Our hearts go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy, especially those who have lost loved ones and those whose homes and businesses were damaged. And thank you to all of our clients and partners who have reached out to check on us and make sure we’re okay. We are!
I was recently invited to speak at an AIGA Breakfast Club on the topic of helping to navigate the challenging path from briefing to design presentation.
Design is often defined as creating something visually stunning, but the chances for success are 1 out of 100 without good relationships and communication. So why have we been taking our relationship advice from old guard characters like Don Draper, who have a love ‘em and leave ‘em mentality?
In the spirit of Keeping It Brief, here’s a quick and easy guide to design success and lasting relationships between agency and client. After testing this approach over multiple years, multiple industries, and types of clients— the results have been clear:
A successful solution is reached faster and the design is better everytime. Read More…
The dumpster project was born of necessity as artist Mac Premo needed to move his studio to a smaller space. Instead of tossing all the treasures he had found through the years back into the trash he decided to display them. What better place to show off a curated collection of refuse than in a dumpster?
Last Thursday was Beardwood Day and we celebrated in style by going to Coney Island. Every year we take one day for team building, inspiration and a really good time. Past activities have been trapeze lessons, skeet shooting and food tours. It’s all about living our values of Bravery, Anti-Bland, Curiosity and Humanity.
We started the day with brunch at the Cowgirl Seahorse and then headed to Coney Island for a history tour of the area, toes in the ocean and a lot of amusement rides. Top it all off with dinner at Grimaldi’s and a sunset ride on the Wonder-Wheel and you have a perfect day.
The Cooper Hewitt’s latest exhibition, Graphic Design – Now In Production, is a great survey across the discipline and highlights some standouts over the past decade. Free to the public on Governor’s Island through September 3rd, it is well worth the visit.
Brand New’s interactive logo voting both is crowd pleaser. If you aren’t familiar, Brand New’s very popular B-side posts invite a public debate and vote on recently redesigned logos. Having had our work for Pinch Provisions featured, we know the pressure that comes from having the community critique your work in such an open forum. Read More…
I paid a visit to Lewis Moberly while in London. I’d been introduced to Robert Moberly a few months ago, and he kindly invited me to visit their studio. I’ve long admired Lewis Moberly’s work: it is consistently clever and outstandingly beautiful. Robert shared a couple of the approaches behind their success.
First, a critical step to their work’s effectiveness is gaining total clarity upfront, conducting in-depth interrogation until they are certain precisely what the brand needs to do to impact perceptions and behavior. He said they love to boil things down to just a few words so everyone is focused on the task at hand.
Second, they use a process of internal competition to develop and refine design concepts. In effect, every project becomes a competitive event within the studio, spurring on creative excellence with the will to win.
That pursuit of clarity he describes feels familiar to Beardwood&Co. Even when a client hands over a prepared brief, we probe away until we’re sure we completely understand the situation and how to change it. It’s also why we prefer to conduct upfront research whenever we can to dig deeper insights.
It was the idea of the internal design competition that I found surprising. Our collaborative culture is the polar opposite, striving to help each other succeed at every step, building on ideas in critiques and behind the scenes. I loved having my eyes opened to a different way of doing things, and walked away wondering if both approaches are equally effective, or is one better?
My sincere thanks to Robert and Jeremy of Lewis Moberly for being so open and generous with their time and ideas.
Ms. & Mrs., the leading purveyor of premium emergency essentials, discovered that its coveted line of personal care kits (Minimergency®, Shemergency®, and Hemergency®) had better recall than the company’s name. They approached us to rename the company, Pinch Provisions, and to design a fresh, cohesive packaging system for its kits and the essentials within. Read More…
Stephen Covey died today. He was 79 and wrote the first business management book I ever read: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was awesome!
Steve stood up and said perfectly sensible things that nobody else had strung together before. It made a big impact on me and probably the other 25 million+ who bought a copy.
Reading back through the list, it struck me that these 7 habits could just as well be a handy dandy guide to effective brand management.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Take initiative – your decisions are the primary factor in your effectiveness
Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind
Clarify your values; envision your ideal role; write a mission statement.
Habit 3: Put first things first
Prioritize, plan and execute!
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Strive for mutually beneficial relationships
Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood
When you genuinely understand and are influenced by a person, it creates an atmosphere of caring and respect
Habit 6: Synergize
Combine strengths through teamwork to accomplish more than you can alone
Habit 7: Sharpen the saw
Take the time to renew yourself and stay fresh
Seems like good advice to me. What do you think? Does it hold up?
I am intrigued with this 1-bit camera app that translates your crisp pictures into grainy 1-bit dithering patterns reminiscent of 80′s era computers.
This seems to underscore a nostalgic desire for wear and tactility in digital photos that has made Instagram (recently acquired for 1 billion dollars) such a hit. “digital retro” is a term used to describe this aesthetic of manipulating crisp, HI-res images to look of another era, wrought with random imperfections. Images that capture a less refined and less predictable process.
Have we reached a threshold for ultra realism in our culture? The app description page for 1-Bit camera says: “In an age of ever-increasing megapixels and bit depth it is now painfully clear; It is not the number of pixels that matters, but the quality of those individual pixels!”
Chanel’s world-traveling exhibition, The Little Black Jacket, checked into the Swiss Institute on Wooster St last week for an 8 day showing. The exhibition celebrates and promotes fashion designer and photographer, Karl Lagerfeld’s latest book, The Little Black Jacket.