Diti Katona

Chief Creative Officer

Diti Katona is a founding partner of Concrete. As Chief Creative Officer, she is best known for producing elegant and evocative work for the firm’s clients in fashion, retail and luxury goods.

Diti’s creative direction and marketing experience guide the strategy and development of brand campaigns, product packaging, custom publications and visual identities. She also leads the firm’s involvement in startup ventures and business partnerships focused on the development of innovative lifestyle and luxury brands.

Over the years, Diti’s creative work has received numerous awards from juries throughout North America and Europe, including the American Center for Design (Chicago), the American Institute for Graphic Arts (New York), Graphis Design (New York), and British Design and Art Direction (London).

Diti was been awarded two lifetime achievement awards. In 2012, Diti received the prestigious Les Usherwood Award from the Advertising & Design Club of Canada (ADCC) for her contribution to the Canadian creative community. In 2016, Applied Arts magazine honoured Diti with its 30th anniversary Golden AACE Award, for consistently: receiving international accolades; achieving significant business success; being considered a change agent; and having been a mentor or cultivator of emerging talent.

Diti frequently lectures on design topics, serves as a faculty advisor at design schools, and judges international competitions in her field.

Follow @diti.katona

John Pylypczak

President

John Pylypczak is a founding partner and President of Concrete. John is the ultimate practitioner, every day challenging himself and the Concrete team to reconsider better ways to integrate smart thinking and visual solutions. His abilities to seamlessly move across disciplines – he is equally at home as creative director, designer, brand strategist, writer and business marketer – sets the foundation for an agency that does not separate between strong strategy, creative, and healthy business results.

Along with Diti Katona, he leads the firm’s brand communications practice. His work has received extensive recognition in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia, and includes awards from the American Center for Design (Chicago), the American Institute for Graphic Arts (New York), Graphis Design (New York), and British Design and Art Direction (London).

John is active as a jury member for design competitions and often serves as an advisor to design schools and other cultural organizations.

Letícia Luna

Creative Director

A native of Brasília, Letícia has been extensively involved in Concrete’s work for fashion and cosmetics brands and has led teams working for Holt Renfrew, Bite Beauty, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, and McDonalds.  Most recently Letícia was the creative lead on long time luxury skincare client Dr. Perricone’s new brand No Makeup Skincare.

Jordan Poirier

Creative Director

Jordan came to Concrete directly from the Ontario College of Art and Design over ten years ago. He has spent his time at Concrete working on all aspect of branding and in the process has won numerous design awards throughout North America and Europe. In addition to leading complete redesigns for Mountain Equipment Co-op and Allstream, Jordan has developed packaging for Sapporo and art directed countless photo shoots for clients such as Holt Renfrew and MEC.

His branding work for Film North has been published in the Wall Street Journal, while his interactive work for Azure Magazine was featured in a product demonstration for Apple’s latest WWDC launch event. He has also won the gold award for his environmental branding of Keilhauer’s NeoCon showroom.

Clarence Kwan

Director of Brands, Planning and Strategy

Clarence currently oversees the development of strategic branding initiatives at Concrete. Leading multi-disciplinary teams for a range of sectors including fashion, retail, culture ranging from branding and promotions to digital and traditional advertising, he is also part of Concrete’s own strategic leadership team.

Clarence has lead and managed the re-branding of several major Canadian brands including Hudson’s Bay Company, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada Goose, and Tangerine Bank.

Previous clients also include McDonalds, Oh! Henry, Nike, and Adidas.

Clarence has over 10 years creating compelling creative and consumer experiences. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto.

Brandy McKinlay

Director of Production Services

Brandy McKinlay is an expressive leader with an infectious, can-do attitude. She has 12 years of experience in marketing and production, with particular emphasis on luxury goods, retail and the beauty industry. Having begun her career at Concrete, she rejoined the agency as Director of Production Services in 2012 bringing with her extensive experience gained working for distinguished companies like Holt Renfrew, Christian Dior/LVMH and Schwarzkopf Professional Canada. During her time with these companies, Brandy also developed lucrative retail strategies that helped establish solid relationships with leading retailers in Canada including The Bay, Sephora, and Shoppers Drug Mart.

