It seems like a good time to be in the "doing good" space, for lack of a better term.
Vakser Zeltser: It's funny because we are starting to hear how corporations are more aware of social responsibility and sustainability. They are hiring consultants to tell them how to move in that direction. It shows that everyone is trying to change to get a little bit better. We can do that with our design.
Peraza: I think we've benefitted from being at the right place at the right time with a few different movements. First, it was the Brooklyn movement. Then, it was the social responsibility movement and the creation of media that really talks to people from a social responsibility angle, like Good. The readers of Good are the kinds of people we want to work with. They don't just do their job because of the salary they are going to take home. They think about how they are impacting the world and what meaning it has to other people and their lives. Since that's the core of why we started the studio and how we see things, it's been the perfect vehicle for us to show what we do and to reach new clients.
What are some design trends you see happening now?
Peraza: I see a collaborative consumption movement that is focused on reusing stuff that is already available rather than purchasing things or sharing. That's something that we've done some work in, and we're hearing from a lot of people who want to work with us who are in that space.
Over the last three years, there has been a 50-fold increase in interest on the web in infographics.
The other major movement that started over the last two or three years and is still picking up steam is the data visualization movement. This is the age of data. There are all these open, available sources of data that can be used to explain complex ideas. We've been using that data to create infographics for clients like Good, for organizations like the Ford Foundation.
Vakser Zeltser: It's a tool where you can tell a story. In the past, maybe you would write a report.
Peraza: Over the last three years, there has been a 50-fold increase in interest on the web in infographics. Every time we create an infographic, we see huge engagement. They get shared a shitload. That's really exciting because content creators and people who are trying to tell a story can reach more people. They can get people to dive into issues that people weren't as interested in through a conventional article or photographs.
What are some recent projects you really enjoyed working on?
Vakser Zeltser: We just finished the Ted Prize. We are currently working on the Ford Foundation annual report again this year. We do the infographics for Good.
Peraza: I think the most exciting piece we've worked on over the past couple months is actually a pro bono project. We were hired by Studio 360, and they wanted us to redesign the branding of teachers. It's this big, broad hypothetical project. We had about a week to think about how the language of teachers could be redefined and do justice to the intellectual effort that goes into teaching. We wanted to highlight the flexibility of teachers and their role as a guide rather than a condescending dictator in the classroom. The existing visual images are very childish: apples and abcs. They are for five year olds, if that. Teaching encompasses students of every age level, and we wanted to create a language that is respectful and exciting. We presented the work on the air to Kurt Andersen and got a lot of comments. It was very well-received. Some teachers wrote us and asked that we make the work openly available so they could use it. We created a site called InspireTeachers.org that has all the assets that we created available for download. We wanted to create something we could give to the public and let them do whatever they wanted to do with it.
Vakser Zeltser: In many ways, we got lucky that this is such a hot topic. We got to redesign a subject that is so close to everyone's heart.