At Work: S77 finds a new home in the Short North

S77 has found its home in the Short North.

A creative studio with a focus on motion graphics, 3D, live-action, illustration, photography, and visual effects, it will be celebrate year one of its rebranding relaunch on May 30. It moved to its current space at 1239 N. High about a year ago. Previously it was located in the Warehouse District in Downtown Columbus.

“We left the Warehouse District because we were expanding and we wanted to move to an area that was pedestrian-friendly,” says S77 Founder Rainer Ziehm. “Being a part of the resurgence of this area of the Short North was important to us.”

A dramatic entrance to S77.
A dramatic entrance to S77

Ziehm and his business partners, Nate Reese and Sean Conner, looked at several spaces, but it took a little time to find the right fit.

“We definitely wanted to be in a vintage building,” Ziehm says.

The 3,700-square-foot space they purchased was an empty shell− perfect for their motion design studio. In the past year they have done many upgrades to the space.

Ziehm did much of the demolition− a task he enjoyed. A beautiful, although slightly damaged, ceiling was uncovered. The damaged areas were replaced with mirrored vents and tiles were moved to make the ceiling cohesive.

The lounge area provides a great place for a break or quick meeting.
The lounge area provides a great place for a break or quick meeting

For furnishings, the company turned to Tim Friar of Grid Furnishings, as well as Continental Office Environments.

“We try to buy everything local,” Ziehm says.

The company also sources from small boutiques and the self-employed when possible. It has a few fun items for downtime: a late 1960s puck bowling machine, a skee ball machine, and a foosball table.

Skee ball!
Skee ball!

S77 originally stood for Super 77, a name that came to Ziehm as he took note of an art student’s most-used products, 3M’s Super 77 Classic Spray Adhesive.

S77 changes its logo often to avoid brand stagnation.

“People get stagnate with their brands,” Ziehm says. “Everyone here has a chance to be part of shaping the visual brand of the studio. It allows us to maintain a core audience, but reach a new one while allowing the brand to be a proper reflection of who we are.”

The “77′” in the name led to embracing the year 1977.

“That was a monumental year for music,” Ziehm says. The space has an album wall that started with Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell and the Star Wars soundtrack, and continued to be filled in with 1977 icons.

The album wall with additional work areas.
The album wall with additional work areas
A full kitchen suite.
A full kitchen suite

Currently, S77 employs 11 people and has plans to open a small studio in the Los Angeles market. A lot of work is based out of LA, but the team at S77 loves having its base in Columbus.

“We feel like ambassadors of Columbus,” Ziehm says. “We host clients here about 25 percent of the time and they are excited about what is happening in Columbus.”

One of the bathrooms has been customized into a replica of the famous Studio 54.
One of the bathrooms is themed after Studio 54, complete with waterfall lamp

The team works all over the world, having recently wrapped up the music video “It’s a Beautiful Day” by Michael Bublé. Locally, they’ve donated efforts to many projects, including animation and video work for Highball, music and visuals for the Columbus College of Art & Design, including the fashion show, and animating the arches throughout the Short North.

In 2012, the team won a Judge’s Choice award (Judge Gareth Smith) from the Columbus Society of Communicating Arts in the Best of Motion Design Category for its work on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ music video “Monarchy of Roses.”

S77 has plans to become more active in its neighborhood by adding a lit sign to the front of its building. The company also have plans to project movies onto the sidewalk and to be open for future gallery hops.

Photos provided by Rainer Ziehm of S77.

To learn more about S77, visit

To learn more about the CSCA, visit

Do you know of, have, or work in, a creative workspace and would like to be featured in this series? If so, please contact Anne Evans.