Saturday, November 21, 2009

Do you Dare to Dare?

Danny Smit & Marco-Paul de Jeu are founding partners of Dare – a small but beautifully formed brand strategy and graphic design agency working out of Hilversum in Holland.  Danny worked at English & Pockett for five years – so, is very comfortable with working with UK based clients.  After E&P he spent a few years running the creative department at MTV Benelux.

MTV Overdrive from on Vimeo.

I met up with them when they came over to London recently for business.  What impressed me about them is how strategy focussed they are – They described themselves more as Independent creative thinkers than designers.   Also how they like to think about the business needs of the client first before they do any design and eventually think about the execution.  This means that lots of their work is not necessarily based on moving image.  If printing T-shirts is the right thing, then that is what they will suggest.
When asked how they can compete with some of the bigger design agencies, Danny said that they are smaller and more reactive – when a client asks a question, for example, the answer does not have to go through many layers of account execs to get answered.

Glamrock Ninja One from on Vimeo.
Another smart idea of theirs, I think, is that they give brand workshops to clients.  They usually get all the important stakeholders like the CEO and people from the marketing department together and firstly identify trouble spots and then show them how they can envigorate and think creatively about their brand.  The idea is that when they go on to brief design they come with a clear idea of what they want to achieve and not just go for some pretty pictures….

GlamrockNinja Two from on Vimeo.

Anyway – here are a few examples of what they do - check their site (or the various other online locations where they show their work – all summarised in a menu on their site).  I particularly like the slow motion guitar hero-fights-ninja-MTV spots – if only someone would do this on stage for real  -  I would be in heaven!

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