These are some pictures collected over the last six years. Most of are me and Akira talking with clients, at their offices or ours. Some are of us meeting like-minded creatives: illustrators, writers, artists, and game designers. We like to learn from the smartest people in the room.
Let me share our secret discovery.
More and more, we’re discovering it’s the conversation that’s the real design. It’s not about pixels. It’s about hearts, and expressing what’s in those hearts.
Are people doing what they really believe to be important and valuable? I’m not talking about quitting your job and running off to join the circus, or something. I’m convinced that if you want to make art, and I’m talking about True Art, the kind that moves people, you don’t have to buy into the idea that you need to be Starving.
To do any work well, you have to be attuned to people’s feelings. This is called emotional intelligence. Without it, your work will be a dud. Sorry, I know that’s super blunt, but it’s true. Look at the things people are making when they don’t actually get out and talk to anyone else. It’s flat, right? What I mean is, it doesn’t speak to you. Why is this? It’s because if you want to say something that people will love, will listen to and remember and even tear up about—the ultimate sign of having connected—you want to be listening to them. To the air that’s between you, even. There’s so much richness there, and we can only hear it when we shut down our tendency to want to speak up and be right. (Read more about why personal relationships matter.)
Welcome. Design Kompany is Akira and Dipika Morita, along with “boss-man,” Kush.
What we do. We help people who have been in business for a while better understand why the work they do matters to the world, and how to articulate that exact story. That’s why we say we design legacies. More than 300 clients in Asia, Europe, and N. America agree. What we don’t do is “make logos,” or “design websites.” This is an outdated way to think about “brand.” In fact, the idea of a brand being something you can “manage,” well, that’s a pretty old school idea, too. In 2014, brand is about story. Who are you, and what makes you worth listening to? There’s too much noise—a chic logo or spiffy copy isn’t enough anymore to set you apart. Building trust, one person at a time, with authenticity and transparency, that’s the new mechanic to how to build your brand. But, it’s not easy. Which is why I invite you to explore this site a little more.
Who is Design Kompany?
Whom we work well with. We connect most with people who want to take the time to look deeply at their past work, and see what it is that makes sense to keep in a new phase of refining and defining a brand’s message. So if you’re interested in a real “brand story” and not just a “logo,” and are also open to hiring someone to help you shape the very essence of the message you want to share with the world, then DK might be for you. We’re here to help people who tend to be very high-achieving, strong leaders, and extraordinarily open-minded. People who know that something has to be cared for and tended, like a garden, and that sometimes it’s best to call in people who’ve done lots of that kind of work before. Many of our past clients have become dear friends. Couples, especially, enjoy the process because they can relate to us as a couple in business for ourselves, too. (Design Kompany has really changed a lot since we started in college, in 1994, making t-shirts for $6 on the brickyard of N.C. State. Now, we’re much more interested in quality than quantity. We are looking to connect with people who are serious about finding the right words to express the value of their own work.)
An open letter to those whom we most connect with:
October 17, 2013
You are someone who loves open sky, and movement, and the call of the road. But not because you’re on a giant quest to hit it all. No. Rather it’s that you’ve discovered something about yourself: you notice more as you take your time in a foreign context.
You appreciate quality, and notice it, but aren’t afraid of a five-ruppee chai at a stand by a bus stand with tons of exhaust, or across a stall for sheep or horses. You love people and great conversation, but not when things get whiny or overly self-important. You try not to impress upon people your insistent point of view, and as you get older, you realize how much you wished you’d listened more when you were younger.
You want to leave a legacy, and have meant something, and have mattered, to more people than just your spouse and kids. You want to love and be loved, and to know that when the big end comes, you’ll be glad to have thought about what was important, along the way, and what you wanted to make sure you didn’t shuffle too far to the side.
Is this you? Please, say hello to Design Kompany.
Join our Legacy Design Tribe
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Free e-course For anyone ready to start thinking about personal legacy starting today, we have a free e-course called Steer.