My First Brand Love
When I first starting absorbing the brand of Adidas, I was in the 5th grade, and it was the circulating rumor that the brand name stood for “All Day I Dream About Sex”. So, naturally, as an adolescent, that suggested something scandalous, risqué, dirty, fun, alternative and combining that with the various ways people would pronounce it, made it even more mysterious.
Me pictured with my faux-striped sweats in 1980
Then as a teenager, wanting to be good at a sport, I leaned towards soccer (for a few minutes). But in those few moments, the two brands dominating were Adidas and Diadora. These two great names in name had mystery, European heritage, relevant and interesting endorsements and later as a designer I can see even the visual dance of typography working in their favor.
But it has been the consistency of Adidas’ that has had them always take pole position as an everlasting classic brand. They never let their guard down on the creation of the Stan Smith, except to offer in a variety of colors which is both innovative yet, maintaining standards cementing them as a solid brand with integrity. Those three stripes, regardless of how they made themselves evident, through color, fabric, perforated air vent holes, solids, patterns and textures – they committed and that’s commendable.
Over the last decade, Nike, Reebok, Nautica, Timberland, Fila, and several others have tried to keep ahead of fashion or trail quickly behind to remain a player in a very finicky marketplace and some have done admirably and others desperate at their conviction and execution bringing them down in class and “brand” stature. With younger generations take the lead on establishing these trends, securing approachable and likable personalities and pro athletes have been the key to clinching thought leadership and brand acceptance. From there, the chain of brand acceptance travels up to older generations wanting to hold onto their youth and to connect with the younger gen’s.
And this has worked perfectly for Adidas throughout the years, minus a few years, where we, as a civilization fell off the wagon of restraint and delve straight into the abyss of excess (Reebok and Nike played nicely into that time period), where Adidas didn’t fare so well, THANKFULLY.
Likes & Fans & Shares
Then social media came around and has allowed all of these players to get in the game and connect with their fans via interest-triggered posts, non-traditional media components such as viral videos, leading edge animations and strategic, sexy and playful videos of celebrities endorsing, reacting and embracing these footwear brands.
One of which is still one of my favorite videos of all time – featuring a diverse motley crew of high net worth individuals and even more valuable to Adidas, about a dozen social influencers, any brand would want hocking their wares. And here they all are together at the greatest party of all time with a classic soundtrack. Some of the celebrities getting their “brand-on” are: (shown here) Katy Perry and design collaborator Jeremy Scott, and including: Run DMC, David Beckham, Kevin Garnett, Missy Elliott, Ilie Năstase, Russell Simmons, Kimora Simmons, Mark Gonzales, Young Jeezy, Estelle, Redman, Methodman, Chad Hugo and the Ting Tings.
Other Partnerships I’ve Enjoyed
Adidas has been able to expand into a more couture-centric celebration through their partnership with Yohji Yamamoto. Yohji, an influential Japanese fashion designer fro Tokyo/Paris is considered a master tailor and known for his avant-garde work featuring Japanese design aesthetics. His partnership with Adidas is through the sub-brand of Y3.
And a must-watch: The Y3 2017 Spring/Summer Runway Show
Another out-of-the-box ambassador for Adidas, is the Hip Hop Trooper. Also known as Eugene “Stryder” Brown, he’s been incorporating cosplay, design, costuming, music and brand ambassador, not by being endorsed, but out of respect for the brand. (think LL Cool J and RunDMC).
Which Leads Me to Today
I am seeing everyone walking around with Adidas on them in some way or form.
Tshirts, hats, pants, bags, backpacks, (sometimes even on their feet) – which brings me to this next observation for consideration. Is oversaturation of the Adidas brand eminent?
I live in Atlanta and travel around quite a bit. Recently, I’ve spent time in San Francisco, Asheville NC, and this week I am in Boston and am fascinated by the saturation the Adidas brand has had on multiple generations. Walking down Newbury Street in Boston yesterday, I saw more than 20 or 30 examples of the legendary trefoil logo present, in several cases, obnoxiously over-scaled and in some cases, not following suit with the graphic standards I’ve become so used to seeing.
Is this wrong?
Not at all. But it does give me pause around my own understanding and self-interest around the brand, if everyone else is wearing it this way, seems less special, seems like the brand is starting to jump the shark. Much like what has happened to Fila, Nautica, Polo, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Ed Hardy (thank goodness) and several others.
BTW, while sharing this write-up with my wife and 20 year-old daughter, the question around “what does Jumping the Shark mean”?, so I thought I’d add this for reference:
One reason for this whole inquiry is the showing up of the trefoiled logo at stores such as Ross, Marshals and Nordstrom Rack. When this happens, it’s usually the beginning of the end for a brand to be considered special and unique. It’s more than household at this point, it’s bordering on discount, which are often perceived to be of lesser quality, craftsmanship, second runs or overstocks – which for Adidas, this is the first time I’ve seen this much saturation for them in the market.
