The new website for Edenspiekermann is up. A lot of the projects are fairly mainstream and a lot of the copy sounds rather “corporate” to me. That is the result of having to agree on every sentence between nine partners and 100 colleagues. My personal take is represented by the text I wrote about the HOW.
We run our business by sharing responsibility among nine partners. Each of us run project teams. We do not take money from faceless networks and don’t have to be accountable to their controllers. We alone decide who we work for and how we organize ourselves. And we put our money where our mouths are: we are shareholders and interested in the long view.
Most design consultancies or branding agencies (pick your own name) offer pretty much the same type of work. It is how they go about their work that makes the difference. It is a question of attitude, personality, even morals.
The current crisis is also a crisis of values: are people accountable for what they do? Is success rewarded with fat premiums but failure paid for by society? Can we carry on asking for growth as the only way forward? Do we need new values?
Even designers are not only judged by the visible results of their work, but more and more so by how they achieved them. Originality, personality, accountability are new buzzwords. Attitude is more interesting than cleverness.
Brands are successful when they when they are authentic, when they show attitude. They show how they make products, how they treat their people, how they look at the future. Cheap stuff – the What – will still be made in China and elsewhere. Complex processes – the How – are designed here.