Pearl Studios is an award winning product and brand consultancy. We help companies design successTM.

Concept. Product. Experience. Brand. Package. Build.

Quick Story

In 2008, Mladen Barbaric and Minkyu Choi set out to shake up the brand and product world, founding Pearl Studios in Montreal. Why Montreal? Well, ask them over drinks: long, but interesting story.

Pearl Studios is now an internationally acclaimed team with partners in US, Canada, Europe and Asia, developing some of the world's most interesting brands and products.

Why Pearl?

We wanted the name to reflect who we are and what we strive to be: compact, precious, elegant. We also wanted to reflect our development philosophy:

Pursue that one concept that connects and solves all the right challenges, in the correct priority. This, we call a Pearl.

We feel this approach yields great success. It is so simple, and seems so inevitable. Like shucking for pearls, there's nothing easy about getting to a Pearl, but everyone knows we don't mind a challenge.

Key team members

Denis Olenik Art Director

Likes to brand things, whether they are his or not. As a matter of fact, you don't know it, but he's probably branded something of yours. He is also in charge of experiences and packaging at Pearl.

Minkyu Choi Founder and CDO

Creative Guru at Pearl. Known for 3 responses: "Yes", "No", and "I don't know.." (The third is more "No" than "No"). Used to design cell phones for LG, now in charge of awesome at Pearl.

Mladen Barbaric Founder and CEO

Ex-supercar designer/elite swimmer turned brand and product craftsman, now in charge of strategy at Pearl. Known for being brutally honest. Or is it honestly brutal? Also serves as advisor, board monkey, and/or Chief Design Officer for several of the friends of Pearl.

Sungmoon Kim Mechanical

He's been called superman. Mostly because he can figure out any mechanical solution, but sometimes because he can consume his body mass in Soju. We call him by his last name, and no one knows why. Part of Pearl's LG mafia.

Justin Lee Software

Software architect with a knack for Jazz. Some say the music helps him make harmony of the matrix-like code and armies of coders. Known for calm demeanour, he speaks softly, but carries a big stick.

J.H. Park (JP) Hardware

Used to make 3D VR glasses for LG, mp3 Players for iRiver and trouble for the ladies. Suppliers fear him and co-workers chuckle. Now in charge of things that wire together at Pearl.

Engaging Pearl Studios

Let's make beautiful ______ together.

We're always open to new opportunities for making great things happen. Whether you're a startup or a Fortune 500, we have a variety of business models to enable us working together to create or refresh brands and products.


Since we can take on a finite number of projects each year, the projects should meet some criteria:

There is funding or clear pathway to funding in place to realistically launch the brand and or product.

We don't make anything that hurts people. No weapons.

The Brand and Product should aim to help people in some way. We don't mean it should save the world. We mean it should enrich life, and be in some way positive. Even if it simply makes people smile more.

Client-Pearl chemistry. This sounds odd, but it's extremely important. Best outcomes come from engagements where the client and Pearl are friends taking on a challenge we're aligned on. Giving birth to a brand/product is a long and treacherous journey, so a solid, mutually respectful relationship is paramount.

Join our band.

We're a guild of ultra-passionate craftsmen. While we may not always have an ad out, we are always on a look out for the best of the best in each discipline. We generally don't have layers of management - we work quite flat, and each person owns their portion of the project. Please take note: Pearl Studios is not for the faint of heart. We are an ultra fast paced, committed, hard working meritocracy. If you're looking for an easy job, this isn't it. If you're hungry to seriously impose positive change through brands and products, and will stop at nothing to make it happen: let's talk.

Some of the disciplines we're always on the look out for:

  • Industrial Designers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • User Experience Engineers
  • CG Illustrators
  • Graphic Designers
  • Hardware Engineers
  • Firmware Engineers
  • Application Software Engineers
  • Software Architects
  • IP Specialists
  • Manufacturing Test Engineers

*Note: we get a lot of applicants. We apologise in advance if we don't respond. If we dig - we'll be sure to get in touch.