Designing the End of the World

Hexanine: Apocalypse Survival Kit

Well, the world didn’t come to an end in 2012. But our clients and friends were well-prepared, just in case. We made sure if it, sending out Apocalypse Survival Kits with all the necessary elements to ride out any random cataclysm. Check out more of the details and design, armageddon be damned.

Tim Speaking At RMU

Hexanine: Tim Lapetino speaking at Robert Morris University

I (Tim) will be speaking next week at Robert Morris University in Chicago, as part of the Call To Action Design Symposium, presented by RMU’s Institute of Art and Design. My talk is titled “Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Preparing For the Future of Design,” and focuses on what designers and other creatives can do to face tomorrow’s challenges — both within design, and for the greater world. Also, it’s always nice to share the bill with another awesome designer and friend, Justin Ahrens. Both Hexanine partners are available for speaking engagements, and you can reach out to us with requests at

Style Is Not A Solution

Style is not a solution - Hexanine

It should be obvious, but style is not a strategy. Instead, style is just one tool in the marketer’s arsenal, brandished to help deliver a specific result, whether it is emotional, visual, or otherwise.

Or maybe style is more like a spice or seasoning. It tastes good, adds unique and distinctive flavor, but can’t stand alone as a meal. We need the red meats of strategy and goal-oriented design to deliver the goods, without being tricked into the idea that style can solve a problem on its own. In our lightning-fast culture, the speed of trends is increasing, and marketers, designers, and artists are often at risk of getting “over trended.”

Ephemeral trends and visual styles are at the highest levels — they’re the waves crashing and moving quickly over the top of the water, while the still waters of good design and communication ripple underneath. Great design and branding is knowing when to ride the crests, and when it’s best to dive deep.

New work: YMCA and pipopipo

new projects: YMCA and pipopipo

It’s been busy around here, and we’re finally about to slow down a moment to talk about some of the work that has kept us so engrossed.

We’ve posted some new projects in our portfolio, including some fun, family-centered work for YMCA of the USA, as well as the interactive brand presence for new children’s apparel maker pipopipo. Check out the linked project descriptions and drop us a line if you’d like to discuss how we might partner with your organization for similarly awesome results.

Musings: Eames on Art

Our short musings on design, branding, business and the human condition.

“Art resides in the quality of doing; process is not magic.” – Charles Eames

Musings: If Crash Davis Were A Designer

Our short musings on design, branding, business and the human condition.

With apologies and a tip of the hat to Kevin Costner for his wonderful Crash Davis speech in “Bull Durham”:

“Well, I believe in the Big Idea, the pitch, the hands, the power of a well-crafted phrase, the value of sketching, exquisite craft, late nights, that the work of David Carson belongs in the 1990s. I believe Paul Rand acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing advertising as branding and horizontal scaling of typography. I believe in the group critique, eyeball-searing visuals, under-promising and over-delivering, and I believe in long-term, ambitious, deep, professional dreams that will last the next three decades.”

A Digital Generation Searching For Analog Experiences

Digital Generation looking for Analog Experiences

It’s not just the hipsters who are doing it. Analog seems to be making a comeback. LP sales are climbing, people are resurrecting Polaroid-style film, preserving wooden type, buying vintage furniture and old-style printing with a vengeance. These are all natural reactions to seismic changes in technology and the ways in which we interact with objects. We can understand these sometimes-oddball interests and activities if they’re viewed through the lens of history. For hundreds — nay, thousands of years, human beings have interacted with physical objects and spaces in a particular way, whether it was hoeing in a dusty Nebraskan field, or signing a paper contract. But then digital devices arrived on the scene, and voila! Things have changed.

Read on…

Musings: Authenticity

Because some insights are short and sweet, we’re adding something new to our writing. “Musings” will be some short thoughts we’ve had on topics related to what we’re doing at Hexanine, in life, and beyond.

Balancing Authenticity and Professionalism

It’s hard to be real and vulnerable, showing your mistakes and stepping out from behind the curtain of perceived perfection. This seems at odds with the cultural veneer of professionalism that we’ve come to expect from “the experts” in a field. But maybe showing a little bit of leg, revealing some of our humanity, doesn’t highlight our flaws as much as it reminds us of how much we are all alike.

Skittles: Taste the Brand Book

Skittles Brand Book Cover

Brand books are awesome. As proof, we submit the Skittles brand book created by TBWA.

This strange and inspirational manifesto crystalizes the personality of a brand whose average consumer is “12–17 years old,” “wears large hats and other popular clothing,” and “fears long-limbed animals, such as giraffes.”

Sadly, TBWA recently lost the Skittles account, but not before producing some of the most memorable oddvertising the world has ever known.

More images after the jump.

Read on…

Join us at the SUPER iam8bit art show!

After nearly two years in hiatus, the iam8bit art show is back, with a high-profile gallery opening next Thursday, August 11th! This show will be one for the ages, and definitely worth checking out. Started by our friends at iam8bit in 2005, the art show has featured hundreds of artists’ interpretations of their favorite 1980s video game heroes, heroines, villains, and damsels in distress — and this show should be the best yet.

Peep the awesome poster art above, created by our buddy Dave Crosland.

Also, the new iam8bit book, which we designed and co-published, will be officially released at the show.

Take a look for more info on the opening, and the evening’s festivities, which will include all-night ambiance by DJ R-Rated. Both Jason and Tim will be in attendance, so come down and join us for the festivities!