Fast Co. Innovation By Design Awards 2017 Winners Announced

Fast Company’s sixth annual Innovation By Design Awards drew more than 2,500 submissions. The 299 honorees, chosen by expert judges in 13 categories, represent the best products, services, interfaces, and ideas of 2017.

Dotdot for the Internet of Things, Wolff Olins

This is notable because Amy Schwartz, Creative Director at Bright Bright Great was a 2017 judge alongside creative leads from Google, Amazon, IKEA, Airbnb, Adidas, Slack & MoMA.

The winner for Graphic Design and Data Visualization for 2017 was Wolff Olins work for Dotdot, functional branding for the Internet of Things.

Creators: Wolff Olins Forest Young, Head of Design Lauren Liao, Head of Strategy Andy Dobson, Director of Technology Ada Mayer, Senior Designer Ben Gibbs, Senior Designer Elaine Lin, Designer External Partners Natalie Linden, Copywriter Ilan Beesen, Naming Frederico Phillips, 3D Designer Wilm Thoben, Coding Hunter Gatherer, Video

Agency: Wolff Olins

Link to Article: https://www.fastcodesign.com/innovation-by-design/2017/category/graphic-design-and-data-visualization

Congrats to Wolff Olins from the BBG crew!

Posted By
Jason Schwartz

BBG Creative Director Amy Schwartz & Managing Director, Founder Jason Schwartz Announced as TopCon 2017 Speakers

TopCon is is an annual, one-day conference celebrating all things creative. Every year hundreds of incredible minds come together to share stories and ideas, failures and successes, and a whole lotta love.

Hear and learn from some of today’s emerging, influential, and downright nicest people in the creative industry.

TopCon TN Speakers

Bright Bright Great Creative Director Amy Schwartz and Managing Director, Founder Jason Schwartz (collective known as The Dracula Family) have been announced to speak at TopCon 2017 in Chatanooga, TN.

https://www.topcontn.com

Posted By
Jason Schwartz

New Work: BBG Updates University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Digital Experience

Bright Bright Great is excited to announce the launch of the University of Chicago‘s new Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation digital experience. It was an amazing experience for the BBG team collaborating with both the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center and IT teams to launch.

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation drives venture creation and technology commercialization within the University of Chicago and the surrounding community. Through education, partnerships, and new venture support, the Polsky Center advances the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship and accelerates the commercialization of research. The Polsky Center helps students, faculty, staff, alumni, researchers and local entrepreneurs navigate the complex process of creating and growing a startup.

It’s resources include a 34,000 square-foot, multi-disciplinary co-working space called the Polsky Exchange; a $20 million Innovation Fund that invests in early-stage ventures; and a state-of-the-art Fabrication Lab for prototyping new products.

University of Chicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Website University of Chicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Website University of Chicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Website

 

University of Chicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Website

 

University of Chicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

 

Previous Design:

Polsky Center for Innovation Website

Posted By
Jason Schwartz

Brand New 2017 Conference Recap with Speaker Amy Schwartz

Amy Schwartz Creative Director Bright Bright Great

—photo credit: Detergent Design

Include your audience and remember less is more — Amy Schwartz

The Brand New Conference is an annual design conference that is organized by UnderConsideration, the group responsible for the popular design blog, Brand New, that critiques brand identity work. The two-day conference focuses on the forms that brand identity takes onwith eight speaker-sessions per-day. Each speaker highlights a different topic in the brand identity universe, and the speakers themselves come from a broad range of experience from large-scale creative agencies to in-house design, to smaller creative studios.

For those of us in the creative agency worldthe chances are that our own work has been up for critique on Brand New.  

This year, the conference took place in Bright Bright Great’s hometown of Chicago at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park. We were super excited that our Creative Director, Amy Schwartz, was one of the speakers this year.

Amy focused her talk on how to tell jokes visually and how to incorporate humor as part of a brand identity. As a case study, Amy highlighted her work from Cards Against Humanity and urged designers to follow three important steps to land a joke or communicate to a client:

  1. Find The Thesis (and remember, less is more)
  2. Treat design and copy like a comedy duo (and really finesse the relationship between your elements)
  3. Always include your audience (because brands have a responsibility to be good to the people they care for)

Beyond that, Amy’s message was that there is power in having a brand be unapologetically who they are and to have fun in that ownership. If you have a ticket from the event, you can watch Amy’s video recap over at Brand New.

After the conference, Jeanne of Bright Bright Great sat down with Amy to ask her some questions to recap the event:

I love how your speech focused on process and how to achieve results with a framework versus just focusing on the final result of a new branding project. What advice can you give to younger designers about the brand identity process at a creative agency that they might not already know?

Being designers, we often tend to roll up our sleeves and dive into visuals right awaybe it looking for inspiration, creating mood boards, or picking up a pencil or mouse. But I think it’s important to first take a step back and consider the strategy prior to any visual work. This way, the design work isn’t in a vacuum. It is intentional and built upon the strategic framework that you created with your client.

One way we do this at Bright Bright Great is to create a Brand Deck exercise. This involves having the client choose 5-10 words that resonate with their brand. From there, we use the chosen words in different combinations to create unique visual manifestations of the brand.  Exercises like this give you a strategic North Star. You know you’re heading in the right direction for the brand before you even open an Adobe program. And when you eventually do design something gorgeous, it’s easier to explain the concept to your client and sell it to them–you’ve built a strong foundation together.

