What keeps our fires stoked here at Exo Creative? What keeps us moving in the right direction?
- Extraordinary design
- Talented friends
- Unusual solutions
- Music, music and music
- Full fat lattes (so sue us)
Cold hard cash
Atypical design, branding and marketing plans that raise your eyebrows and make you hyper-focus. Pushing against the norm and taking calculated risks. Causing people to rethink everything they thought they knew, and see with fresh eyes. Being different. Never apologizing for thinking off the wall. After all, until the client sees all the options—especially the ones they didn’t realize they wanted—how can anyone be fully satisfied with the end result?
Ever thought about suffragettes this way?
Probably a bit more like this, right?
Point is, when creating you must explore every corner, even the darker ones.
Here’s a shortlist of others who have pushed the envelope and, in taking the risk of going their own way, propelled themselves way above the pack (and inspired us).
Flywheel Design: Award-winning Flywheel is a dynamic small agency, and they’re particularly savvy at self-promotion and killer homepages. Of course, they also know how to harness good design to solve problems for their clients. Their ‘About’ page is one of the best we’ve ever read. Need an example of their skillz? Check out Watt’s Grocery. Simple and bold, with an obvious understanding of the unique tenets of this restaurant and the community in which it thrives.
Joy The Baker: Joy’s site is the triumverate of honest writing, mouth-watering food porn and fantastic recipes for the home cook. How else do you explain the sweet tea bourbon cocktails post? Need a quick recipe? Don’t go here. Need a break from the drudgery of Thursday mornings? Pour a coffee and grab your reading glasses.
NPR: When we need our news fix, we head to NPR. They cover all the major topics, but they also have expansive reporting on human interest stories, people, art, culture and music. (Check out the Small Desk Concerts and tell me you don’t have serious job envy.) NPR typically exhibits authentic, compassionate insight with a slight twist of humor. Plus, where else can you get a great mix of written reporting along with the corresponding audio interviews?
Anthropolgie: Illustrative. Bespoke. Looks as hand-crafted as the clothes they sell. Anthropologie’s site is a seamlessly branded bridge between it’s storefronts and online retail. This company takes extreme care with every tiny detail, from the way they sew their seams to customizing their online shopping carts.
West Egg: Good food in a great urban environment is always inspiring. West Egg Cafe in Atlanta is a bustling hub (even very early on a Sunday morning), emanates a nonchalant hipness, and holds bragging rights to a mean eggs benedict. Most significantly, they win the award for best type-only menu. The play of weights, faces and color is just fantastic. This is not easy to do and they earn extra credit for getting it right.
Dwell: Ah, Dwell. Dwell Magazine covers all aspects of modern architecture and design. The website is clean, uncluttered, relevant and easy to navigate without being elementary. It is by far the resource for getting an inside peek at uber-cool modern homes from around the world. Heck, the even inspired this post from us. A nod is also due to the now-defunct, late great National Geo Adventure magazine. Their article opening spread designs were inspired and crazy-creative with type treatments, and they deservedly garnered the design awards during their heyday.
Joe Posnanski: Joe Posnanski’s sports posts are billed as ‘curiously long’ and indeed they are—and that’s why we love them. As a senior sports writer for Sports Illustrated, he has an amazing knack for diving really deep on sports topics, especially baseball. Most of the posts are thousands of words and are best digested over morning coffee or a long lunch. He’d be exactly the kind of guy you’d want to watch a baseball game with. If you’re a fan of America’s pastime, he is a must read.
What websites inspire you?