Visual design inspiration from creatives I admire.


I spend a lot of time visiting and talking to creative people and organisations of all kinds, many of which are working on really great projects all the time. And when I am not talking to them, I am most likely looking for them!

Here, I thought I’d share a few examples of agencies and studios whose creative approach I like not only because of their final work but, perhaps more importantly, because of their creative philosophy and the process that leads to their ideas.


1. &Walsh (New York, United States)

What I like about this studio?

I love the bold and exuberant approach and it’s highly commendable that they didn’t take the easy way out most design firms do by making their identities minimal.

“We help brands find their weird”.

&Walsh is the new creative agency headed by Jessica Walsh. Previously a partner with Stefan Sagmeister, operating as Sagmeister & Walsh, for seven years, the new firm is a continuation of the evolution of that firm that will maintain the 25 people that were there prior to the name change, minus Sagmeister (︎).



2. Pentagram (International)

What I like about this agency?

The maturity and sophistication of their visual design work and its global reach.

Run and owned by 21 partners who are all practicing designers and highly-thought-of in their fields, Pentagram brands itself as “the world’s largest independent design consultancy”. Size aside, however, I love the way there apply their design concepts to their clients’ brands and their commitment to trying different things in the ideation process.

Partner Marina Willer, who’s is responsible for the visual identity of London’s famous TATE Modern art gallery, has been known to including light projection, mirrors and even entire physical spaces as part of her eclectic creative process.



3. Gretel (New York, United States)

What I like about this studio? 

Their clear vision when it comes to design and the potential they see in it. In fact, their vision statement itself is pretty inspirational.

“We believe that the most interesting work happens at the intersection of opposing forces. Old/new, high/low, masculine/feminine, order/chaos, organic/inorganic.” — Gretel

Gretel’s creative process, according to the studio itself is all about “tension, intellect and intuition”. In other words, combining an open, innovative mind with years of collective and individual experience and technical know-how to try and come up with something original and valuable every time.



4. Socio Design (London, United Kingdom)

What I like about this studio?

Socio Design talks about the process behind the work it produces. It’s essentially a combination of instinct and experimentation. The results of this process, if you ask me, are super duper!



5. Rice Creative (Saigon, Vietnam)

What I like about them?


They branding in an emerging market and have introduced high-quality “Swiss design” to the country. They promote sustainable actions and progress society in positive ways.

Founded in 2011, Rice Creative has established itself as one of the top design studios in the Vietnam, winning global awards for design along the way. The team comes from an international background, led by creative directors Chi-An De Leo, Joshua Breidenbach, and Gregory Jewett.



6. Mathery Studio (New York, United States)

What I like about them?

They excel in creating abstract universes and their work blends functionality and fun, pragmatism and humour.

Mathery is an Italian artist duo, Erika Zorzi and Matteo Sangalli, based in NYC, they work across Art Direction, Photography, Film, Set and Exhibition Design. Exploring creative communication and expression through material, their approach to design seeks to turn the everyday upside down.



7. Lava Design (Amsterdam / Beijing)

What I like about this agency?

They have strong roots in editorial design and visual storytelling. They always experiment and research new opportunities in design & technology.

“A logo is just a signature. It’s not a brand. As designers, we create visual tools for a client to tell a story with. A brand nowadays is more about creating a behaviour and atmosphere that people can relate to. This way of thinking is quite new in our work as designers, I think.”

The name of the studio founded by Hans Wolbers came from a visit he paid to the top of an Indonesian volcano called Bromo, where he decided that Lava was as good a name as any for his new company. The agency is focused on creative strategy, editorial design and dynamic identities.



8. Burro Studio (Milano / Verona)

What I like about this young studio?

Burro Studio is a creative platform providing graphic design services applied to branding, interaction, media and spaces mixing the past in the present thinking in the future. They are a breath of fresh air in the Italian communication industry.

The studio is founded by Giovanni Manzini and Federica Caserio.



9. Chandelier Creative (New York / Los Angeles)

What I love about this agency?

They advocate unexpected delight. They demand storytelling which permeates everything they do. They celebrate all who are bold and adventurous, they know the ordinary is not acceptable. They prefer quality over quantity.

Chandelier Creative is a full service creative agency founded by Richard Christiansen, the team has grown to include some of the most dynamic young creatives working today. They collaborate only with fashion, retail, travel and luxury lifestyle brands by overhauling advertising, marketing, branding, retail and strategy.

︎ Well, if Richard Christiansen will ever read this article, I'm ready to work (full time) with you.  


Giacomo

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