New beginnings are timely and timeless

The San Francisco Symphony — the 108-year cultural icon with international acclaim — has a deep legacy as a boundary-pushing Bay Area creative institution committed to advancing the reach and relevance of the orchestral arts by questioning the status quo.

We were invited to build a new brand and identity system that honors the Symphony’s heritage while growing the direction of their art form and organization. We collaborated with their musicians, audiences, staff, executive leadership, and board members to define a shared vision for the brand, one which would become the foundation for creative and design experimentation.

To signal this new direction, we’re thrilled to share the first part of the Symphony’s new identity.

Leveraging new creative technologies, the new identity will use a custom variable font to bring the essence of sound and music to life. The identity juxtaposes the traditional with the contemporary — introducing new, dynamic, behavior for classical letterforms. Our hope is to create a memorable visual expression as rich in emotional range as the music of the Symphony itself.

The logo is just the beginning. With the full launch crescendoing in the Fall of 2020, audiences can expect more glimpses of the road ahead. Keep your eyes – and ears — open throughout the year.

CREDITS

COLLINS San Francisco
Typography: Dinamo
San Francisco Symphony

Upcoming Talks in 2020

We’re grateful to be invited to creative conferences around the world to talk about our process and projects.

Below is a list of events that we will be presenting at. We hope to see you there!

Better by Design CEO Summit, New Zealand
March 6 - 12, 2020

Adobe Summit, Las Vegas
March 29 - April 2, 2020

How Conference, Boston
May 4, 2020

Kellogg School of Business, Chicago
May 10 - 11, 2020

Design Thinkers, Vancouver
May 26 - 27, 2020

Birmingham Design Festival, London
June 4 - 7, 2020

Webit Conference, Spain
June 17 - 20, 2020

COLLISION, Toronto
June 20 - 25, 2020

WNW 2020

We’re honored to be included in Working Not Working’s annual list, “Top 50 Companies Creative Want to Work For in 2020” for the third year in a row.

Recognition like this is a timely reminder to keep pushing ourselves; to take good care of our clients; and above all, to love the process and the people that make up this work.

And congratulations to the other nominees for championing creativity, pushing the world forward towards better tomorrows.

Type Champions Award 2019

The futures that our friends at Mailchimp, Dropbox, and Ogilvy have grown into has kept us in awe—especially when design has been at the center of reimagining their new futures. We’re so honored to have worked with these great teams.

Cheers to our friends and the other honorees for winning the inaugural Type Champions Award by Monotype, which recognizes and celebrates brands from around the world that are committed to excellence in design and typography.

Read on.

Upcoming Talks in 2019

We’re grateful to be invited to some of the world’s forward-thinking conferences to speak on our philosophy of design and creativity.

Below is a list of events that we will be presenting.

Design Thinkers, Toronto, Canada — October 25, 2019

AIGA, Dallas Forth Worth, Texas — October 30, 2019

Web Summit, Lisbon, Portugal — November 3 - 5, 2019

TEDxIndianaUniversity, Bloomington, Indiana — November 8, 2019

RiseUp, Cairo, Egypt —December 5 - 8, 2019.

If you’re attending, say hello!

Fast Company's Innovation by Design Awards 2019

The evolution of Mailchimp maintained the quirkiness that made them loved while also looking towards the future. Since then, they’ve expanded and launched a podcast, short films, and documentaries following the lives of entrepreneurs.

We’re deeply honored to be recognized in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards 2019 in partnership with our friends at Mailchimp.

Freddie, this one is for you.

Cheers to the other honorees.

Aspen Ideas Festival 2019

How can we normalize inconceivable futures?

In this session, Brian invites Julia Marsh, his SVA MFA Design graduate student, to share how she’s combatting environmental degradation by developing flexible single-use plastics with seaweed based packaging.

Watch the talk.

COLLINS High School Summer Internship 2019

The COLLINS High School Design Internship Program is entering its fourth year, led by Yocasta Lachapelle. From hands-on client experience, learning the tools of the trade, and help with financial aid, we’re honored to be able to invest in, and nurture, the next generation of creatives.

Meet Safiya Jones and Cesar Rodriguez. Safiya is a student at the High School of Art & Design. Cesar was recently accepted to Cooper Union to pursue his undergraduate degree in fine arts. We’re excited to see what they learn in these two months and where they’ll go.

Why Top-to-Bottom Rebrands Are Common

For brands to stay ahead of the curve, they must refresh themselves while expanding the edges of who they seek to become. Rebrands are imperative because companies are growing quickly and the future is coming at us even faster.

AdAge generously highlights our work with Mailchimp and shares thoughts from our founder Brian Collins and others about why rebrands are becoming increasingly popular across all industries.

Read on.

Witnessing an Inconceivable Future

In this personal essay, our founder Brian Collins reflects on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, living in NYC throughout the early ’80s, and how symbols, like the rainbow flag, are used to imagine and install a more benevolent future.

“On a good day, this is the quintessential nature of design: signaling and rehearsing new tomorrows. To craft symbols, stories, and artifacts that ultimately shape hearts and minds for the better.”

Read on.

We’re in Print Magazine

Print Magazine reviews the talk Brian gave at this year’s 99U Conference at Lincoln Center.

Writer Ellen Shapiro highlights how we help our clients create a new, expanded vision for their future and then design their way into it.

Ad Age selects COLLINS as their first Design Agency of the Year.

Design is not what we make. Design is what we make possible for others.

That’s been our mission from the start.

It appears to be working.

We’re honored that AdAge selected us as their first Design Firm of the Year.

Thank you to our teams in San Francisco and New York for pushing us into the future.

And thank you to our clients and partners who give us opportunities to do amazing things - and who make us better, every day.

We’re just getting started.

Design As Change Agent

“We see design as a problem-seeking process. Seeking, asking increasingly bigger questions, allows you to reframe a problem.”

In a recent interview with Forbes, Founder Brian Collins speaks to design being an agent of change and how it can create a better and brighter future. Click here to read the full interview.

Brian Collins On Why He Teaches

“The best designers are always rehearsing the future in some way; first they must seek and uncover some unseen truth or opportunity, then actualize it in some tangible way.”

CCO Brian Collins shares how he encourages students to channel their unique creative strengths into new concepts and possibilities that can benefit the world around them in the School of Visual Arts’ MFA Design blog.

COLLINS in Cairo

For the second year in a row, we were invited to speak at the RiseUp Summit, the international tech/startup/design conference based in Cairo, Egypt.

COLLINS Senior Designer Leo Porto spoke to a global crowd, leading an inspiring conversation on cultural identity and his experience creating Bonde, the first-ever conference dedicated to Brazilian design, happily co-sponsored by us

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