04.26.2016 Design

The Collaboration Effect

Mg 4872

Designer collaborations can be a tricky thing. There was a day when designers for the most part did not openly collaborate. In fact, what any given designer was working on could be classified as top-secret, and the thought of working with another designer felt slightly foreign. We kind of worked in competitive silos and it always felt like there was an underlying "designer-vs-designer" or "brand -vs- brand" mentality. May the best design win. But then came a shift and suddenly it became an open landscape of collaborative efforts and mixing and matching of talents and brands that sometimes made sense, but often didn't. The next thing we knew everyone was in the collaboration game and you couldn't go 2 feet without seeing another collab announcement. It seems safe to say that designer collaborations have become a mainstream part of design, or perhaps more appropriately: brand building. It could just be the sheer number of designers that are in the game now, or the low barrier to entry of becoming one via the Internet. It's hard to say what the tipping point was, but collabs are now an official part of the mix it seems.

On one side there is the obvious reason to do a collaboration, and that is for the exposure and to expand your reach and find a new audience. Not that exciting to be honest. Then there is collaborating to move into and design a product category that is not in your wheelhouse. Slightly more interesting. Then there is still another reason and that is to simply have a designer you like take a whack at your stuff or vice-versa and bring a new point of view to the table. That can be fun and interesting and some good things have come from that arrangement. So what got us curious about arrangements such as these? Perhaps it was the opportunity to do a hybrid-collaboration if you will. Can we call it a collaborative tribute? Is that a category? Who knows. But that's what we're calling it. We finally came up with the idea when we thought it might be nice to recognize an entity who we felt exhibited many of the traits that we love as designers and manufacturers. An entity we had been aware of for 20 years and always appreciated their work. An entity that had a voice and point of view, an aesthetic, a real person with a real reason to exist. We realized we shared a similar approach to design when all was said and done. And so.....a tribute was in order. We decided that if when we met this person in person they matched the image and the legend, we would do something. And, so we went. We met. It matched. We're in. That brings us to today, and now we stand on the precipice of putting out a product with another logo along side of ours, another name beside ours. A name and logo we always admired.

Stay tuned for the reveal. We think it's good...ATMO.