Blood, Sweat and Tears

Nik put up on Facebook recently a post that celebrated two years of me (Adam) being on board Wemakedesign. Whilst Nik has been operating Wemakedesign herself for circa 11 years, its fair to say two of you joining forces changes everything. There’s a multiplying effect to every aspect of the business (almost like 1+1=3) and there’s also the subtle art of diplomacy and compromise to be navigated with each other.

I’ve posted elsewhere recaps of what we have achieved throughout the last 2 years and its incredible really what we have managed to get through. Its also incredible how much you learn and grow in that time – we started off in an escalating blaze of activity, so busy we never stopped to think, plan or consider next steps. It was a matter of completing one gig and moving onto the next. We also completed things we hadn’t anticipated and won huge jobs against the strongest competition both at home here in Ireland and abroad in the UK. I am glad to say we’ve never let it go to our heads (there wasn’t even time to get cocky) and we never dropped the standard of what we were trying to do. In January of this year we launched two of our biggest rebrands yet (Nesta & Odearest) and if there’s one thing nicer than winning a big project its launching one and for it to be a success. You feel that all of the effort, all of the hours, all of the pushing yourself gets vindicated further when everything starts to exceed the original goals set. This is where design truly delivers.

February came and finally the pressure decreased and we decided to use this moment to actually take stock. We had been so consumed with creating work for all of our clients that we hadn't had a minute ourselves to really define what kind of company we wanted to be, what did we want to do, go and achieve. We have built up a reputation for identity creation over the years, but the strategic and naming side of the business is a little less known. Now, it’s a lot easier to see a clients business or organization from an analytical stance, unpick it and find what makes them special, but when it comes to your own, that objectivity and clarity is a lot harder. We needed to really get to the heart of our own business, tell our story and define our message. We kept picking it up and putting it down, we would find other things to do and if we did write something down it was scribbled out the next day, the doctor is the worst patient. We advise other people all of the time that the trick is to really get to the heart of your brand, to unleash your true potential. You need to uncover what makes you special, what makes you different but most of all you really need to uncover your ’why’. Why do you do what you do?

So it was time to put things in motion. We reviewed all of our work we created over the previous period. We asked ourselves which we believed were the greatest successes, what was the most enjoyable to work on and of course why. Everything we were passionate about revolved around brands – be it creating them from the very start, rejeuvenating them, naming them or renaming them, redefining their strategic direction or refreshing their communications and bringing them to life. 'Brand' can be a dull overused word, but the territory and the possibilities within it are challenging, uplifting and invigorating. When you get it right you can make a real difference and that’s what makes us tick, making a real difference for our clients, leveraging the power of strategic thinking and design to create positive change. So what’s our why, why we get up in the morning and do it again and again. We make beautiful work, that empowers our clients, simple really. 

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