WITH PROJECTS, INC., NEW YORK NY
With Projects, Inc. is a multidisciplinary creative agency founded by Jiminie Ha in 2008. With a collective background in fine arts, curation, creative direction, design, publishing and fashion, With Projects, Inc. takes a unique approach to imaging brands and taking clients from concept to execution.
The agency has been awarded the Rome Prize (2012) and D&AD Award for Excellence in Publication/Newspapers Design (2015). In 2016, With Projects, Inc.’s digital campaign for Condé Nast was nominated for a Cannes Lion Award. With Projects, Inc. was nominated for the 2017 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Communication Design.
More recently, With Projects, Inc. has been recognized by TDC with multiple awards for their catalog work in 2020. Jiminie Ha was appointed the new Senior Director of Design at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2020.
With Projects, Inc. is a registered Minority Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE).
Tell us how and why you became involved in socially responsible communications, any thoughts on why design can be an especially effective tool for this goal, and, if you wish, give us an example of a project of which you are proud.
Since the pandemic and the rise of hate crimes, as a woman of color and business owner, it was imperative that my agency reflect the values our team stand for collectively, not just by partnering with more non-profit organizations, but also providing creative design consultation for emerging start-ups dedicated to combating racism. When client work doesn’t carve out those opportunities for us, we create our own — such as with ESL (English as a Second Language), a project dedicated to donate funds to red states during the 2020 elections. Pictures For Elmhurst was a project dedicated to providing urgent supplies to the front line hospital staff fighting the Covid virus. Dysmantyl was started as an organization to help combat discrimination by monitoring hiring practices in larger corporate environments. It’s particularly rewarding to help clients uncover that room for growth and build this into the brand’s ethos. We find it our responsibility to help clients understand why socially responsible communications and sustainability is essential for a brand’s growth and longevity.
Given the confluence of events and challenges our society now faces, does this moment in time present any special opportunities, urgencies, obstacles to designing for good?
Design is more often than not, optional, a luxury. It is imperative that we consider how we can implement design thinking as a way to create more efficiencies and sustainable outcomes in our lives. Fashion, for example, will never become sustainable as long as it continues to overproduce products that inevitably end up in landfills. Working with biodegradable products, or by working with “locally resourced” raw materials are short-term solutions to problems that are permanently impacting our environment and lives. Commercial design can not continue to operate as simply “decorative,” acting as a superficial bandaid by implementing buzz words as strategic solutions. We need to redesign our collective workflow approach and problem-solving skill sets.