René Ostetto

Manager of Operations

René has greatly contributed to the success of the agency. Having spent over 15 years at Concrete Design, he has successfully launched the design firm’s award-winning video production arm that services clients like Holt Renfrew, Film North, Keilhauer, MEC and Perricone. Additionally, he heads the Production Department and oversees IT for the company. René’s passion for video production and editing are evident in the highly engaging video content he continues to create for some of Canada’s most beloved brands.

Matthew Boyd

Design Director

Matthew joined Concrete in 2011, and brings over 10 years of experience in design and art direction to the team. As Design Director Matthew leads projects for a wide range of clients, always with a focus on critical details, typography and materials. He currently works on a wide range of branding, packaging, and print projects for clients including Keilhauer, Pusateri’s, Great Gulf, and Cérvelo.

Matthew graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Before joining Concrete he ran an independent practice and worked with artists, publishers, entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. Some of his previous clients include Nike, Vans, Now-Again Records, J&L Books, and The Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts.

His work has been recognized internationally by the Type Directors Club, Graphis, and The One Club, and has been included in publications such as Applied Arts and Graphic (Korea).

In addition, Matthew reviews student portfolios for the ADCC and helps co-ordinate the internship program at Concrete.

Larry Gaudet

Strategist

A long-time Concrete collaborator, Larry Gaudet is recognized as one of Canada’s most original – and diversely accomplished – communications professionals. His work spans branding strategy, corporate messaging, venture financing, literary expression, social philosophy and conceptual art.

Praised as an “heir to McLuhan” Gaudet has published six critically acclaimed books, including two best-sellers, Safe Haven, a history of the sanctuary principle, and Into The Blast Furnace, a work of magic corporate realism. His most recent work, The Disasters of Peace, an installation of text and images inspired by the 80 engravings in Francisco Goya’s epic work, The Disasters of War, was exhibited in Toronto by Alison Smith Gallery in association with the International Festival of Authors.

Aurora Ratcliffe

Brand Planner

Aurora previously worked in publishing and in film, and has extensive experience in corporate communications. Originally from Vancouver, Aurora came to Toronto by way of Montreal, where she earned a MA in Media Studies from Concordia University. Aurora has worked with client companies including Tangerine, McDonalds, Perricone MD, Pizza Nova, Unitron and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).

John Pichette

Brand Planner

John came to Concrete with experience as a visual stylist for Holt Renfrew and Jonathan + Olivia, and in public relations for Winners Homesense and Swiss watch brand Rado. At Concrete he has worked with client companies Lida Baday, Mountain Equipment Co-op, BITE Beauty, and Elte, and currently manages projects for Joe Fresh, Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart. Concrete’s resident Maritimer, John hails from Moncton, New Brunswick and oversees Concrete’s PR and New Venture initiatives.

Jonathon Yule

Senior Designer

Jonathon is a graduate of the York/Sheridan Bachelor of Design program and started out working with large retail brands and projects while still in school. After working both for agencies and as a freelancer in Toronto, Jonathon joined Concrete. Jonathon has worked on brands such as The Bay, Nike, Drake General Store, Sport Chek and both the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games.

Sandra Noto

Print Production Designer

A seasoned graphic designer who tackles everything from in-store collateral to print advertising and digital banner ads, Sandra has spent over two decades in print production and package design. She has been engaged on projects for a range of clients like Scotiabank, Hyundai and Coca-Cola and was an integral part on the launch campaigns for some of the most notable brands in Canada, including Joe Fresh and the recent high profile rebranding of ING Direct as Tangerine.

Julia Troubetskaia

Designer

Julia is a graduate of the York/Sheridan Bachelor of Design program.

