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3131 Western Ave
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Seattle, WA   98121

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360 Riverside Drive
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New York, NY   10025

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mack@girvin.com

GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | Seattle

GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | New York

Design, brand foundations and Silicon Valley: opening the channels to brand origination.

“I know that there’s a story here, but how will people get it?
What is the story, what’s cool about it — and why would anyone care?”

I was thinking about the beginnings.

Technology: story, relevance, resonance, relationships — and the carrying of ideas and ideals. Is there a way to get people to love an enterprise, and what it offers?

There is a process — never perfected, never perfect — but always abetted by design. We have history in exploring that conundrum.

Working the early days, with Steve Jobs and the Macintosh origination > hand, eye, draw. Then — with him — NeXt; then back at Apple, WWDC, AppleInternet Live! If there’s a touch, the draft of hand and pen, the sighting of type and message — the gathered image: how could that be designed?

Or Paul Brainerd — the beginnings of Desktop Publishing, helping him to build the catalyzing power of Aldus; or partnering with Ted Johnson and Jeremy Jaech — Visio. Draft: drag, drop, draw.

Others, like IBM | PowerPersonal, LockStream; kickstarting the game-changing microprocessor POWER PC — Motorola, Apple and IBM. Retail: Texas Instruments. Oregon Scientific. International product development: Intel. Digital: power packaging, Boston. Emboldening power, for the personal relevance.

Sound and content, brand beginnings: DMI, Musak [ENSO] and KIDSTAR. Brand could sound — like?

And there was Microsoft: CDROM = 1.0. Or the Microsoft Museum = 2.0. The global boost and presentation uplink: Internet Explorer = 3.0.

At the beginnings: MicroPeripherals Corporation, that was then Digital Systems, and Voicelink and finally the conglomerate: MOSAIX. Voice in, voice out X 1000s — the technology of the call center. Positioning as a impenetrability of a fortress, or the sleek osmosis of a cell?

It was about being there, in the beginnings — starting the thinking, the strategy of design, messaging and how the story will be perceived — the scene, seen.

I can recall this line — “we’re the engineers, we’ve invented this amazing thing — but we don’t have a clue about how to tell the story. Nor, for that matter, what it could look like.”

But there were scores of others — DeepGreen and ecash — the digital banks; ELFTechnologies, Kajeet, InFocus, InfoWave, Intermec, Kronos, Myrio, Offroad Capital, Qpass, TEGIC, Soma.com/CVS.

There were the media kickstarts — like the Japanese empires: TVAsahi, Tokyo MediaNet, or TVGLOBO | Brazil. The players of WallData or WRQ [Attachmate] — building the messaged and visualized systems of strategic emulation. And the naming, the identifications of the launch — the brand fluency of VoiceStream — from the vast land and cellular cooperatives of Western Wireless.

That heritage continues — just years back: new legacies founded — the passion of Christian Chabot + his team: Tableau.

In the beginnings of these brands, design begins to define the interplay between brandfire, their stories and human comprehension and experienceable sentiments. Sentient design — in the textual framing of content — describes the measured arc of perception.

The bridging for Girvin, our experience, always lies in the miracle of invention, the heart of inspiration, the spectacle of surprise and the love of being the aide in telling.

The point comes to:
• content and care — the containment of the utility, the nurturing of its “fire.”
• beauty and happiness — people are attracted to the light of beauty; it’s happy-making.

Will they savor the content, the passion of its story, the carefulness of its making, the beauty of its experience, and happiness of its embrace? Good questions, for a designer. And the person that might be there in the beginning.
Will this brand make people happier? We know that sequencing of equation works.

tsg | watching the snow deepen
downtown seattle

Fast Company Article: Silicon Valley’s New Secret Weapon: Designers Who Found Startups