Lance Jensen and Gary Koepke launched Modernista! in January 2000 with no employees or clients, 5,000 square feet of office space in Boston's Chinatown and a funky name. Now the shop has 40 employees working with a client list that includes General Motors' Hummer, MTV, Avon, Converse and The Travel Channel. But scoring the Gap has been the upstart's biggest coup. "[The Gap business] gives us a chance to work with extremely talented marketers and gets our work noticed on an international scale," says Jen sen. "In other words, it's been good."
Jensen, 37, first worked with Koepke, 43, more than 10 years ago on catalogs for Cookin', an audio retailer in New Hamp shire. A lunch time conversation a few years ago turned a dream into reality. At the time, Jensen was a creative director at Arnold, Boston, where he helped craft the award-winning "Drivers wanted" Volks wagen campaign. Koepke was a creative director at Wieden + Kennedy and helped set up the Portland, Ore., agency's New York office. He worked on Wieden campaigns for Coca-Cola, ESPN and Nike. Koepke ran his own Boston-based design shop for 10 years in the 1980s and '90s, overseeing art direction for Vibe magazine, Soho Journal and record label Rykodisc.