This Agency Fuses Design and Research to Build Slick Websites and Apps for Brands

14-year-old Cake & Arrow rebrands

Headshot of Lauren Johnson


Who Co-founders Alex Schmelkin (l.) and Josh Levine

What Digital agency

Where  New York

Fourteen years ago, Alex Schmelkin and Josh Levine co-founded Cake & Arrow—recently rebranded from Alexander Interactive—to meld the creative and strategic sides of digital marketing and make slick websites and mobile apps for brands. "The cake is giving people what they love and expect and the arrow is the delivered rigor that gets them there," explained CEO Schmelkin. "The idea was always to have excellent technology, strategy and creative all under one roof." The New York-based shop primarily helps clients in old-school industries—think insurance, fashion and media—get up to speed in digital by researching, designing and launching products. For example, the agency created a mobile app for MetLife this summer that lets customers quote, purchase and manage auto and home insurance policies in Japan that's now being rolled out globally. And for Saks Fifth Avenue, the shop redesigned the retailer's website with bigger photos, more product information and a quicker checkout process. "We know what we're good at: delving into human behavior to uncover insights and really understand what moves and motivates people," said Levine, chief design officer at Cake & Arrow. "And from there, creating products that deliver on that."

This story first appeared in the October 3, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.

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@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.