core concepts

When the Ketchup Bottle Lies

When the Ketchup Bottle Lies

I have a beef with my ketchup bottle and it’s got nothing to do with tomatoes. It’s this strange little graphic of a thumbtack with big capital letters boldly proclaiming: CHILD HUNGER ENDS HERE. Really, here, Ketchup Bottle? I know you don’t mean literally “here” in this bottle we’ll see the end of starvation. 

Stereoscopic Vision

Stereoscopic Vision

I’ve been reading Unflattening by Nick Sousanis, a fascinating graphic exploration of the relationship between words and images. Drawing from science, philosophy, art, mythology and literature, Sousanis uses comic illustration to discuss how humans acquire knowledge and how visual thinking through a variety of vantage points can expand our understanding beyond what we normally apprehend.

The 5 Questions About Your Business You Need To Know the Answers To

The 5 Questions About Your Business You Need To Know the Answers To

The primary reason a marketing campaign or outreach effort fails is because the organization is missing the answers to 5 fundamental questions. In some cases, the organization may have worked toward finding answers to some of these key questions, but it will still fail if it does not reach internal consensus about their answers.

Let’s call these questions "The Big Questions" since their answers are pivotal to a company’s success. They involve understanding the purpose of the organization, why it exists in the first place, and why anyone should care.

Making 'Doing Business' Safe

Making 'Doing Business' Safe

It happened in about five seconds: one moment I was climbing into bed in the top of our camper van; in the next I’d broken my arm. It was a short fall, but nevertheless damaging; I’d shattered the end of my right radius. I am generally a strong, healthy person, very active and rarely sick. So breaking a bone was a unique moment of feeling physically fragile and vulnerable, and an unpleasant reminder that even seemingly innocuous situations can be unsafe.

Vulnerability in the Creative Process

Vulnerability in the Creative Process

Everything man-made and heart-made in this world began as an idea in one person’s mind. Ideas transferred into reality are what drive the evolution and degradation of humankind. New ideas, old ideas, ancient ideas—they all began as seeds, tiny kernels of inspiration in the brain. And an individual or a group of people took it upon themselves to bring those ideas to tangible fruition.

Finding Resonance in Your Organization and Your Outreach

Finding Resonance in Your Organization and Your Outreach

The long low hum of the Tibetan bowl at the conclusion of yoga class. The tenor of the prayer bell struck before church service. An African drum circle in a Mozambican neighborhood. I feel these things physically as a thrumming throughout my body and quite literally my heart. The sensation is resonance and the experience of it is both harmonic and evocative.

It's my responsibility…

It's my responsibility…

as a designer:

to defend what I believe is the best solution, even when that solution didn't come from me.

as a project manager:

to lead people through the project instead of leading the project through people.

as a strategist:

to peel away the layers so I can turn question marks into declarations.

Whitespace: The Power Player

Whitespace: The Power Player

Whitespace, or negative space, is a design element that comes into play on every page you read, and every website you visit (even if you aren’t consciously aware of it or don’t know what the term means). How whitespace is used, affects how you perceive what you see at many levels.

In the Face of Change, One Constant

In the Face of Change, One Constant

We are always researching and learning to stay current with trends in our field. But lately there has been a decided push to dive deeper into some of the new technologies out there in order to help our clients improve their communications and sharpen our design thinking and development.

Why We Need Blueprints for Ideas

Why We Need Blueprints for Ideas

In any major engagement with a client we begin with a phase we call BluePrinting. This is the time during which we develop a shared understanding of what we need to create, how to approach it, and everyone’s role in making it happen. BluePrinting ensures that the vision each member of the project team has in their head is the same, and that the functional and technical details are clearly described.

New Offerings

New Offerings

We don’t have to tell you how fast things are changing with the ways people communicate and the tools they use. It can be tough to keep up but necessary. Lately we’ve been reviewing our current service offering and considering ways we can make working with us more fun, productive and relevant to your needs. It’s too soon to give you all the details but we can give you an idea of where we’re headed. Our core work will always be to make vision and ideas tangible through media, so we are putting a lot of emphasis on content development with new service packages that include writing and video production. We’re excited about working even more closely with our clients to craft presentations, and to help them think about how to spin off content chunks into social, digital, and print media.

Under the Hood

Under the Hood

While so much of our work is helping our clients with their external communications, increasingly we have been focusing on clients’ internal communications systems as well.Creating sustainable workflows for generating and managing marketing content in-house is critical to making outreach efforts successful – let alone happen at all.

Not Shaken, Not Stirred…

Not Shaken, Not Stirred…

We recently created this t-shirt as a gift for our clients in the education and technology sector. It is a pretty simple concept, just the word "blended" with a gradient color blend inside. So, what does it mean? And why did we feel compelled to make a t-shirt?