,” he said. “I just felt a lot of creative energy around that particular project.”

The design depicts a night sky with a “bursting motif” contained inside a round disc that represents a record, Mr. Buttecali said. It also contains the recognizable gramophone, a required icon in all Grammy logos.



The six-member design firm in Vienna, Va., also created logos for the Recording Academy’s “Salute To” events, which give Grammy recognition of jazz, classical and gospel music, and the awards after-party.

The celebrity-packed event also will serve as the debut of Mr. and Mrs. Buttecali’s new clothing line. The couple paid about $10,000 to have clothing items from the line, which they started in November, included in the gift bags given to all Grammy Awards presenters and performers.

Mr. Buttecali, president and creative director of Woodpile Studios, said designing the logo for the Recording Academy was the highest-profile project the firm has undertaken since he and his wife opened it in 1997.

“We’ve handled some pretty high-level jobs, but nothing with such excellent exposure,” he said.

Woodpile Studios has created designs for America Online, the George Washington School of Business and Public Management and the Heritage Foundation. In addition to logos, the company creates designs for Web sites, posters, exhibits, book covers, product packaging and displays, and advertisements.

Before opening Woodpile Studios, Mr. Buttecali, 37, worked out of the couple’s home under the name Buttecali Design, and Mrs. Buttecali, 38, worked for Capital Publications, a newsletter publishing firm.

Mrs. Buttecali, who serves as chief financial officer of Woodpile Studios, has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Radford University in Virginia. Mr. Buttecali took design courses at Northern Virginia Community College.

The Recording Academy, which has a creative-services team that reviews the work of visual-design companies and asks one to design the logo each year, contacted the firm in July about creating the 2005 logo, Mrs. Buttecali said.

A design that the company placed in a well-known industry magazine caught the eye of the academy team, Mr. Buttecali said.

The studio had been in the running for the past three years, although the Buttecalis weren’t aware of it until they were asked to design this year’s logo.

“I was just standing beside myself,” Mr. Buttecali said. “It was a great feeling to know that we were a contender with other national logo designers.”

Mr. Buttecali would not disclose the amount the company received to create the main logo, but said they received “midsize corporate logo rate.”

It is too early to tell how recognition received from the Grammy Awards will affect Woodpile Studios, Mrs. Buttecali said, but she is hoping it is a sign of things to come.

“What we’re hoping is that we’ll be able to gain more industry contacts through our relationship” with the Recording Academy, she said.

David Konjoyan, senior director of creative services for the Recording Academy, announced the logo design and lauded Mr. Buttecali’s ability to create “deceptively simple yet elegant and recognizable marks.”

“He was very receptive to our suggestions and responsive to our deadlines,” Mr. Konjoyan said. “From the first-round concepts to the final logo, we felt Peter was in sync with our ideas every step of the way.”

In addition to garnering recognition for their design company, the two said they hope to create buzz around their clothing line, which Mr. Buttecali described as an “exclusive fashion forward label geared toward hip, young trendsetters.”

They started the clothing line with Janna Posey, the marketing manager for Woodpile Studios. Mr. Buttecali said he always had been interested in starting a T-shirt line.

“Janna is really into fashion and always wanted to be involved in fashion in some way,” he said.

Mr. and Mrs. Buttecali and their staff will leave tomorrow to attend the awards show in Los Angeles. They also have tickets to the after-party. Mr. Buttecali said they requested tickets to the events in lieu of payment for the two other logos he created.

The couple thought about brushing shoulders with celebrities.

Mr. Buttecali said he would like to meet members of the bands Maroon 5 or the Rolling Stones. Mrs. Buttecali is more skeptical about meeting a star.

“I don’t want to be let down,” she said. “I just want to keep what I feel about these people in my brain.”

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