35+ Years Of Creative Services
"Feels like we never worked a day in our life!"
Award Winning Agency
Beta Site for Photoshop
1st Computer Graphics Agency
1st Kraft Foods Web Agency
1st Kraft Foods Intranet
National Sales Conferences
Workgroup Database Development
Launched BizDat Startup
Retail Print / Frame Shop
Founder 14 South Artists
About our Logo...
Using stylized paint strokes, our logo represents the 'W' in Woodland, but also signifies the 3 original owners.
Here's our story...
1980 - Daniel Bitton & Associates, Inc. - It all began as a small advertising agency owned by Daniel Bitton and Jack Ferreri. Client accounts included Chi-Chi's, Elaine Powers and others.
In 1982, Gary was hired as Art Director. But by unfortunate coincidence, within days after he arrived, the company lost most of its major accounts and the staff was notified they would be laid off. Within a day, Jack Ferreri made a deal to buy out Bitton and Jack took over the company. Still, most employees were laid off, but because of Gary’s agency background experience Jack asked him to stay on and offered to grant him some ownership if he would stay to help turn the company around. Gary likes to say “The only job I ever got fired from… is the company I now own!”
Then two things happened that changed the course of the company…
1984 - Woodland Marketing, Inc. – By 1984 we realized we were less of an advertising agency and more of a promotion agency so we changed our name to Woodland Marketing. Also by now, we’d built a reputation for highly creative new product sales brochures and were doing larger projects featuring expensive die-cuts. We also began working with Oscar Mayer’s consumer promotions department and started doing many of their in-store, point-of-sale projects.
At this time, Gary was granted 5% of the company. Also, we finally succeeded in hiring Cindy for the first time to work on a die-cut Oscar Mayer Bacon brochure… she likes to say, “I came to help on one project… and never left!”.
For awhile, we did things the traditional way. Doing layouts by hand with magic markers and presentation boards, finished art was prepared on keylines, type was spec’d and ordered from typesetters, 4x5 & 8x10 film photography was done in photo studios, film was processed by labs, color separations were made from marked up mechanicals, using Scitex scanners and film strippers… and finally burned to plates for printing on huge presses.
1985 – Cindy / Gary Take Over –
By now, Cindy had been granted 1% ownership and hired as full time art director. Gary was getting busier handling Oscar Mayer accounts and together they began managing more of the day-to-day business responsibilities.
We built a super creative team! By now we had a staff of about 12 people and were working with some of the best artists, designers, photographers, food stylists, retouchers and illustrators in the business from as far away as Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis and Miami. We created sales brochures, in-store point-of-sale displays, merchandisers, sales videos and four color newspaper inserts.
Here’s some of our projects…
And then, computers changed us forever…
In August 1985, Cindy & Gary attended the first ever Macworld Expo in Boston where Steve Jobs presented the Macintosh computer and his vision for desktop publishing and communications. Also PostScipt, the first ever vector based application, was released about this time. We knew this would revolutionize the creative services business, so we purchased…
Did I mention…
about a year before all this, we hardly even knew what a computer was?!!!
Also, it’s interesting to note...
Apple & Microsoft were just startup companies… and so were we!!!
Pioneers of Desktop Publishing…
Woodland was among the first marketing agencies in the entire country to fully embrace creative technologies. Years ahead of others in our industry we began to blend our high quality creative services with expertise in graphics technologies… we became known as pioneers in creative technologies. Largely because we had clients who shared our enthusiasm and supported our efforts to experiment.
Here’s a few of our desktop ‘firsts’…
First Computer Slides / Videos...
For several years, Woodland was the only company in our area capable of producing desktop computer generated slides and video. We began producing A/V for national sales conferences…
Oddly enough, databases were the beginning of another new era of our business. For a number of years, we had been building our own custom databases to manage projects, provide estimates, invoices and billing reports for our clients. Our reports provided so much detail that clients began asking how we were able to generate the information. When they learned of what we could do, we were hired to develop custom workgroup databases for a variety of projects...
changes our world again…
It’s exciting to say we were part of the beginning! Woodland’s first web site was launched the same year Netscape ( first commercial web browser ) was launched on the world wide web. We became the only known agency to have our own web web server with dedicated T1 connection to the internet and began hosting our own websites. We loved this technology and were extremely excited to pursue its creative possibilities!
Here’s a few Woodland web ‘firsts’…
By now many things were beginning to change. Kraft Foods had been undergoing huge changes that involved consolidating all creative services for all brands in-house at the corporate office. This meant we were no longer working with the consumer promotions department. Also, their national advertising agency ( JWT ) had been vying for the web site work we had been doing and finally convinced brand management that it should be part of the media plan and controlled by them as part of the advertising strategy. This meant we also stopped working with their website. Faced with losing a lot of revenues we were faced with making some big decisions about ‘what’s next?’. Do we want to expand our efforts to get more corporate marketing / web services work… or pursue another direction?
1998 - Introducing Bizdat, Inc.- We chose to go full force on our own BizDat products! We had a connection to a Silicon Valley technology investor so we created our first BizDat business presentation and sent it to him. He provided strategic comments, encouraged us to continue, outlined some next steps, and offered to serve as an advisor as we pulled together our business plan for venture funding.
At any rate, this marked the end for BizDat PowerGroups.-
The administrative costs for continuing the company were no longer sustainable so we merged it into Woodland. That said, still today it’s a better conceived product than Facebook… and I’m pretty sure everyone ever involved with it knows what I mean and would agree! The idea is still great!
So, what’s next? – BizDat had forced us to take a bit of a sabbatical from Woodland. So, we needed to make some decisions about where to take the business from here. Do we fire up the ‘agency’ business again… or do something different? What intrigued us most was the idea of focusing on marketing our own artwork and potentially selling it to corporate clients.
2003 - Woodland Studios, Inc. –
By now, the first 35mm digital cameras came out, Epson released the first giclee printers, and computers now had gigabyte RAM. These technologies made it possible for us to do large format photography, apply digital painting effects and print our own large versions of our own artwork, with archival inks on acid-free canvas and fine art papers. With nothing more than point-n-shoot cameras, our computers, and a small 13x19 Epson printer we started making hundreds of images.
We sold Woodland Studios -
We sold the assets and building of Woodland Studios in Stoughton. The new owner was a big Investment Art and Scandinavian Folk Art collector. He envisioned having his own gallery and offering conservation custom framing services. He liked Woodland Studios for its quality focus, framing services and print shop services. He liked Stoughton for its Norwegian heritage. He wanted to carry on the Woodland Studios name, framing and printing services… but wanted to expand the focus on selling fine art and Scandinavian Folk Art. So he took over as Woodland Studios LLC… and we changed our name once again... we are now Woodland Creative, Inc.
2016 - Woodland Creative, Inc. –
Now we’re focusing on our personal art, collaborations with other artists and small businesses and property management services for our vacation rentals. Our web site is our new storefront and we work out of our home studios. We also provide on-site creative, marketing and training services to individuals and groups.
Special Acknowledgement – As a bit of a sidebar, it’s important to acknowledge the amazing people who have worked with us over the years! Although the company started with Cindy & Gary ( and still is just us ), if it weren’t for the dozens of people who helped us along the way, we couldn’t have done most of the things mentioned here. See our Acknowledgements page for a complete list but we'd like to highlight here a couple key people...
(1) Hilary Nelson, computer artist / developer / network / tech genius.
(2) Bob Ratta, Creative Director, GUI and 3D virtual game developer (3) and Matt Snyder, developer ASP & SQL server technologies.
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