October 26, 2015 - Monday's Kick

Today is National Mincemeat Day. Let's just get that out of the way.

We're sorry to have missed Monday's Kick last week - not that we suspect anyone actually reads these indulgent posts, but more because we enjoy putting them together. 

We've been drinking from the hose these days - and trust we're not the type to glorify busy. No matter, at the end of the day, we're blessed to do what we love.

This week is an exciting one for us as today we kick-off a major client engagement (with a fantastic new production partner based in San Francisco) that will extend into March of 2016. And then tomorrow we're off to celebrate our client Graphicacy's first information design contest. The open house reception starts at 6:00 PM at the beautiful WeWork/Wonderbread Factory in Shaw.

TOP LEFT-RIGHT: View from the Newseum, top floor; Painting of Teddy Roosevelt at Teddy Restaurant in Dupont Circle; Office of Maga Design; and, my two favorite work colleagues.


On Wednesday we're thrilled to attend the Ignatius Forum at the Washington National Cathedral featuring Christine Lagarde and Lawrence Summers

In addition, we'll be sure to celebrate this essential holiday come Wednesday somewhere, somehow. 

And then there is Saturday - the holiday I refuse to acknowledge (a long story that involves R2D2). 

Enough holidays for now, have a fantastic week ... it's time to  move on to Monday's Kick:






October 12, 2015 - Monday's Kick

If anyone is looking for an exercise in humility and hard work (outside of just living life), look no further than entrepreneurship.

If you're a passionate person, and feel numbed by the constraints of 9-5, there are few greater challenges than waking up each day knowing that what you do each day makes/breaks your professional (and personal) reality. 

I did this once before. I worked 80 hr weeks for two years straight. On the verge of burnout I finally took a vacation (three weeks of surfing here). When I returned back to the states, I realized I was done. I had gone too hard for too long and my energy for what I was doing was officially depleted.

Passionate people always want the mountains and so it is no surprise that they burn out in the quest. As my mother once said: "You can't suck the marrow out of the bone every damn day".

My challenge was never the mountains - it has always been the peebles. When you are not minding the peebles you self-destruct.

This week we focus on the peebles - the small, mundane tasks and the necessary stepping stones to long term, sustainable achievement.

Because we're going to get it right this time.



Monday's Kick is kicking it a tad different today.  

Today's feature focuses on our favorite videos from NOWNESS, a site I spend a lot of time with for creative inspiration (as I don't watch TV, my time gets focused here).


October 5, 2015 - Monday's Kick

We're riding one serious energy high coming off an excellent week with three events that had us moving around the rain last week like nobody's business.

A special shout-out to the organizing team at Washington DC Ad Week and a special thanks to Scott Williams, COO of the Newseum, for kindly inviting us to speak. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the event.

Outside of event hopping last week also notable was an epic run-in with some carrot cake (the tuna here was amazing).  We'll behave this week.

It is the first week in October and officially Get Organized Week (it's also Eat Country Ham Month). But before we go do either one, it's time for Monday's Kick.




Here we go:

  • Kanye West recently said he wants to be the Creative Director for The Gap. We think he should go here instead. 
  • Design has become the new language of business and the ultimate disruptor. Exploring this theme is "Design Disruptors", a documentary by Invision. 
  • My style, in style. It was just a matter of time.
  • In thinking of brand and texture (AEY's signature approach to brand), it's worth noting Vanessa Friedman's article in the NY Times today on Alexander Wang's final collection for Balenciaga. Writes Ms. Friedman "occupied by his own house back in New York, he never had the time (or took the time, depending on how you want to look at it) to truly learn the Balenciaga catechism. And it’s only when you know it by heart that you can begin to deconstruct it, the better to rewrite it". A lesson for anyone looking to craft a new vision for a brand.
  • The decline of big soda - "the single largest change in the American diet in the last decade". Good news for health, challenging news for soda brands. 
  • Showing hometown love to LaToya Ruby Frazier, the only photographer among this year’s 24 winners of the prestigious MacArthur Genius Grants. From Ms. Frazier's site announcement: "Frazier explores identities of place, race, and family in work that is a hybrid of self-portraiture and social narrative. The crumbling landscape of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a once-thriving steel town, forms the backdrop of her images, which make manifest both the environmental and infrastructural decay caused by postindustrial decline and the lives of those who continue—largely by necessity—to live amongst it."

September 28, 2015 - Monday's Kick

It's the last week of September and the last week of Q3. We are three quarters through the year - we have three months until the end of the year.

It's time to focus in and make sure 2015 is a year to remember! 

On our mind(s) this week: baseball, this special holiday, and events. 

Last week we attended an excellent TEDx Mid-Atlantic event. One of our favorite presentations came from Bill LeoGrande, professor of Government and former Dean of the American University School of Public Affairs. LeoGrande spoke on back channel communications between the US and Cuba (check out his book).

This week we have Washington Ideas Forum hosted by The Atlantic, and, of course, AD WEEK DC. We hope to see you on Thursday morning for our session on innovative uses of storytelling in marketing. And send us a note if you'd like to join our luncheon at Bistrot du Coin!

And, finally - we announce our Q4 event calendar today, including the launch of the STORY Event Series starting in November in collaboration with Interface Media Group.  It will be a fantastic series, one that will continue into 2016. You can find out more on our Facebook page.

CREDIT: Morley, Graffiti Artist

CREDIT: Morley, Graffiti Artist

And, Monday's Kick:





September 14, 2015 - Monday's Kick

Each Monday we do a round-up of a few things that have caught our eye - part inspiration, part fancy. Getting our tanks full for the week ahead. 

And here we go:

  • When individualism becomes brand - what Kanye West and Nick Wooster can teach brands about texture.
  • A bit dated, but an excellent read. Angela Arendhts providing the 2010 Ball State Commencement.
  • Hank Richardson, a Design Coach at the Portfiolo Center in Atlanta, GA, writes about Lance Wyman, the iconic designer of the 1968 Olympic games. I particularly liked the exploration of design as a moral transaction - applying values through storytelling in design.
  • 10 Intriguing quotes by street artists.
  • And then there is this. Just because.