Taamrat Amaize joins us as Head of Strategy

Taamy’s approach to brand building shatters conventional standards. She is already challenging our clients to consider broader and more diverse perspectives in their trajectories.

She believes that brand is a key driver to scale a business. She also believes brands must do more to be both responsive to and responsible for the communities they serve.

“People now demand the brands they support to contribute and regenerate value rather than extract and exploit it,” she said. “They want brands to take a real and clear position, make it part of their business and be consistent. That’s what I’m intent on doing more of at COLLINS — strengthening, growing and scaling our clients’ businesses in a way that can make a real, un-ignorable impact.”

We are proud to have Taamrat Amaize join us to do just that.

Welcome, Taamy.

Embracing 18th century heritage while accelerating relevance in the 21st

Few brands have as rich and lengthy a history as Crane. The first American dollars were printed on Crane paper, and the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton began as a note written on Crane stationery.

To say it is a privilege to have worked with our clients at Crane on the revitalization of their storied brand is an understatement.

It’s Nice That, the celebrated British design publication, reviewed our work with Crane and was generous in its praise. We are grateful for the acclaim. It is a testament to a client and company with a strong history and an equally ambitious future.

Read the review.

Young Guns 18 Finalist

Young Guns recognizes the vanguard of creative professionals 30 years of age and under.

Founded in 1996 by the ADC, the portfolio-based competition has grown to become one of the most coveted awards for emerging creative leaders around the globe. For many designers, art directors, illustrators, copywriters, photographers, filmmakers, animators and other creative people, being named a Young Guns winner is a sign of a remarkable career trajectory.

Zuzanna Rogatty joins honorees including Benjamin Crick, Christian Widlic and Leo Porto from our team who have also been honored by this recognition.

Go, Zuzanna, go.

Congratulations to all of the 2020 finalists.

How Twitch reimagined itself for a larger future

For over two years, we’ve had a remarkable relationship with the great people at Twitch.

What started as a strong strategic and creative partnership ended up with a wonderful, engaging result for the people and communities Twitch serves around the world.

Adobe invited us to talk about our work together and how we do what we do.

Kari Norder from Adobe interviews Byron Phillipson, global executive creative director from Twitch, and Brian, about our teams’ work together.

Read on.

Introducing our new editorial platform, Ideas

The world is fundamentally different from when this endeavor began. A labor of love that started a year ago. The purpose, though, remains the same.

To tell the untold stories within design. These days it seems like we spend so much time assessing the visual output, but so little time understanding the input. The thinking, process, and partnership behind the pictures.

We want to open that black box and share some ideas to help creative people learn how we use creativity and design to build new futures with our clients.

For the full experience, check out the desktop version.

COLLINS High School Summer Internships + Workshops 2020

The COLLINS High School and College Design Internship Program is entering its fifth 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 designers and creative leaders.

Last year, Safiya Jones and Cesar Rodriguez were among the students who joined us. Safiya is currently a student at the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan. Cesar was accepted to Cooper Union and is currently pursing his undergraduate degree in fine arts.

We’re excited to see who will join us this year as we expand our program in new ways to address the COVID-19 crisis. We start in July.

If you are - or if you know of - a high school or college student of color seeking a career in design in San Francisco, New York City or elsewhere, please let us know at apply_ny@wearecollins.com.

Design Masters: Deborah Sussman

Before the world confused fame for mastery.

Before young designers were lost in the black hole of on-line portfolios and a million design posts a day.

Before the number of clicks and followers determined your worth, we used to learn about masters of design through their work on the street, in stores or through a small number of carefully curated design magazines and annuals.

Today, almost all of those magazines and annuals are gone.

But those masters were — and continue to be — the ones we look to for inspiration. Not only because of their remarkable work or enormous talents, but because of their tenacity — and an endless desire to reinvent themselves and the world around them for the better. The word “retire” never even crossed their mind.

This short film on the remarkable designer Deborah Sussman represents the first of a series of conversations with such masters. It was the last interview she filmed.

Masters never run dry on ideas or patience. Despite insanely busy schedules, not one of them turned us down, the inheritors of their craft. And we continue to be inspired by them every day. Today, our own hope is to expand upon the vision they established.

We thank the ADC Hall of Fame laureate Deborah Sussman for allowing us to create this brief portrait.

She never put fame before mastery.

And in this film, it shows.

Ad Age selected COLLINS as their Design Agency of the Year.

For a second time in a row. We’re floored. And honored.

As we said last year: Design is not what we make. Design is what we make possible for others.

That’s been our mission from the start. It continues.

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

And most of all, thank you again to our remarkable clients, partners and friends who give us opportunities to do meaningful work — and who make us all better, every day.

This is sad. Tough. All of it.

We’re thankful we’re busy at our company supporting our clients while also finding ways to help address this crisis.

But if there’s any creativity to be celebrated right now, it’s being done by people thinking of ways to save lives and finding a way to stop this.

Medical professionals figuring out how to treat patients and improvise supplies for themselves and others under conditions they’ve never seen before.

Scientists working round the clock in labs to discover silver bullets in the forms of better medicines and vaccines.

Countless people and companies using whatever they have to make masks, face guards, anything of use to share with others who need it.

And anyone who’s able to close their eyes and imagine how good it will feel when this is over.

These are all acts of real creativity that will get us to the other side of this.

Until then, if you’re looking for ways to contribute, we’re helping our friends at The Good+ Foundation get money and supplies to families in need. They’ve been assisting underprivileged families since 2002, but they can use everyone’s assistance right now.

You can help them here.

COLLINS Sounds Vol. 8 — WFH Quarantunes

Happy Fri… — checks the date — yes, Happy Friday!

We could all use a little boost in spirit.

The first half of the playlist is for lounging around, working from home, and looking out the window longingly. The second half is for dancing in your room tonight (sorry neighbor!).

COLLINS Ideas: The Inside Story of NASA's Design System

We invited 86 year-old (and busy as ever) designer Richard Danne to speak with us about his celebrated 1975 design program for NASA—and its surprising, triumphant return. We asked him if he would discuss his career and his thoughts about the future. He agreed.

Thank you to everyone who joined us.

And thank you, Richard, for being such a wonderful guest.

Print Magazine covered it.

And The New York Times’ NASA design story is here.

The Brand Identity Interviews Megan Bowker

From graduate to design leader.

Megan Bowker spoke to The Brand Identity about her experience growing as a designer at COLLINS, developing her point-of-view, and how creative decisions ladder up to great outcomes.

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.


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

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

D&AD, London
May 19 - 21, 2020

Design Thinkers, Vancouver
May 26 - 27, 2020

Birmingham Design Festival, London
June 4 - 7, 2020

Webit Conference, Spain
June 17 - 20, 2020

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.