How to Stay on Brand While Going Off Platform

This week on Musings, writer + strategist Casey Halter shares post-2020 strategies for an evolving broadcast model.

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Muse by Clio: Elliott Chaffer on In-Camera Effects and a More Inclusive Future

This week on the Backstory, ECD Elliott Chaffer shares a quick interview on his out-of-the-box creative origins, inspirations, and hopes to transform the industry.

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Studio Hacks: Installing Apple’s Live Fish Wallpapers Back on Your iPhone

A quick tutorial on how to get our iconic betta fish wallpapers up and running on your mobile device.

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New Digital Age: Why Gen X Suddenly Matters More For Brands

Among the many pivots that brands will need to make in a post-COVID-19 world, there’s one oversight that no one seems to be discussing yet: the rising relevance of Gen X.

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Muse by Clio: What We Talk About When We Talk About Design

A glossary of real-talk terms and techniques for the modern creative.

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Creative Reference: Physical Media

For this month’s staff post, designer Steven Wimberley explores the world of tactile creativity, from fine art and photography to physical in-camera effects.

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#BlackLivesMatter: A List of Resources for the Creative Community to Fight Back

This week, dozens of agencies, studios, and creators are going dark to help amplify the voices and demands of people of color. Here’s an evolving list of how you can pitch in.

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Creative Pool: A Copywriter’s Guide to Communicating with AI

Online tools have gotten incredibly adept at acting, sounding, and behaving like real human writers. Could this help brands and agencies communicate better while we all work from home?

This week in Creative Pool, copywriter + strategist Casey Halter shares her experiences writing with AI, sharing the promise and pitfalls of engaging with virtual editors and assistants.

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Incendiary Headlines: How Brands Can Keep COVID-19 Messaging From Fanning a Dangerous Flame

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to accelerate and information rapidly circulates online around the crisis, incendiary headlines have exploded onto our newsfeeds, resulting in mixed messaging, confusion, and most dangerously — major panic.

With the spread of misinformation and online scare tactics, strategist Asia Hunt explains how we’ve entered into a growing economy of fear — and how brands, as primary communicators in our digital ecosystem, can lend a hand in diffusing this fear.

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Meth. We’re On It: Why South Dakota’s New Drug Campaign is Actually Good Ad Copy and Good Public Advocacy

Trollbäck copywriter Casey Halter shares her expert insights on the viral PSA, informed by her experience in both the health and brand advocacy worlds.

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Creative Reference: Lighting, Contrast, Composition

For this month’s staff post, designer + animator Luke Barker lets us peek inside his process and inspiration when creating for motion.

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Pride 2019: As Companies Celebrate More Than Ever, Why Do Brands Keep Queerbaiting?

Brand Strategist Asia Hunt deep dives into the murky waters of branded queerbaiting and how LGBTQIA+ identities are exploited as a marketing tactic.

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Creative Reference: The Art of Transitions

For this month’s staff post, video editor September Raines talks creative techniques, iconic scenes, and the unseen impact editing has on our experience of storytelling.

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Creative Reference: Linear Motion

For this month’s staff post, designer + animator Koda Ko lets us peek inside her creative process for our latest Verizon 5G anthem

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Ps. I Love You: An Art Director’s Ode to Adobe’s Most Iconic Software

For this month’s staff post, art director Sarah Cohen describes love at first sight, awkward interactions, and deeply interfacing with a modern design icon.

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Culture Pass: Why We’re Excited About the NYPL’s Latest Creative Collaboration

It’s officially time to renew your library card.

With so much of New York culture specifically and unapologetically catered towards the tourism industry, NYC residents are often left (or jaded) out of the loop when it comes to catching what the city has to offer. But the launch of Culture Pass, a new partnership introduced this week between the New York Public Library system and 33 museums across the city is giving locals a new sense of cultural agency in a city run on sightseeing.

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Creative Reference: Type, Light, and Physical Space

Exploring how digital effects can translate to live in-camera FX.

For this month’s staff post, designer + animator Pat King gives us a glimpse behind his creative process for Motion 2018.

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Get Hired, Stay Busy: How to Be a Good Freelancer

Young designers, take note. 

Are you a freelancer looking to score a gig at a cool design agency in New York City? In a place full of top-notch talent, it takes more than just a cool reel or website to get noticed. Take it from Daniel Graf, our in-house production coordinator, who recently compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for how to make it amid the competition.

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In-Camera Effects: “Keeping it Real” in a Post-Digital Culture

Let’s be honest–it’s fun to play.

Creating real visual effects in-camera is something I am passionate about. Call me “old skool,” but I strongly believe that now, more than ever, it is important to create work with personality and a human touch that breaks free from the sameness of work created with today’s over-obsession with plug-ins and render engines.

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Social Scale: Why Authenticity, Simplicity, and Meaning Matters More Than Ever in Online Culture

In light of the recent Facebook + Cambridge Analytica controversy, art director Ben Nichols muses on the importance of honest brand communication on social media.

