May 31, 2023

Design Isn’t Just Aesthetics

Something unique about working for a marketing agency is that all forms of creativity must be tethered to an objective. Here, art isn’t just expression – it’s precise strategy.

As an artist, at the very least your baseline knowledge of design, color, typography, composition, geometry, white space, aesthetics, trending styles, etc. needs to be top of class. That knowledge is why you’re getting hired. However, good design is only the foundation. You are more than just an artist. You are a marketer, a thinker, a strategist.

Aside from aesthetics, here are a few principles I employ when designing a brand:

Be Memorable

  • Solid brand identity achieves recognizability at “first glance.” Many times, brands have limited time, real estate, and budgets to pull off making a name for themselves. Every second counts. This means designs must combine elegant simplicity with complex messaging into a single punchy product. From colors, to the form, to resonating visual themes, designs must stand out. And stand out well.

Think Like a Consumer

  • As an artist it may be natural to think about designs from a solely aesthetic perspective. But designers also need to think about how a consumer may be interacting, interpreting, or remembering these designs. Consumers don’t always have an artistic eye. So, if your design is too abstract without being clear in its messaging, or is hard to read, or doesn’t resonate with the target audience, the designer may need to rethink “how can I help my audience appreciate what they’re seeing?” It may mean adjusting, simplifying, or clarifying your vision.

Achieve Multiple Goals

  • Good design should be able to juggle multiple things at once with precision. Is your brand identity elegant? Representing the industry well? Standing out against the industry well? Achieving the tone and goals of the client? Easy for other designers to utilize? Good design balances all without blinking an eye.

Designing a brand isn’t only about creativity. It’s about understanding some of the most abstract parts of the human experience and then turning them into concrete products. Good designs are beautiful. But the best designs achieve goals.

February 25, 2022

Branding & Marketing: The Elton John Method

If you haven’t already seen “Rocketman” directed by Dexter Fletcher — add it to your must-see movie list. In addition to being an ode to Elton John’s breakthrough years, the film also doubles as a 300-level course in marketing strategy. 

Concerts, records, and visibility are the business side of the story. The music, personality, and showmanship are what sells the Elton John brand. It’s the perfect balance of the disciplines that marketers must master to succeed. 

We Take Lead as Marketing Strategy Innovators 

Marketers spend their lives with open eyes and open minds. Observing, studying, and seeking new opportunities are what make up the business side of our story. We’re not quick to jump on new, shiny objects simply because they have buzz. We explore the opportunity and rely on experience when we evaluate tactics that will best serve a brand story and marketing strategy. 

The efficacy of the tactics we implement to deliver the highest revenue return is nearly always the bellwether by which we are measured. As a result, we grab the mic and create a marketing strategy not by shine-factor, but by its ability to drive brand interest and ultimately, transactions. 

Our Design Articulates Our Strategy  

The other half of a strong marketing strategy is creative. Brand architecture matters. Voice and words are critical. But visual treatments? Those tie marketing programs together. The process of creating smart designs is founded in business objectives, which provides the spark. Talented designers and art directors nurture that spark until a creative inferno takes over, resulting in new ideas that set brands apart from their competitors. When you see an idea that clicks, you know it’s right on the money. 


Some of the best lessons come from rock-and-roll. 

“Rocketman” teaches us not to lose focus. Eliminate the noise that dilutes smart thinking and great design. You’ll find that you achieve the most value when experienced talent is driving your brand. 

Full service.
20 years and running.

We’re always down to put heads together. Reach out to kick off a new partnership.