Weeknote 479 - 480

January 26th to February 8th

With the constant stream of client work, you easily forget to work on the company, rather than just in it. There’s always something else to do which seems to be more pressing. And why bother? Everything is going alright.

One of things we learned as designers over the years is that you have to leave your comfort zone to do great work. If it rarely feels uncomfortable, you probably just took the easy road. Not the best one.

It’s similar with a company (which we always think of as a design project anyway). You can take the autobahn like most people do. Until you get stuck in a traffic jam. Or speed up until you loose control and crash. And even if you don’t, taking the little, steep, winding roads that aren’t even on the map is always more rewarding.

So we are trying to get out of the autopilot mode more often and think about where we want to steer our little company.

In the last two weeks, Christophe, Michael and I were working on strategic matters and we’ve started to prepare the results of this process, so we can share and discuss them with the whole team. It’s something we’ve been postponed for too long and I’m glad that we are finally addressing it properly.

Back to the stream of client work I mentioned in the beginning. We’ve kicked-off two new projects in the last two weeks. Best thing about it: we get to see more of our Berlin friends Silke and Philipp, who will be in the studio regularly. I’m not sure if they ever worked together before, but I’m excited to see what will come out of the collaboration of such amazing designers.

In the last months, David's screens are usually gleaming in subtle greys, blues and glues, interspersed with the occasional pale yellow. Now it seems like he is testing if his Eizo monitor is really capable of displaying millions of colors, as he is defining a pretty extensive color palette for Puichon.

This – along with Christophe’s current main focus, labeled in our calendar as “config sessions” – fired up our constant discussion about new Sketch plug-ins. Watch this space (or this) for further announcements.

Amanda illustrated logos for Malakwa and started a new, small reprise of a project we worked on last year.

Sean was snowboarding in the Alps, so Florie continued alone with the concept and interaction design for a suite of apps.

While Marcel is intensely working with a team from mindmatters on Malakwa, my involvement in the project has become less time-consuming. That’s why I started to work on something new. It has a very small screen, a limited color-palette, few typographic possibilities and many other constraints. Challenge accepted.

As always, Aisha made sure that the studio is running smoothly. I guess that there was a lot of tax stuff involved, but more visible to the team were the fresh fruits subscription she organized, the acquisition of certain kitchen utensils and our new soy milk, which makes wonderful cappuccinos, flat whites and the next big thing in coffee culture: africanos.

We also had some visitors. Svenja dropped in with her adorable baby boy, a gang of toddlers converted the studio to a bobby car race track and students of the Zurich University of the Arts came by to learn about the way a design studio works.

This weeknote is 571 words long