On this week’s episode of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Bobby C. Martin Jr., founding partner of Original Champions of Design, a design and branding agency that builds better brands through informed and strategic identity system design.
In 2017, FastCompany named Martin Jr. one of the Most Creative People in Business. At OCD, Martin Jr. has led design projects for a wide range of clients such as the Girl Scouts of the USA, MTV, The New York Times, the National Basketball Association and the Studio Museum in Harlem to ensure their growth and creative goals.
Martin Jr. is one of the first pure designers to join The A-List Podcast, and offers a unique perspective having worked both in-house at brands and for external agencies. Tune in below!
- [0:00 – 0:54] Intro
- [0:55 – 5:53] Growing up in Virginia to parents who were both educators, and how he still applies what of much he learned in his childhood to his career today
- [5:54 – 9:59] Falling in love with design in High School, and learning how to express himself visually
- [10:00 – 11:10] What he learned from design legend Paula Scher and “painting with type”
- [11:11 – 18:30] Martin Jr. talks about his early career and the job that introduced him to graphic design
- [18:31 – 20:40] How to manage young talent, the importance of being patient, and giving people the freedom to make mistakes
- [20:41 – 24:16] How to push clients to be bold while still being respectful
- [24:17 – 27:45] Why agencies and design firms need to be more integrated, and how the best campaigns have a seamlessness between advertising and design
- [27:46 – 33:34] Moving to New York City to work for Gear Magazine, and how that experience taught him relentless work ethic
- [33:35 – 38:35] Going back to graduate school, why he chose The School of Visual Arts, and the importance of osmosis learning
- [38:36 – 40:40] Martin Jr. dives into the research tactics that inform design
- [40:41 – 47:03] His experience as design director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center, and how he sold his ideas to Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis
- [47:04 – 50:10] Launching Original Champions of Design, and the philosophy of the agency
- [50:11 – 53:26] The pros and cons of both external and in-house agencies
- [53:27 – 56:31] How to help people understand design work, and why the designer needs to be involved at every step of the process
- [56:32 – 1:05:16] Rebranding the NBA logo for the first time in 48 years
- [1:05:17 – 1:06:12] Outro
“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, an inspiring action agency, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter.
People pay us to get people to do things.
And we’re really good at it.
It’s an awesome responsibility.
Changing people’s behavior.
Their decisions and habits.
That’s why we’re not a “performance marketing” agency. Or a “digital” agency. Or a “direct” agency.
That’s why we’re an Inspiring Action agency.
That’s why we only incite more inspiring actions.
And more empowering habits.
And why we use our powers to ignite growth only in organizations that promote those kinds of behaviors.
But responsibility isn’t the only reason.
People bet their careers on our results every day.
We have learned by long experience that inspiring action simply works better.
We learned by being in big, siloed agencies that undermined our results by separating us.
We learned by proving it through results.
That the two most important factors for igniting growth are Inspiration and Action.
Inspiration – is there an idea or experience at the core of the brand that inspires unreasonable passion.
Action – is there urgency and ease and flow and momentum in the funnel of actions that create even deeper engagement and customer value.
Inspiring Action ignites growth by changing behaviors. Each one of us made an inspiring decision to come together.
To use what we’ve learned to inspire action for worthy organizations.
We can help people change their decisions and habits in ways that empower and delight them.
We combine the findings of behavioral economics, mobile clinical interventions, persuasion design, direct marketing, CRM, and decades of A/B split testing and optimizations into an integrated practice of behavior change marketing.
This video of our Chief recapping his time at the Yale Behavioral Economics Intensive dives into the topic in greater detail:
Want to learn even more about Behavior Change Marketing? These articles are a great place to start:
Behavior Change Science Update: Moral Reframing
What’s different about the one-in-a-thousand organization that thrives and outperforms? That builds a brand and inspires a movement?
Inspiring Action Brand of the Month: Duolingo
If you and your team are trying to build an inspiring action brand, or know anyone else who may find this helpful, feel free to share this amongst them. If you want to join the conversation yourself, reach out to us on twitter, we’d love to hear from you.
Branding is the process of building a coherent and distinct pattern of associations in the mind of a target audience.
When I say, “Apple,” a whole world of associations come up. When I say “Microsoft” a different world of associations come to mind. To the extent that both bring up associations, they have been “branded.” To the extent that those associations are clear, distinct, and helpful, they have been successfully branded.
Branding firms use culture, product, image, design, sound, voice, language, price, service, entertainment, celebrity, fashion, and interaction – an extremely broad range of tools – to build the brand. Today, the mission of an organization and the meaning of being associated with that mission is important to many people as well.
Too often, branding is associated with much more limited objectives. For example, logo and visual identity standards. While these are key tools for branding, they alone don’t create the brand.
Very often, when people use the word “brand” they are referring to what the company thinks and says about itself.
But brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room. Brand is about what your audience feels about you in their heart of hearts. Your brand is not what you tell people it is, your brand is what people tell people it is. What you say is just your attempt to affect that understanding.
Today, brands are built by great products and services, first and foremost. In a world of online reviews, advertising and spin cannot trump a predominance of bad experiences. Not everyone, but your target audience must be delighted.
We are thrilled to announce that the identity our design team created for inspiring action client HelloFresh has won a Silver Award in Graphis Logo Design 9 Competition. Graphis is committed to presenting and promoting the work of exceptional talent in Graphic Design, Advertising, Photography and Art/Illustration. Our work will be featured in the Graphis Logo Design9 & Letterhead8 hardcover book, which can be purchased here.
We began the rebrand process in early 2016, collaborating closely with HelloFresh’s Global Design and Marketing team. The new logo and brand launched in late July and has been embraced by the company and its subscribers alike. We also redesigned the packaging which has been adapted in all nine of HelloFresh’s global markets. Check back with us soon for a full case study!
Take a look through our full design showcase here.
The context is the user’s or the audience’s experience. Design in context. Present in context. Evaluate in context. The first rule of design. And remember that everything we do is design.
At DiMassimo Goldstein, we put our values in a document we call “The DIGO Standard.” It doesn’t just hang on the walls and sit on our desks and desktops. We use it every day. People who visit often ask for a copy. Here’s yours, and you didn’t even have to ask.
When you review design presentations, do you feel a thrill?
Do you get truly excited by the choices you have in front of you?
You deserve to see work that excites you, and a design team that brings you work so good, it’s hard to choose.
Take a look through our full design showcase here.
Which touch point of your brand does your customer encounter first? A name, a sound, a color? They’re all part of your brand identity. Good design is the brand made tangible: it’s bought, sold, eaten, worn, heard, held. DIGO offers all the disciplines required to launch, relaunch and strengthen brands, including naming, logo design, collateral design, 3-D and environmental design, service design, product and packaging design, and fully implementable, media-ready, corporate identity system design.