It is funny which projects inspire us. I didn’t expect that when I was asked to pick up a plaque design that it would become one of my more impassioned pitches. But that is exactly what happened when an agency that I was freelancing for asked me to add some designs to what they expected to be a letter pressed award set in a wood stand to celebrate a monthly Highest Best award for employees. At least that was where they were with the idea when I was brought on. And I like letter press - looks beautiful when done right. But as I pondered the idea I asked myself - if I was given an employee award - does a plaque on my desk really inspire me? Then I thought about the things that would get me excited and of course a monetary reward topped that list. But I’ve received a monthly employee reward in excess of a thousand dollars and it was awesome and appreciated in the moment - but also quickly forgotten.
So after some research I landed on a new idea - custom Nikes. A pair of custom shoes designed on Nike ID to celebrate the agency’s brand and give a fun reward that not only wouldn’t end up in someone’s recycle box down the road, but also created social cache, in and out of the office. The agency would offer two styles of shoes from Nike ID that had a pre-selected color wave - and limited by the 6 character count and a desire to not over brand the show - just the company’s initials and year they started. Brilliant - or at least in my mind - and it even financially worked out better on a yearly basis then custom letter press. But I knew it was so far from what I was asked to do that I had a hard pitch to the CEO ahead of me. So I dove into the presentation of my life. In fact I was so wound up the day I presented my pitch - that I was a little dumbstruck when the CEO said “I love it” on page three of my 22 page deck.