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The Weekly

SEPTEMBER 08, 2020

What are Tuesdays if not the perfect time to contemplate what it means to “nurture something” and what truly qualifies as an “identity crisis.” Spoiler: there are no straight answers. But there’s something about that that we love. Don’t you?

Pretty please: Tell us what you think

It's week four of this new mailer, and we want to check in with you all. What’re you digging? What should we keep working on? We've made a survey that should take no longer than 5 minutes of your time to fill out—here’s your chance to tell us what’s up. (Your input is so appreciated!)

Office Ours: Extended

Office Ours Extended is a compilation of responses to unanswered questions from the inaugural Office Ours appointment. Throughout the summer, we’ll dive deeper into the values that were discussed throughout the webinar—including the importance of nurturing relationships, being honest and transparent, and prioritizing curiosity to name a few.


CHAPTER 4: Nurturing the business

Let’s get down to brass tacks. We employ thoughtful business frameworks that support team structure, facilitate planning, and frame productive meetings as well as internal reflection. Specifically, they help us answer: “Where is the ship heading?”

Abby: Who is typically involved with deciding where the business is heading (quarterly or in the next 10 years)? Is this something reserved for only leadership or something that’s open to feedback from everyone?

Colleen, Director of People, Process and Culture: Typically, where we head as a business is first determined with a target and goal from leadership followed by outreach research and strategy from the business development team. That being said, we encourage feedback and discussion from anyone on the team about areas of need, opportunities, and options. This type of feedback often surfaces in our Monday stands or quarterly retros. We make a point of talking about our pipeline—the sectors we’re focused on and why—as a team.

Studio-submitted: How do you manage client expectations?

Amber, Creative Director: Being a designer means managing expectations about your work. Why did you make a series of decisions? What led to you choosing one font over another? Or going a different direction one week to the next? Setting context for your client helps bring them along on your design journey. Democratizing the design process will make managing your client expectations way easier. Empower your client to understand your thinking and they will be your biggest advocate!

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece is a series of discipline-specific prompts to spur curiosity and creativity. A call to make, at any fidelity. Although strategy and rationale are critical components of the One Design process, these beginnings are meant to get you inspired enough to just start practicing.

Every Tuesday morning, we’ll share new prompts and ask you to submit your responses by the following Monday through your personal page, tagging #onedesignprompts and @onedesignco. But before we release that new set of prompts, we’ll share a handful of the best submissions in this very newsletter and on our Instagram Stories. Enough talk—let’s get to it.

Notable Week 3 Submissions

There were so many fantastic posters encouraging folks to get to the polls this November—we wish we had more than three spaces in this dang newsletter so we could feature all of them. Here were some stand-outs:

@_biancaalbino said, “I don’t know if you know, but I’m an alien. That's how the U.S. government classifies foreign residents. It means I don’t have a say in this election, and it’s such an important one. So my plea for my citizen friends to vote became the basis of this design.”
@mp4ro wrote, “these moving posters represent the forward motion of this movement, never stalling or wavering. But it’s our job to keep them in motion, and it’s our responsibility to continue standing up for everyone oppressed by this system.”
Our very own @alyssalowww’s poster has a very simple message: Register. Do your research. Drop your mail-in ballot off at your election site. And...wear your mask.

Week 4 Prompts

Design: Create a UI style guide for your favorite website.

Development: Find a layout you like and write a tutorial for how to build it.

Writing: Draft 10 interview questions to ask someone you’ve always wanted to have a conversation with.


Micro-conversations spotlight the unique perspectives of our team members through splices of candid chats—reflecting the spirit, story, and point-of-view of all the voices of our studio.

Below, Aimee (Associate Creative Director) responds to the prompt, “do you define your at-home office space or does it define you,” in a conversation with Caitlin and Bianca.


Aimee on how her home office prompted deep identity reflection

In its previous iteration, my office was the center of three different things: My letterpress greeting card company, my blog that I just wrote ‘for fun-sies,’ and my freelance career, which I did at least half remote.

Then I bought a letterpress, and what was once a nice, cool, focused workspace then had to house a giant industrial table that could hold a 200-pound hunk of metal on it. And then, it also became our house’s guest bedroom.

Gradually, I had let go of the card company because I am a full-time strategist now who also has a child. And those alone are two jobs—I just couldn’t keep doing all these different jobs in this one space and it had run its course.

We have kind of a junk day in our town once a year, where you can put anything you want on the curb. So, I sold the press. I sold the table. And that was kind of the impetus to get rid of as much stuff as possible in the office.

To add insult to injury, I kind of don’t know my style right now. I’m doing my job. I have a kid. I have a house. It’s not about self-expression right now. I don’t have time. I’ve been kind of minimalist in my fashion, and that’s probably a reflection of something, right?

When I moved to Illinois from San Francisco, left advertising, went freelance, started my card company, and my blog, it was a, ‘let’s do all the things we want to do,’ kind of phase. It was very free, very about creativity. I was in that space. It seemed to all make sense, and in turn, that office looked like that.

Now, I am in a more analytical, strategic, higher-upstream role, not just a purely creative one. And I’m a leader. And I’m a little older. So a lot of what I’m designing and envisioning for this new home office is like, ‘okay, what does that Aimee look like? What is conducive to that kind of work? What feels like that kind of person? What does executive Aimee look like?’

Let’s build that.

Links That Kept Us Reading

What’s the radical plan to save the fastest sinking city in the world? Editor at Large at Medium Steve LeVine dives in.
“Absence in design is very important,” Karel Martens told It’s Nice That. Don’t miss this Dutch modernist master and teacher’s reflection on his work and career to date.
Are you listening to BrandBox yet? Learn all about the strategies and effects of brands in podcast-form.
Bummer Wines is a Pilsen-based natural wine club that feature small-batch, family and minority-owned wineries. Our pal Elise Bang had a little Q&A with them in her newsletter this week and...we’re signing up. Immediately. has been upgraded, and let us just say—if you are clutching onto all things summer right now, here’s a piece of it you can have all year long.