Well, as a brand strategist, designer and lifelong ambassador for the brand of Adidas, I do.
What can I do?
What it does remind me?
What it mean to love a brand. This constant reminder, this market saturation of a brand I personally endorse, is providing me time to ponder the thought process around why we like something or even, desire their products. I will continue wearing my white on white Stan Smith’s 250 days a year and hope they remain a brand champion and continue on for another 70 years. Thank you Adolf Dassier!
Working with Brady Lowe of the Taste Network, we’re proud to announce the first of many exciting launches around this new culinary and experiential brand.
We designed the logo with one primary driver as inspiration – full utilization of the fruit, from apps, to artisanal beverages to some of the most creative and inspiring dishes.
WHAT IS PeachFest?
PeachFest, a first of its kind event in Atlanta, hits downtown on Sunday, August 13. Named after Georgia’s most iconic product, this festival aims to celebrate all of this great state’s agricultural diversity – from the namesake peach to blueberries and peanuts, heritage breed pigs and Vidalia onions. All proceeds will go to Piggy Bank, which helps support family farms that raise heritage breed pigs and offers additional support in the form of educational resources.
To learn more about PeachFest, please visit www.peachfest.org
Over the last few years, we’ve had the great opportunity to work with the Newton County Office of Economic Development on a number of marketing and brand-building initiatives. We started with refining their presentation deck, then to revisiting and redesigning their visual identity, then to filming a years worth of experiences within Newton County and Covington, culminating in a 3-minute Newton County experience. From that point forward, we’ve worked on messaging, campaign development, web development, video and narrative storytelling, social media support and strategies and public relations.
We are honored to have played such a strong role in the resurgence of this Georgia county and hope to continue the ride with Serra and Dave.
Check out the latest version of the site:
SeeThrough can be defined as a HAPPENING.
A happening is a performance, event or situation meant to be considered art, usually as performance art. Happenings take place anywhere, and are often multi-disciplinary, with a non-linear narrative and the active participation of the audience. Key elements of happenings are planned, but artists sometimes retain room for improvisation.
Working with PushPush Theater, The Goat Farm and a great creative team – we produced SeeThrough for 3 weekends in March, 2013, with an extended date to April 6th. Located within the Castleberry Hill arts district, we converted 7000 sq.ft. into a labyrinth of familial delight and intrigue. Shelby Hofer and Tim Habeger of PushPush along with Josh Feigert, Becky Furey, Helen Hale, Patty Lacrete, Orion, Stephanie Pharr, Kris Pilcher, Brandon Sadler, Nathan Sharratt and Dorothy Stucki created various room experiences and engaging interactions.
More of the brand support and design are within the portfolio section.
When I started thinking about what I wanted to write about, or WHO I wanted to write about, Grant Henry and his beloved Church came to mind. I sat down with Grant a few days ago with absolutely no agenda or line of questioning, but rather to understand how a bar became a true experience – based on courage, community and selflessness.
Although we covered everything from Grant’s early beginnings and understanding the true – “HOW I GOT HERE” conversation, it wasn’t the intimate details that inspired this post, but rather a few key points that we can all attest is the true essence we call Church.
Actually, it’s called Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium.
Grant Henry just needed some walls to hang some art, an iconic “shingle”, and an idea that would yield a larger community of devout followers. Not following any organized religion, but rather the idea supported by the artwork of Sister Louisa and Grant’s vision echoed by texture, kitsch, consistency and the demands of it’s patrons and the ever-present want to provide a true experience at every touch point.
Sure his background is peppered by a degree in hospitality, education and language arts, as well as having followed his heart through the seminary teachings – but the one thing that stood out which was embedded in his sharing – was honesty and a breath-filled declaration: “as I age, and face death, you start to not care as much”.
What he is referring to is not his customers, he LOVES his patrons (and engages with them daily via Facebook) but rather the not caring of trying to make everybody happy.
In agreement, I shake my head in unison with Grant, as “you can’t please everybody.
So – what he does is creates a memorable experience, an affordable luxury for all of us to engage with one another in a comfortable, enjoyable atmosphere, and we walk away – ALL of us, talking about Church (whether it’s good, bad, indifferent, we’re talking about it – just because).
His intentions are pure. No TV, No Smoking (inside) and everyone is able to engage with one another and return to what is most important – true community with an after taste of “what the hell?” And of course – the ping pong, karaoke and the never escapable presence of Sister Louisa’s art.
Tim Nichols AIA, LEED
When I moved to Atlanta in 2001, I soon met up with Annie and Tim Nichols, and ever since, have been kindred spirits in personal, professional and in education. I’ve had the pleasure to work with Tim at HOK Architecture and in his solo endeavor – NO-Architecture. Because we share a space at 489, Tim’s projects are ever present and I am honored to present a glimpse into his work, style and impact within the design and architectural world.
