[Good] design work takes MUCH longer than you think.
It always makes us laugh when we hear, “Oh, it shouldn’t take that long. It’s just swapping out a photo.” It is never just swapping out a photo. Add to that, staring at the photo for a good minute to see if it works within the layout, moving it to the right, moving it to the left, zooming in and out until it looks perfect. Now multiply that process by everything.
When you see a design you resonate with and makes you smile, to get to that point, hours [sometimes days or months] have been poured into every single detail. Because graphic designers, are artists.
Designers are artists. And all those artist clichés are real.
Artists are geniuses trapped in the confines of the world we live in. Artists live through their work. All this applies to creatives and designers as well. We need a muse, inspiration. We need motivation. And we need space to stir up the crazy before coming up with good work.
A good brand story is the best inspiration we can get.
Often times our favorite branding marketing projects are those we get to develop from scratch. When a client comes into the studio and all they have is a really, really juicy story of why they founded the business – that’s all we need to unleash our creativity and imagination.
Every brand has a story and recent generations have proven to buy with their hearts first. Gone are the days of building a business just to become a zillionaire. Nowadays, creative studios need to know what’s your story so we can build a brand around it.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing is simple.
You can bet that even the simplest design you’ve seen come out of the helium studio went through a rigorous editing process. Why? Because left to our own devices, we’ll complicate the heck out of absolutely anything.
Our minds are going 100 miles a minute and there are so ways to approach the same design challenge. In fact, sometimes we dream up things that can’t even be accomplished with today’s technology. So, with our minds in the future it’s easy to see how mixing innovation with simplicity can sometimes get a little complicated.
Coffee, food, and good music are our main source of creative fuel.
Starbucks is missing out on a huge market – putting shops directly inside creative studios. As artists, we stay up very late working on our hobbies, binge watching TV, basically filling our creative tanks back up. That means coffee is a necessity as we power through the day. Coffee and food are essential to our spirit. Especially good food, which is an art in itself.
Music is always playing throughout the studio or in our earbuds. Instead of distracting, music in a design setting is essential for focusing and getting into the design groove as you sit at a computer for hours upon hours.
All we want is to hear how excited you are about our work.
We’ll let you in on a little secret – we pour our little hearts into the brands we create. We dream about them, wake up and think of them, we nurture them. We treat brands as children we’re raising to then hand off to their adoptive parents. So, when the day comes to unveil our work to our clients, we want to hear all your feedback – right away. What does it make you feel? Are you excited? Yes, but how excited? Do you love it as much as we do? Please, say yes.
Creatives are constantly bickering and this is a good thing.
It’s a miracle there are so many branding and creative design studios in the world. How we ever get along long enough to produce work is a mystery that we rather not unravel. A huge part of the creative process is to provide constructive feedback and brainstorm as a group. It’s this that leads to long bouts of bickering and disagreeing on a direction to take. But, the light at the end of the tunnel is the final product is much better than where it started. Collective feedback is SO important to move design forward. Copy + paste this scenario of brainstorming, designing, bickering, brainstorming, refining and you have a picture of our everyday.
We’ll go to battle for a brand.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, we spend A TON of time working on any single brand development project. Nobody knows these brands better than us. We’ve thought out the bigger picture. So when feedback comes along to shift directions, brand design agencies will fight like knights in battle to defend the brand.
A messy studio is a great sign.
Pristine creative studios are a sign of no clients. Something’s not right. Who has time to clean up the book of Pantone swatches from the floor when there are deadlines to be met? The design industry is fast-paced and, as discussed, design takes time. The messiest branding studios are those that are working the hardest for a large roster of clients.
Sacrificing for the good of the other is our motto.
We’re selfless. We’re here for the art. And we put our own needs last. We pour all our energy into creating work that gives our clients success, which means sometimes our own projects fall to the bottom of the to-do list. It’s common practice for creative agencies to hire other agencies to brand them. We wouldn’t do that, but we have fallen guilty once or twice to leaving our monthly newsletter to be completed on the last day of the month. Oops!