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Digital Creative Strategy: Why Cross-Platform Design + Messaging Systems Matter for Brands

As we see media distributors losing consumers from traditional linear TV, digital distribution and social media have become crucial for creating engagement, boosting awareness and growing a brand’s customer base, among dozens of other KPIs.

For our latest staff post, head of client partnerships, Joe Nash overviews what it takes for brands to adopt and implement a comprehensive digital messaging and design strategy, and how studios like ours can help cut through the chaos.


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Beauty+Logic: The Value of Simplicity

by Ben Nichols, Senior Designer/Animator

In recent years, the development of cinematic-quality television has raised expectations for show titles to new heights and elevated it in public consciousness. Look no further than Ryan Gosling’s viral SNL skit, “Papyrus,” poking fun at the font choice for James Cameron’s blockbuster film Avatar. Of course the skit was a huge hit with us type design nerds, but it also reflects an increased viewer awareness of film and show titles as a distinct art form.

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Beauty + Logic: Get the Picture

by Jess Bennett, Copywriter

For someone who values speed and efficiency in everyday life as much as I do, I have a limitless attention span when it comes to painstaking activities that inspire tedium in others. I love jigsaw puzzles – the tinier and more convoluted the pieces, the better. I love knitting, even though it’s infinitely more practical to buy a sweater than spend 40+ hours making one. I enjoy listening to the Grateful Dead (but draw a line at the tedium that is Drums and Space). What’s behind this patience-disparity?

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Beauty + Logic: Design Still Matters

by Rosie Garschina, Creative Director

Dieter Rams and his “10 Principles of Good Design” have had a huge influence on my practices as a designer, and continue to be a great reference for creating simple, effective design solutions. Until recently, it was easy to classify a product as well-designed. But what might be more important is recognizing that good design is not always successful branding.

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Beauty+Logic: I Share Therefore I Am Not

by Elliott Chaffer, Executive Creative Director

To be clear: I am not talking about the false value that people and brands place on the amount of shares they get or “friends” they have on social media. Nor am I talking about file sharing, timeshares, ride shares, re-shares, shareholders or company shares. And frankly, I couldn’t care less about selfies, hashtags, cat pics, or pictures of what you ate last night. Share a real meal with someone instead and find out something new.

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Beauty + Logic: A New Way to Learn Non-Verbal Storytelling

by Alex Moulton, Chief Creative Officer

I am on a constant quest to understand what makes great stories work on screen. But while reading scripts and mapping stories continue to teach me a lot about what works, I’ve always wished there was a better way to learn about non-verbal storytelling.

Now there’s a new tool for learning the unspoken side of the craft. Everyone has access to it, but most don’t even realize it’s there.

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“Beauty + Logic”: Tweets vs. Tales

by Jess Bennett, Copywriter / Communications Coordinator

Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a candid book that’s part memoir, part style manual, and part self-improvement guide. It’s the most honest book I’ve read about writing, and the most valuable. It was also published in 2000: four years before Facebook, six years before Twitter, a decade before Instagram. Today, we are rabid consumers of words and content; much more, I would argue, than when King first started On Writing in 1997. Now more than ever, with innumerable apps and platforms available for us to swipe, like, and share (including this one), everybody writes.

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“Beauty + Logic”: The Art of the Question

by Alex Moulton, Chief Creative Officer

“Design is a solution to a problem. Art is a question to a problem.”

John Maeda, 2009

Maeda’s insight remains a profound reduction of the divergent mindsets between designers and artists. When I first heard it I was in complete agreement, but nearly a decade later I think it’s worth a closer look. I now believe that it’s more important than ever for designers to be asking deeper questions at every stage of our process. It’s not enough to focus on solutions.


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Beauty+Logic: “Teaching Brands to Swim”

by Jorge Peschiera, Creative Director

There was a time when a brand identity was basically a logo, a font, and a color scheme. And yes, there was research and strategy that informed all of that, and stern talk of “safe areas” and “brand voice.” But still, it was simpler then. It was a time when mass communication was in its infancy and print was the dominant medium. Those sweet, innocent days are over, but most people who work in branding today seem to have missed that memo. Many branding firms still adhere to a fundamentally print-centric model. They fail to see how profoundly things have shifted.

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Beauty+Logic: “In Favor of Brutalism”

by Brian Bowman, Creative Director

The Whitney had a new home. I was excited to see it and thankful that Trollbäck+Company had purchased tickets for our whole studio to attend the opening exhibition. The new building fit in well with its industrial Meatpacking surroundings and popular High Line elevated greenway. The entire area had been refurbished for retail, posh restaurants, and an Apple Store. Change in cities is good (mostly); especially when neighborhoods at risk of becoming vacant and dilapidated are able to be transformed into something vibrant again. Change is the litmus of life in the city and I’d rather see continuous change than stagnation due to vacancy or overzealous preservation.

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