Observed

At times, 2021 felt like a hangover Sunday morning after a wild, intense, maybe-it-was-all-a-dream Saturday night. A very long hangover, it turns out, thanks to Omicron and a host of other challenges.

To help get through it all, we embraced the fact that we’re still creative people making creative things for other creative people. We helped our partners grow and succeed, which helped us grow and succeed as well. Who knows when “normal” will happen again, but we know that the only way we’ll get there is with a little help from our friends.

Friends like Brooklyn Product Design, an organization we proudly supported throughout the year, and we even got together in person (!) for happy hours and hosting an in-office talk.

And our friends at the Dumbo Improvement District, who we partnered with to give away free coffee, cookies, and ice cream (not at the same time, though that is an intriguing idea for next year) as part of their new “Perks in Person” initiative, getting people back together in our neighborhood.

We made new friends too, interviewing some of the most interesting people in design, technology, business, and the arts, like one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Powerful Women Tracy Killoren Chadwell and musician, surfer, and Senior Manager of Product Design at Headspace Ken Seeno. Let’s not forget the effervescent Courtney Bryan, Executive Director of the Center for Court Innovation, or the luminous Stacy Fraser, founder and creative director of children’s clothing brand Pink Chicken.

Our Creative Director Julian Damy created some simply amazing beer labels for our new downstairs neighbor in Brooklyn, Evil Twin Brewing. Their Dumbo Artist Series features some of the incredible creative talents in the neighborhood, and we absolutely bought several cases to have in stock at our newly-reopened office.

Our developers were inspired by the long tradition of “journal clubs,” where like-minded explorers would meet regularly to express ideas, critique academic and scientific literature, and commiserate about the follies of machines and humans. They gloriously embraced this format, sharing iOS development hacks, discussing challenges, picking them apart, and spinning off new ideas, all in an effort to become better at what we do.

We also launched a beautiful new brand identity for ourselves, and loved it so much we wasted no time putting it on everything: our website, t-shirts, wall decorations, enamel pins, coasters … you name it. It’s more than just an updated logo and color scheme, it’s a promise of quality, consistency, and reliability.

In 2022 we’re going to work on exciting new eCommerce projects, actually attend events and conferences in person (maybe), show you new ways to use rapid prototyping to get your ideas to market faster, and in the new year we’re officially launching a brand new service called Velocity (more on that very soon). We can’t wait to see what’s next.