Straight out of school Julia got her feet wet working both large corporate and retail brands, as well interning at a small art book design studio in Berlin. Outside of studio agency work the last few years she’s also worked on a number of art and cultural projects in Toronto, including Carbon Paper Magazine. In her time at Concrete Julia has worked on Tangerine, BITE, Elte and Pfaff.

Thomas van Ryzewyk

Designer

Since graduating from York/Sheridan’s Bachelor of Design program, Thomas has worked in studio and freelance capacities for clients in consumer, cultural, editorial, and industrial sectors before joining Concrete. He is passionate about independent publishing and also heads a small-run Risograph press. Thomas has worked on projects for client companies including Scott, Red Bull, Roger’s Publishing, and Vice, as well as numerous projects in collaboration with independent artists and publications.

Matt Crider

Senior Developer

Matt is a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Cognitive Science program. Originally from Philadelphia, he has worked on web applications for several large media companies, an airline, the hospitality industry, and academic and non-profit organizations in Vancouver, Honolulu, and Toronto. Prior to Concrete, Matt worked on digital projects for clients such as Island Air, the Toronto Star and the FOX Broadcasting Company.

Jessica Best

Brand Planner

Jessica began her career at Fashion Magazine, and has since gone on to work in event marketing, with a particular expertise in pop up shops and food and beverage. At Concrete, Jessica has worked with brands such as BITE Beauty, Pfaff Automotive Group, Perricone MD, Pusateri’s, and Tangerine. 

Emanuel Ilagan

Designer

Before giving in to his innate love of design, Emanuel planned to be a dentist. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Biological Sciences, but soon after pursued an additional degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. From there, Emanuel oversaw design for the boutique retailer gravitypope, and, before coming to Concrete, worked on projects for clients such as Kit and Ace, Greystone Books, the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, and the Metcalf Foundation. At Concrete, he is the lead designer on the Perricone MD account.

Julianna Le

Designer

An honours graduate from York/Sheridan’s joint design program, Julianna began her career in New York before moving to Toronto to join the digital team from Saks Fifth Avenue to launch thebay.com. Prior to coming to Concrete, she worked on projects for clients including Warp Records, Stella McCartney, Roxy, Penguin Publishing, Cushnie Et Ochs, TOP SHOP, and Hudson’s Bay Collections. Julianna is the creative director behind Logan’s Look, an Instagram account that features the sartorial stylings of her toy poodle and has been profiled by American Apparel, Mr. Porter, Harpers Bazaar and Grazia Magazine.

Sarah McKerrall

Controller

Sarah has over a decade’s experience in accounting for branding and marketing firms. She earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University in Toronto and holds CPA – CGA accreditations.

Brett Ramsay

Designer

Brett studied art history and advertising before graduating from OCAD U’s graphic design program. He has worked on brands such as Samsung, Le Creuset, Butterfield & Robinson, and designed for publications like EnRoute Magazine and Canadian Business. Outside of Concrete, Brett is working on a ongoing multi-media documentation project chronicling Saint James Town, Canada’s most densely populated and multicultural neighbourhood.

Julia Ferrabee

Brand Planner

Originally from Ottawa, Julia is a graduate of Carleton’s Mass Communications program and did an International Communications and Media exchange in Holland at Hogeschool Utrecht as part of her degree. She spent a year living in Madrid prior to moving to Toronto to work in insight and strategy on brands such as Tim Hortons, Air Canada, Mazda, Johnson and Johnson, SickKids, Kids Help Phone, Tourism Toronto and HSBC. 

Russ Milligan

Designer

Originally from Vancouver, Russ studied graphic and web design at the City College of San Francisco and at Humber College in Toronto. Before coming to Concrete, he worked on projects for clients such as Kronenbourg, Airbnb, Nike, and Joe Fresh. Russ has skateboarded professionally for over a decade.

Jessica Atkinson

Designer

Jessica is a graduate of the York University/Sheridan College Joint Program in Design. Before joining Concrete, she spent five years in New York working for clients such as fashion designer Wendy Nichol, French trunk and leather goods maker Goyard, and the French Institute Alliance Française, among others.