I’m always really curious about how much the conference organizations want to know about your speech ahead of time. You had to give a topic prior to the event, right? What else beyond that?

Brand New asked for a topic, description, and bio ahead of time. They also requested the slides a few days in advance which meant no last-minute fixes, which was actually a relief.

For those clients not well-versed in the creative process (but experts in other areas), how can creative folks better explain that brand identity is so much more than a logomark?

There are different levels to explaining about brand identity. I think walking clients through what to expect and showing them real-world examples is really helpful. First, you explain the visual brand, starting with color and then the why behind it, i.e. what the color stands for and why it needs to be a certain color. Then, how color and then other brand elements like typography and imagery and layout help to shape the language and attitude of the brand. There is a reason why you don’t see the Coca-Cola logo on blue.

For brands like Cards Against Humanity, their brand identity is very much built upon using humor in all of their communication and reminding people of their brand voice every step of the way. For companies like Pepsi, that puts out a commercial (that people don’t receive wellfor very good reasons)it’s all part of a brand, with intentional choices that have an impact. Think of a brand like a person. And if you put a person in a different shirt it might look different, but it’s still the same person. Changing the visuals of a brand doesn’t erase the brand’s attitudes, communication, and other touch points.

What is one of the best things about a big design conference?

The best part is making friends. I was really excited to meet other speakers, people I was a fan of, and also have casual moments with people who attend the conference to share common ground and maybe a drink.

For those of us that didn’t go, tell us about the atmosphere at Brand New?

It was professional and high-caliber and also down-to-earth and welcoming. It was fun to talk to so many like-minded people in one space. It was big! I appreciated that there was a lot to see and it provided that one-on-one chance to interact with the design community members that might not otherwise be in Chicago.

Did you learn something new or get inspiration from the event?

Ohhhhh yeah. The whole Bright Bright Great design team left with inspiration on what type of projects we are eager to take on next year, and how we might work together to continue to evolve the Bright Bright Great Brand. I loved Mike Reed’s talk about the importance of words in a brand. It was really great reminder for designers to always be working with copywriters.

Next year, New York?

Amy: Yes! The ’15-minute flings’ that Brand New had with local speakers were very well done and great to see. It gave me a lot of hometown pride and I look forward to seeing what other cities have to offer.

Posted By
jeannehenry

Bright Bright Great Welcomes Jeanne Henry as Director of Projects

Bright Bright Great would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Director of Projects, Jeanne Henry. Jeanne will be assisting BBG with all BBG accounts and sales.

Jeanne Henry

 

What is your name and official title at BBG?

Jeanne Henry, Director of Projects. Hello, Hello. I am excited to be here.

What got you interested in (your role)?

I’ve always been interested in communication (the heart of project management), first through my writing background, but that skill set grew when I was working for a book publisher, and I really got to understand the power of design in communication and how important it is to elevate messages. From there, which was many years ago, I got the chance to work in the creative agency space and loved how project management combined so many things that I love from organizing to getting to talk to people across many different industries and fields of expertise. I haven’t looked back since! Project management has really felt like a natural fit for my interdisciplinary background.

What interested you in working at BBG?

I was really drawn to the broad range of digital projects and the high-energy and excitement of the BBG team.

What skills are you excited to polish, or learn in the next few years?

I’m always really excited to learn more about the development process and grow my knowledge base as technology is always changing—it’s important to stay up-to-date and always be looking for different ways to innovate, and to keep knowledge fresh. Outside of that, I’m always interested in trying new ways to run projects and expand on some of the strategy skills that I use as a project manager. I’m always a student.

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?

I’m an essay and poetry writer. I love wandering through independent bookstores and finding an author that I’ve never heard of. I like trying to surprise myself by new adventures. Coffee shops, running, and board games with my partner, Edmund, is also pretty high up there in interests.

Who is currently inspiring you the most creatively in design?

Outside of Amy Schwartz and all the lovely work of my colleagues, I really enjoy the human and hand-drawn data visualizations of illustrator Mona Chalabi. I love Claire Wasserman and the whole, supportive and dope community of Ladies Get Paid.

Who is currently inspiring you the most creatively in a field outside of graphic design?

There are really lovely writers and advocates for social change that inspire me and urge me through their work to take as much action as possible for positive, progressive social change and to write better poetry. Those people include Clint Smith, Eve Ewing, and Tarfia Faizulla. Among others. I’m also really inspired by the Blood Orange album ‘Freetown Sound’ from 2016. It’s amazing and never gets old.

What’s the closest thing to real magic?

Love. Love is magic. Does everyone say that? Well, it’s true.

If you were given a one-minute ad slot during the Super Bowl that you couldn’t sell, what would you fill it with?

Poetry, yo. The poetry ads in New York City and here in Chicago show mostly stale poetry from dead white men. I’d love to have a dope ad the represents the real and current freshness of poetry.

Would you rather always be 10 minutes late or always be 20 minutes early?

20 minutes early, for sure. I’m the person that walks around the block because they got to a meeting too early.

Be sure to follow Jeanne:
Jeanne Henry LinkedIn
Jeanne Henry Twitter

Posted By
Jason Schwartz