For NO Architecture, a full-service architectural and interior design company – Tim takes on projects mostly within the commercial realm and has a powerful vision and understanding for creating “Creative” and “Immersive” spaces, i.e. restaurants and agency environments. Recently, Tim’s been getting a lot of recognition for his work and contribution on The Optimist & Oyster Bar, here in Atlanta. Tim oversaw the production of the detailed drawings associated with the pricing, permitting and construction of the restaurant. Material selection and detailing became a collaborative effort between Ford Fry, the visionary chef, Smith Hanes the Interior Designer, Ben Lassbeck the builder, and the architect. Kudos to the entire team – as it’s just been announced that The Optimist has been namedBest New Restaurant of 2012 by Esquire magazine.
Other projects include the Joystick Gamebar, The Lawrence, Double Zero and Allsteel showroom, AGL Resources headquarters and WPP offices. More than a project is Tim’s dedication to teaching. As Assistant Professor for Interior Design at Georgia State University he coordinates the program, implements art tours around Europe, including a recent study around Paris, London, Barcelona and is scheduling the next excursion to Berlin, Vienna and Prague.
Tim Nichols and I were looking for a space to hang a shingle for both of our own businesses and came across 489 Edgewood Avenue. Located about 100 feet from the intersection of Boulevard and Edgewood Ave – was this vacant, dusty and soul-less space, yet it screamed to the two of us – of what it could be. Two floors allowed us to explore for the first year, how to break it up as both a creative collective, bringing in various talents including: interior design, architecture, graphic designers, web programming, video editors, marketing directors, product designer and brand strategy.
Now that we are coming up to the end of 2 years, we find that what we created was a multi-disciplined creative space upstairs, and a welcoming flex space downstairs, where 1700 sq.ft. has been the home of such art groups, including: Contraband Cinema with Marcus Rosentrater, Film Love with Andy Diztler, Peripheral Visions with Niklas Vollmer, EyeDrum, Georgia Sate University, Georgia Tech and to an eclectic group of artists and craftspeople for an annual holiday bazaar (Dec.15).
In addition to the creation of a wonderful work/play space – we are contributing to the Old Fourth Ward, which brings a great amount of pride to myself and Tim. Located next to Sound Table, across the street from Sister Louisa’s Church of Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, and up the street from the newly opened Joystick Bar (and arcade).
If you are interested in having an event, we’d love to hear your vision and to see if we’d be a good location and if you just want to come by, then COME ON BY. Also, if you or someone you know is looking for a place to set up shop, contact me at email@example.com
or follow us on facebook for upcoming events
Over the last few years, Stephen Larkworthy, our trusted leader, and friends, myself included, have been transforming cardboard into awe-inspiring costumes for various parades and festivals.
We first took on the Marvel Avengers, including Spiderman, Venom, Green Goblin, Captain America, Iron Man, the Enchantress, Elektra, Thing, Thor, Hulk, She-Hulk, Dr.Doom, Red Skull, Wolverine, Ms.Marvel, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Loki, The Human Torch, The Absorbing Man, Silver Surfer, Beast, Tigra, Galactus, Dark Phoneix, Giant Man, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat and Gambit.
Inspired by the creation of a few DC characters last year for the Children’s Healthcare Parade (Batman and Robin) Stephen decided to take on the DC family for the up-and-coming DragonCon Convention, a sci-fi extravaganza in Atlanta, starting August 3rd. For this event, the team has been meeting twice a week to produce almost 20 new characters, including: Penguin, Flash, Catwoman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Scarecrow, Wonder Woman, Scarecrow, Plastic Man, Cyborg, Harlequin, Aquaman, Superman and several more.
Jointed Jewels represents a union of new and old, organic and industrial, functional and decorative.
At the heart of the project is the intention to transform complex and separate elements into a new kind of whole.
“I try to find the fine line between aesthetics and functional.”
Alissia Melka-Teichroew, designer and founder of byAMT.
INTERACTIVE & WEB DESIGN
VIDEO & ANIMATION
EXHIBIT & TRADESHOW DESIGN
ADVERTISING & PR
AWARDS & RECOGNTION
2012 | AMA PEAK AWARDS | GOLD for TERMINAL KING EVENT
2011 | GRAPHIS
2010 | BOULDER MARKETING ASSOCIATION | GARMAT USA TRADESHOW
2009 | NATIONAL HOME BUILDER’S ASSOCIATION | WEBSITE DESIGN
2008 | REBRAND 100 WINNING BRANDS | LITHONIA LIGHTING
2007 | ATLANTA MARKETING ASSOCIATION-AMY AWARD | ACUITY BRANDS