August 30, 2021

VSA Partners leads AMRI brand transformation to Curia

Effort includes positioning, naming, website, brand identity, and environments as global company positions itself for the future.

VSA Partners, the hybrid brand strategy and design agency, has led the brand transformation of AMRI, a leading contract drug manufacturing organization, emphasizing its ability to take drug development ‘from curiosity to cure.’ That’s the core positioning and tagline VSA developed as it’s transformed the company to Curia. The new rebranding effort rolled out last month. AMRI, which began as Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI) in 1991, tapped VSA Partners to handle the assignment, which the agency turned around in a little over six months. Its brief involved simultaneous strategy and design processes that addressed naming, messaging, brand identity, a website overhaul, environmental branding, sales enablement, social media and advertising. “Given the importance and emerging challenges of scaling drug discovery and manufacturing today, this was an exciting project for everyone at VSA,” said Joe Nio, head of strategy and analytics for VSA. “We tapped our Promise to Performance™ methodology to discover unmet needs where the industry wasn’t serving customers fully and helped identify unique segments within Curia’s target audience. The results, we believe, position Curia well for today’s fast-changing and demanding pharmaceutical landscape.” For development of the new name, Curia, VSA relied on its proprietary naming process, said Mike Walsh, VSA’s Client Engagement lead. The origin was an early Roman word that means ‘a gathering of minds.’ “It has a lyrical quality that also alludes to the promise of medicine,” Walsh noted. The new logo utilizes a stylized molecular icon to form the dot in the lower case ‘i’ in Curia, which links the mark to the previous AMRI brand identity. “In a category where playing it safe has led to a sea of sameness among competitors, we created a bold expression system that balances scientific expertise with respect, and compassion for the human lives we impact,” said VSA Partners Thom Wolfe, Executive Creative Director. “What impressed us about VSA from the start was their ability to quickly get smart on a complex business,” said Kerry Hutchings, Head of Global Marketing at Curia. “The combination of strategic thinking and creative execution has helped set Curia up for success.”


Agency: VSA Partners, Chicago, New York, San Francisco Joe Nio, Associate Partner, Strategy Director Chandni Shah, Strategy Director, Media Ryan Monroe, Strategy Director, Data Analytics Linda Vo, Strategist, Media & Analytics Thom Wolfe, Associate Partner, Creative Director Sarah Trent, Associate Creative Director Cameron Leberecht, Associate Creative Director Andy Blankenburg, Partner, Writing Tarek El-Mofty, Associate Partner, Creative Services Director Bryan Haney, Associate Director, Motion Producer Thomas Horne, Motion Editor, Director Melanie Trombley, Art Producer Nick Lo Bue, Associate Partner, Digital Jehan Cowan, Creative Director, Digital Alberto Cristancho, Director, Development Bill Maday, Creative Director, Writing Mike Walsh, Associate Partner, Client Engagement Susan Pfiefer, Associate Partner, Project Management Sarah Kuhl, Senior Project Manager Kate Barr, Project Manager

About Curia

Curia, formerly AMRI, is a leading contract research, development and manufacturing organization providing products and services from R&D through commercial manufacturing to pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical customers. Curia’s 3,100 employees at 21 locations across the U.S., Europe and Asia help its customers advance from curiosity to cure. Learn more at

About VSA Partners

VSA Partners is a hybrid brand strategy and design agency. We combine strategic consulting with design-driven experiences to solve business problems and realize the future of a brand. With offices in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, VSA offers a full range of fully integrated capabilities — branding, advertising, data science and technology — all under one roof. For more than 30 years, we have delivered solutions for business and creative leaders at some of the world’s most respected brands and forward-thinking organizations, including Google, Nike, IBM, Molson, and PepsiCo.