CO-FOUNDER AND SENIOR PARTNER
THINKSO CREATIVE, NEW YORK NY
Brett cofounded Thinkso with business partner, Elizabeth Amorose, in 2006. The “content-driven” creative agency values editorial content and artful design in equal measure – designing and writing everything inhouse, for a wide range of industries including hospitality, finance, medicine, consumer goods, legal, athletics, and nonprofit. Brett provides creative direction on all of Thinkso’s projects.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU COME TO USE DESIGN TO ADVANCE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE AND/OR SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS, CLIENTS AND CAUSES?
We didn’t start Thinkso to save the world — and after nearly 13 years, we still don’t claim to dedicate our business solely to sustainable or socially responsible initiatives. But giving back and supporting causes we believe in is super important to us. Initially, we did a lot of one-off pro bono projects for social causes and tiny nonprofits. We loved the energy it brought to the studio, but it got to the point where reconciling the workload with paying projects presented a challenge. So we came up with a more disciplined way to integrate do-gooding into the studio. We call it Give a Brand!®
Give a Brand! is an exercise in “extreme branding” — with all the work done in one day, all hands on deck, for one underfunded nonprofit. It’s like a brand barn raising. By concentrating our efforts on a single annual event, we are able to do a lot more for the client because we aren’t spreading ourselves thin. Our work gives the client the tools they need to raise awareness and funding. And thanks to generous vendors/sponsors, the nonprofit walks away with things like printed materials and a fully functional website. Design is an especially effective tool for this goal. A nonprofit organization might have an amazing mission, but if it can’t get the word out, it can’t make real progress. Good design provides both clear communication and credibility.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL CHALLENGES, OPPORTUNITIES, URGENCIES IN 2018?
In the past year, we’ve seen an uptick in environmentally minded for-profit businesses, which is great. We redesigned the brand identity, website, packaging, and sales collateral for Rodeo Plastic Bag & Film. They’re a Texas-based company that produces high quality contractor bags and custom plastic bags from recycled agricultural plastics that prevent millions of pounds of plastic from reaching landfills each year. Currently, we’re working on a redesign of Singing Prairie Farms, a network of regenerative pig farmers who are reinventing the way pork is farmed so that it actually reverses global warming. Their approach produces a healthier, tastier produce and the grass-fed pigs are treated really well. Another opportunity, ironically, came out of the Trump election and #MeToo movement. We created the identity, website, and content for #MonumentalWomen, a campaign to raise awareness and funding to erect the first statue honoring a woman in Central Park. It subsequently attracted great corporate sponsors —New York Life and Johnnie Walker — and the statue is on track for a 2020 reveal.
PHOTO: MATTHEW SEPTIMUS