Never trust a skinny chef. It’s an adage I’ve always enjoyed thinking about; not just because as I continue learning new recipes in the kitchen it gives me an excuse to put on a few pounds. If you’re unfamiliar with the metaphor, the idea it conveys is that a) he/she has eaten enough food to know what’s truly delicious or b) they have tasted, tested, and repeated to become excellent at what they do. In my mind it’s the same sort of mistrust you would have in a shaky-handed deputy patrolling your town.
What I can appreciate most in this colorful “practice what you preach” phrase is the visual representation of experience and the sense of comfort you can receive from it. So with an energized effort to practice what we preach, our team at modern8 looked inward at ourselves through the same lens as we would a client who has engaged us in our d5 Perception Branding Process.
We’ve described the process in an earlier Newsletter, but if you you need a refresher on how our Adjective/Archetype exercise works, it’s fairly simple. We give our clients a list of adjectives and ask them to choose those that best reflect their company’s brand. Upon analysis, these choices reveal their archetype—which is an archaic, universally-understood pattern or icon that the Swiss analytical psychologist Carl Jung had found appearing consistently from stories told around the world. This new understanding and awareness of their brand helps to unify employees in their perceptions of who the company is and why it exist on a more emotional level, thus creating a cohesive team of brand ambassadors.
What emerged from our exercise—during which we were looking forward to what we want to be, rather than what we currently are—is that we have a split personality. Our base archetype was, fittingly and predictably, that of the Creator. So we delved deeper into our analysis for something to give us added differentiation from other creative agencies and discovered that there were three specific sides to the Creator archetype; each representing aspects of who we are and what we do at modern8. Rather than getting too much into the technical aspects of our analysis, we’ve personified the three creators with sub-archetypes to provide a better understanding:
Julia Child: Creator/Sage
Picking up on some of the characteristics of the Sage archetype, Julia Child is the perfect representation of master articulation and artful execution. We’d love all of our designs to be as mouth-watering as her dishes.
William Shakespeare: Creator/Lover
Our role in helping a client brand themselves is to help define and develop their story. Figuring out what you’re selling isn’t hard. But figuring out why your clients should care is a different matter entirely.
Steve Jobs: Creator/Rebel
We’re all designers by background; so our battlecry remains “Think Different.” We get just as jaded and dissatisfied as you in run-of-the-mill templates and oversaturation in design trends. Our goal is to continue to push convention and evolve our aesthetic while maintaining a high level of clarity in communication—which is and will continue to be the purpose of design.