After nearly ten years, it was time to change our clothes.
The best client-agency relationships are true partnerships built on trust, collaboration, and the notion that we’re all in this together to build something amazing for the people we serve. At nearly the ten-year mark, lookthinkmake has enjoyed so many of these relationships. It’s what keeps us excited, pushing new boundaries and challenging our thinking.
In theory, it’s an amazing synergy. And in practice, we see it all the time. But when the agency becomes the client—oh, the (potential) horror!
So when it came time for us to do what we love—build a new identity that acknowledges and grows our current brand equity—we were faced with a real challenge: how can we be the best clients to our team, and produce great work as a result?
When you’ve got talented folks and strong instincts, it’d be easy to jump in and start designing, intuiting what we think is right because, after all, we’re dressing ourselves. But to do it right, we hired ourselves instead, and put ourselves through our own process. And to get to the right place, we did our best to be good partners. Here’s how we practiced what we preached:
(1) The charrette: Lots of soul searching, lots of “what if”-ing—and no fighting. We talked at length about who we are and what we do, where we’ve been and where we’re going. And, like we do with all of our clients, we distill our brand down to five key terms that drive us forward and keep us on task. Part mantra, part brand personality, we identified the type of agency we are and the type of work we want to create: welcoming, colorful, thoughtful, soulful, and real.
(2) The brief: Writing about yourself is hard. And we all know that no one wants to read a brief just for the sake of reading it, so it had to be good. So trust us, it was amazing. If you want to see it, come on over.
(3) The moodboard: It’s kind of like looking in the mirror when you’re trying on new things, and a really good stylist knocks on the door and hands you stuff you never dared try, but they know you’ll look great in it. Our team produced a pair of moodboards, one that felt cool and sophisticated, and one that felt lively and right but pushed us out of our comfort zone. We took the hint and picked the scary one. Good client, good.
(4) The designs: We committed to committing. No go backs. No “let’s see ten more.” And faced with four options that we loved, committing was easy to commit to, but hard to do. We said all the usual things, like can we tweak this color or bump up that stroke weight, but all in all, we created a look that was loved across the entire team.
So, did we stay on task, and see the process through? Yep.
Did we believe in the team and let them do their best work? Sure.
Did we give good, direct feedback throughout the journey so we could end at our best place? Uh-huh.
Did we finish on time and stay on budget? Indeed we did.
We like to think that we were good clients to ourselves. In no small part because we trusted the process, which we’ve developed over the last ten years of working with amazing clients who have trusted us.
And ten years later, we wear it well.