The New Exhibition features those whose careers have become collateral damage of war. 

ISSUE No. 61

What's the hardest thing about designing a burrito holder?
All burritos are not the same size.

 Why does it feel like so many brands don't understand "creatives"?
 Maybe it's because they don't.

Who is HBO and Netflix's newest animation partner?
Meet Brooklyn's Mighty Oak studio.

Is design a skill set?
Or a mindset?

The View From Here

When Russian tanks began rolling into Ukraine, several members of a major independent New York City design studio—including many from Eastern Europe—decided to build an online directory to bring immediate attention to the work of Ukrainian designers, illustrators, animators, typographers and other artists and connect them directly with art directors and agencies in the West.

That online showcase, The New Exhibition, has just launched. 

As part of a global community, we can make a real difference in the lives of our creative colleagues whose careers have become collateral damage: We can hire them. They need the work. They need to support their families. We need their remarkable talent.   

And while the team that built The New Exhibition asked not to be named, they've said they will continue to expand the showcase over time with new work and talent. We could see this directory impacting those in Ukraine, as well as being a spot to highlight and support others who might find themselves in unexpected, unsettling geopolitical situations. 

Creativity defines us. A deep appreciation of art and craft bind us together. And it is together that we will navigate through these frightening times.

Have a great week. 


        Image: Burrito Pop

“One design challenge was that burritos have different widths. If you order something from Chipotle, it can be up to four-and-a-half inches in diameter, whereas a burrito from Señor Sisig is closer to two-and-a-half inches in diameter...We surveyed a bunch of people on their burrito lengths, widths and diameters. Then we found this data set of hundreds of burritos all across the country. My goal was to cover like, 90% of burritos. My prototypes were two-and-a-half inches wide, and we wound up going with three-and-a-quarter inches.” 
Madelin Woods, Entrepreneur, Designer and Inventor of Burrito Pop

Burrito Pop! The Eight-Year Passion Project For Those Who Worship at the Altar of Chipotle →

New + Notable
Creators, Get Thee to the Raddison! 

The Buzz
File this under stories we didn’t see coming: The Radisson Inn & Suites has unveiled its new brand, “an upper midscale, limited-service hotel brand intended to defy the repetition and predictability of this popular hotel segment.” (image of the predictability-defying space above) According to the release, the new concept will be “geared for content creators.”

In Context
In response to the growing social network of gamers, influencers, and other “content creation professionals, the Radisson Inn & Suites design delivers a one-of-a kind Creative Content Studio featuring state-of-the-art monitors, gaming chairs, and a high-speed Internet connection for social media content creation or video game play.”

But Wait There's More
“This unique flexible workspace also allows guests to combine work and pleasure organically.” And who doesn’t love to combine work and pleasure organically. (We'd call it "pork"–the beautiful marriage of pleasure and work.)

Our Take
We’ve always bristled at the term “creator economy” or however else we’re describing creative-minded people in a TAM-friendly way. For one, whenever we ask someone to define what they mean by “creator economy” they can’t, or everyone has their own definition. And it’s a big, wide-ranging group of people–Radisson want to target gamers and “social influencers to continue developing their messages and telling their stories while traveling.” 🤷‍♀️

Then there’s the cool factor: Are we really going to start saying, “Let’s meet at the Radisson to talk through those ideas...they've got state-of-the-art monitors!”

Bonus Points
We understand why brands want to hop on the creator wagon. But brands, give us a call if you’re considering making a creator-friendly move like this. We talk to people in our world all the time…we’ll help you come up with something better!
Image: c/o Raddison Hotel Group

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Consider Us Intrigued
Inside The Principles of Pleasure animation

If you turn on Netflix this evening and the algorithm serves you The Principles of Pleasure, you might wonder who made all of those animations that debunk myths of sex education. That would be the Brooklyn studio Mighty Oak whose work has shown up in Mary J. Blige’s My Life documentary as well as across HBO. Mighy Oak produced over 30 minutes of animation for the series using stop motion, collage, motion graphics and three different styles of 2D.

Mighty Oak put in a lot of legwork to get it right. They brought on an archival researcher to help them find hundreds of images related to sex education throughout human history. And they worked with a medical illustrator to accurately show the anatomical parts of the human body in all their beauty. “The historical record of sex education is from a very narrow and incomplete perspective,” said Daniel Shepard, Mighty Oak’s Head of Development. “The historical images were overwhelmingly white and cis. This is not an accurate picture of the diverse range of people that were a part of the research and conversation, and speaks volumes to the problems we still have in healthcare today.”

It’s not easy to illustrate internal organs in a way that makes immediate sense to people — especially when showing a body part that works both internally and externally. Mighty Oak used fading transitions from the outer body to the inner body and highlighted body parts with a glowing effect to help the viewer to understand what they’re looking at. 

Fortunately, one of the big projects Mighty Oak had right before The Principles of Pleasure was a seven-part sex ed series called “Ask the Experts” for Planned Parenthood, in which they animated many of the same types of diagrams. “So to our surprise, we actually felt somewhat prepared to dive into this next level of animated anatomy!” said Shepard. 

The success with Netflix and HBO has set Mighty Oak up to launch its own development department. “For our first slate of projects, we are developing original animated series ranging from a stop motion murder mystery to a 2D children’s series about twin witches,” says Shepard. Their style, adds Shepard, will be “weird, niche, funny and crafty AF.” 

Images: Mighty Oak

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