MARE ISLAND, CA–Two of the most creative and highly respected brand-design services agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area have merged together.  Affinity Creative Group and Sterling Creativeworks are now one.  John Swain, President and Principal of Affinity Creative Group remarks, “Recognizing our mutual commitment to our clients, our teams and our craft, we are proud to combine forces with Sterling Creativeworks and announce the appointment of Cynthia Sterling as Creative Director for Affinity’s Brand Design team.”

“With over 25 years as a design entrepreneur and leader of her own firm, Cynthia Sterling possesses rich insight and deep understanding of the power of creativity to influence consumer behavior in both on-premise and retail venues,” said Swain.  Ms. Sterling, an award winning designer and author added, “Affinity’s increasing momentum and visibility in the marketplace as the go-to agency for cross-practice creative disciplines convinced me that our joining of forces made perfect sense.”

Principals, John Swain and Dave Miller founded PackagingARTS, the forerunner of Affinity Creative Group, in 1995 to produce retail and trade marketing materials for the wine and spirits communities.  Since then, the agency has grown to provide marketing services across an array of disciplines including, brand and packaging design; websites, videos and other digital media; and branded environments and retail displays.  Affinity’s and Sterling’s client rosters range from large producers like Constellation Brands and Trinchero Family Estates to boutique luxury purveyors that include Flora Springs and ZD Wines.  The combination of years of agency experience, special talent and category understanding from both parties inspired and motivated this logical and compelling uniting of creative forces.

Dave Miller, Vice President and Principal of Affinity Creative Group added, “The merger of Sterling Creativeworks with Affinity Creative Group will magnify our combined creative output and further enhance our client-focused strategic design solutions.”

Managing Director of the Brand Design team, Ed Rice, elaborated, “I’ve known Cynthia as a friendly yet formidable competitor for some time. I’m looking forward to now having her sit on our side of the desk, working together as colleagues, with her considerable talents impressing our clients even further.”

Ms. Sterling will oversee creative output of the agency’s complement of designers, joining Ed and the Brand Design leadership team: Heather Cappola, Director of Client Services and Allen Nauright, Director of Production and Technical Services, at Affinity’s Creative Campus on Mare Island.  The agency occupies two turn-of-the-century mansions and a bungalow along historic Officer’s Row, on the storied former Naval Base and Shipyard adjacent to the City of Vallejo.

John Swain concludes, “We appreciate all of the continued client support, project work and much goodwill we’ve enjoyed over the years. We recognize we would not be here and able to continue to grow this amazing team without our collaborative client business partnerships.  With Cynthia, one of the most respected and talented creative leaders in the industry today, and the multi-practice professionals of Affinity, we look forward to helping our clients’ propel their brands onto even higher levels of market success.”

About Affinity Creative GroupAffinity Creative Group is a collective of strategic and creative experts in branding, packaging design, digital media and retail activation. We deliver the complete brand experience through marketing services custom tailored for today’s brand champions in the wine, spirits, beer and luxury categories.   Affinity helps clients of all sizes connect with consumers at the early, essential moments of contact, or the points of ‘brand touch’ through the strategic use of creativity, captivating storytelling and flawless implementation. 

For more information about Affinity Creative Group, please visit: or call Ed Rice, Managing Director, at 707.562.2787.

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