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June 28, 2017

Our Studio Runs On...

Our small and mighty studio runs on dedication, discipline, deadlines and a tool kit carefully curated for inspired productivity.

Before we get into the full kit, here are our work stations:

  • Apple Hardware: We are Apple devotees—15” MacBook Pros, 27” Thunderbolt Displays and iPhone 6’s, to be specific.
  • Adobe Software: From Dreamweaver to InDesign, Photoshop to Illustrator and everything in between, Creative Cloud is central to the work we produce.

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Think

Whiteboard, Sharpies & Post-It Notes
Great design is founded in rock-solid strategy. As such, most projects find their origins at our whiteboard. We gather around our round table (yes, truly) and strategize–naming brainstorms, presentation layouts, editorial calendars, daily task assignments—whatever the project, it starts here. 

For highly complex projects we employ what we call the War Room. All available wall space is covered with project ideas, design inspirations, past iterations of published work and very, very many post-it notes.

We begin with a “no bad ideas” tactic where everything becomes grist for the mill. When we say back to the drawing board we mean it, literally.

It’s only when we have idea/s that can withstand the rigor of multiple perspectives that we move from concepting to design.

Basecamp
We wouldn’t make it through a day without Basecamp. It’s how we communicate, centralize project details, track progress and move things forward. Basecamp is the place where our ideas live. It’s the cranium that houses our hive mind.

Dashlane
Dashlane remembers our passwords so that we don’t have to. Not only that, it saves them all and logs into sites automatically. So instead of trying to remember if it’s Password or PassWord or P@ssword, we can devote our time to building brands.

Airdrop
The magical tool on our phones that allows us to laser-jet images up to any computer in the office. Thanks to Airdrop we can multitask, avoid hitting the download button, and work on what matters most, our client work. 

 

Create

There’s no such thing as “this is the way it’s always been done” around here. Whether it’s creating custom patterns or custom code, we are constantly striving to lead the pack in design trends and techniques to provide brand experiences that surprise and delight our clients.

We accomplish this through a collaborative approach that takes shape across presentation, critique and refinement. This process ensures that we are exploring all options and that the best idea prevails.

Design is an art form, one that requires minute attention to detail and vast amounts of inspiration, in equal measures.

Apple TV
The perfect tool for collaborating on rounds of revisions and ad hoc, real time design. One person projects from their computer and makes edits while the rest make suggestions and give opinions. Refine, present, refine. Repeat. 

Dropmark/Pinterest
Visual content sharing sites that allow us to create moodboards, visually represent the competitive landscape, reference design trends, research target market lifestyles, serve up inspiration and bookmark ideas for the future.  

Typekit
A friendly “i”, the slant of an “l” or the perfect lowercase “g” are the details that make a huge difference in visually reinforcing a brand’s identity. The essence of who you are is infused in the look and feel of every possible aspect, down to the letter. We spend considerable time selecting each of these aspects to reflect the brand’s core identity. 

Spotify/Pandora
An endless and ever-evolving music feed provides the soundtrack to all of our best work.

We have New Music Friday to thank for fresh color palettes and logo marks. Bastille for animated gifs. Contestants from the Voice have set the tone for content creation and lady legends of rock provide the perfect tempo for that monotonous and tedious task that will probably take the rest of the afternoon.

Bigstock
We all know that stock photography can be quite comical…but sometimes budgetary reasons or time constraints require a good stock photo to bring a brand to life. Thanks to Bigstock and their 45 million images, videos and vectors, we have more than enough assets to sift through to find the perfect image.  

Refreshments aka Brain Fuel (because designing makes you hungry)

  • Starbucks Dark Roast Coffee
  • La Croix. Grapefruit. Lime. Lemon. Plain. We are fiends.
  • Lifesavers Wintergreen Mints
  • Laughing Planet Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Deliver

Our main objective is to equip our clients with comprehensive and strategic assets that will engage the target market across all mediums. Brand should be beautiful, elegant and practically executable so that when an email needs to be sent or an ad designed, the building blocks are already in place.

Squarespace
Squarespace allows us to build websites using customizable layouts, thus keeping production and development in house. We choose templates that maximize end-user experience and provide the best platform for the brand. Where possible we integrate custom coding to further enhance the experience.

Emma/Mailchimp
Email marketing platforms that allow us to create HTML emails and distribute on behalf of our clients. Mailchimp offers high fives and kudos upon sending a campaign. And Emma, the hair and glasses are flawless.

Management aka The Nitty Gritty of running a business

  • ADP—payroll services
  • Harvest—time tracking software
  • Dropbox—file syncing and storage
  • Quickbooks—accounting software