Skip to main navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Connecting the dots.

Are you trying to grasp the full picture of what Cohere offers as a business?

Maybe you’ve heard of us as a best-in-class creative agency. Maybe you attended one of our workshops or had a meal from our CohereFoodLab. Or maybe you’re a real estate developer with a beautiful historic building in need of a new life, or a restaurateur looking to rebrand a food and beverage concept, and someone mentioned our name. Maybe you’re a talented person looking for your next career move

Any of the above scenarios would be a stellar reason to consider getting to know us. And, since we have such a wide audience, we’ve created this go-to reference on what it means to work with Cohere. No matter what Cohere may mean to you, we can guarantee that there’s another facet to it, another layer that you haven’t discovered yet.

That’s the beauty in connecting the dots.

The Beginning

It All Starts with Values

Cohere was founded by Antoinette Marie Johnson. After buying-out a previous partner, she embraced change and doubled-down on commitment to an agency with a key mission: to help transform abandoned spaces. Together our team launched Cohere in 2017, built on the foundational principles of urban revitalization and placemaking that were instrumental in shaping Antoinette’s personal experiences. We built a reputation for ideal projects that brought together people + places + impact. The team rallied behind the mission, and we haven’t looked back.

Our Sweet Spot

Design + Place + Food + Impact

Design is at the core of everything we do. A “creative agency” is the easiest way to categorize our business, and we are a team of design thinkers at every level.  We serve the unique intersection of design + place + food + impact by “cohering” the overlapping portions of those worlds that would otherwise be siloed. From restaurant menu design to large-scale master planning, we are frequently involved in different layers of the design across our project engagements. What does that mean? You can learn more about our services, but in a nutshell, we tackle projects that include:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Growth Advisory
  • Naming & Copywriting
  • Brand Identity Design
  • Interior Design
  • Web Design & Development
  • Collateral & Packaging
  • Environmental Signage & Wayfinding
  • Marketing & Communications

We always say that the process of branding is to help projects and people meet their full potential. So when it comes to our work we focus on branding projects that help cities reach their full potential too. Usually, that means we work with clients in industries that have tangible and visible influences on our cities:

  • Real Estate Development
  • Restaurants
  • Economic Development
  • Community Partnerships
  • Tourism and Hospitality

In short: We are storytellers on a mission to align stakeholders in real estate, food and impact related projects.

We've Redefined the Word Agency

To us, “self agency” is the most important. Both with our clients and our employees, we know that the capacity of individuals to act independently yet connected by a shared underlined value system is the best way to get to a greater outcome together. For that reason, we’ve established an equitable partnership program. With conscious brands that show potential and real estate opportunities, we are thinking well beyond the average agency engagement.

The Present

Building and Serving Community

During the unprecedented time that is the COVID-19 pandemic, Cohere took a fully-focused approach to serving our community online through digital workshops and seminars. We opened our digital doors to the world, inviting folks to weekly Zooms focused on local ingredient sourcing, zero waste practices, design principles in hospitality and restaurants, and many others. Today, these events bring people together from all corners of the world, and connect our team with new faces on a weekly basis. If you haven’t participated yet, keep an eye out for our happenings.

We Are a Family of Brands

After years of building brands for some of the best in the world, we launched our own sub-brand based out of our Philadelphia headquarters. Maidencreek Co. was born in 2020 out of a desire to bring a product and genuine mission to life. This botanical vertical of design grew naturally for us, as we believe green space is vital to placemaking. From beautiful arrangements in the restaurants we help design, to public greening projects – Maidencreek Co. is now our natural sister brand.

Building Maidencreek Co. led us to our 2nd sister brand in the Cohere family: The Viaduct. This special little secret garden is an oasis located in Spring Arts Philadelphia, where you can find our staff taking meetings or attending a wellness event. It’s the best version of our green space work and activations, bringing together all of the parts we do well.

Experimenting with the CohereFoodLab

No, there aren’t any test tubes. But there are vials of heirloom sugar, installations of hydroponic greens, buckets of compost, and chickens running about. The #CohereFoodLab, as you’ll see mentioned, was born out of our desire to fully-realize the skills, expertise, and passion of our in-house advisor and senior leader, Chef Erik Oberholtzer.

The goal of the food lab is simple: to incubate and implement the best ideas in locally-sourced, thoughtful, and community-driven food experiences. During COVID-19, that community was remote. Looking forward, that community will rally outside of the lab, and just outside Cohere’s headquarters in Spring Arts, Philadelphia. Tucked under the Rail Park, The Viaduct will become Cohere’s extension of the food lab into our community. Expect weekly rotating lunch menus, an innovative approach to pricing, and a whole lot of locally-sourced ingredients, all from the Chef and founder of Tender Greens.

We're Always Evolving

If one thing rings true throughout our agency’s core, it’s that we’re not afraid of change. In fact, we push for change. We ask questions that lead to change when working with our clients and partners. In that sense, we are always pushing ourselves to try something new, or think a little bit differently.


To keep up with our ever-evolving creative agency in Philly, Baltimore, Brooklyn, and worldwide, follow along on Instagram, or shoot us a note.

Ready to Start Your Next Project?