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Celebrating 10 years in business last year, I started to revisit the name 420. For those of you who didn’t know, April 20th—4/20—is my birthday. When I started on my own, I wanted to acknowledge this piece of biographical information. It turns out that 4/20 has other meanings I won’t go into, a fact that occasionally became a distraction for clients, partners, and other professionals. I started to see that the story of the name—and the perception of its meaning—were sometimes getting in the way of fulfilling our vision of the 420 story, which has always been about the results we create for clients.

And therein lies the second reason for the switch: the great WE. Even though I named my business after my birthday, in 10 years, the 420 brand has certainly been a we-based enterprise. Even when constructing my own identity, or writing article pieces, I’m constantly seeking input and feedback from people whose opinions I trust. The fact that 420 operates as a team of professionals, in concert with our clients, led me to consider a new identity that is broader than any one person’s date-of-birth.

Welcome to Block 81

Block 81 is a historical reference to the city of Portland, which has been my home for close to forever. And while some of our clients come from elsewhere, our business has very much grown the way things grow around here—an intentional mash-up of creative and strategic concepts, with a touch of rain.

Today, almost 11 years since our launch, we are a full-service creative firm, providing branding, design, development and hosting solutions for dozens of clients at a time. We are a piece of their puzzles, one block in a collection of others. And we’re hell bent on taking them where they want to go.