December 18, 2013
Posted By: Marc

mslk-Choose-Better-Products-5For anyone who has followed our eco-art installations over the years, you know that public health and environmental awareness has been a big concern for MSLK. This past summer, we created “Choose Better Projects” a project designed to raise awareness about a seemingly benign substance, triclosan, which is used in a variety of household products. Triclosan (or its chemically-similar cousin Triclocarban) is marketed as an anti-bacterial agent, and is the main active ingredient in all antibacterial soap. The effectiveness of Triclosan to actually kill harmful bacteria has been called into question. No one is sure if it’s even as effective as washing your hands with regular soap. Far worse than the possibility that this may not even perform as it was intended, very strong evidence suggests that it can cause direct harm to humans, and indirect harm to the environment.

This week the FDA announced that it is proposing a new rule to force manufacturers to prove that their products are safe as well as effective. This is a huge step that we fully applaud! The risks far outweigh to benefits to ignore a healthy debate. For more information, you can read here:

NY Times

NBC News


December 7, 2013
Posted By: Sheri

MSLK-Brand Archiitecture Article

A clear understanding of how each of your products relate to each other, helps customers navigate your product line to finding the product to fit their needs.  GCI beauty magazine asked us to explore how Brand Architecture is relevant to large and small brands in their November 2013 issue, “Your Brand is Our Business”.  A recap of this article is below.

The term “Brand Architecture” has variety of meanings and uses. However, the core purpose is universal. Brand Architecture is the relationship between brands, product lines, and products themselves in a company’s portfolio.

If you are aware that Ralph Lauren has several brands, such as Ralph Lauren Collection, Ralph, Polo by Ralph Lauren, etc. you have seen brand architecture in action. This form of brand and product organization is often referred to as a “branded house”. It also goes by many other names and has a few subsets, including Monolithic, Endorsed Brand, Family Brand, or Umbrella Brand. Regardless of what you call it, the name or equity of the company is leveraged again and again across every product or line extension it creates. Read more

September 30, 2013
Posted By: Marc

We are honored, flattered and humbled to be featured in the new Phaidon book, Wild Art. Our eco-art installation, Urban Tumbleweeds, is included in the section titled, “Wasting Away”. Jeremy Mayer kicks off the section with the quote, “We’re going to make a lot more junk, and there’s going to be a lot more junk art. I think people are going to have a lot to say about it, and more people need to think about it.” We couldn’t agree more.

Read more

August 1, 2013
Posted By: Sheri

Recharging an existing brand comes with unique opportunities and challenges. We believe that turning the subjective creative process into an objective one, helps brands best achieve their goals. GCI beauty magazine asked us to codify our thoughts on Best Practices for Existing Brands in their July 2013 issue, “Recharging Brands”.  A recap of this article is below.

Change is necessary and inevitable in today’s fast-paced market. In addition to new competition entering the market, existing brands are constantly extending their overall product line and positioning, launching new products to keep up with retailer and consumer demands. Read more

July 24, 2013
Posted By: Ryan

Looking to launch a product or service into the market? Searching for a way to get exposed or ignite a conversation? Disruptive marketing is a great way to turn strangersinto fans.

Engage Your Audience
This is exactly what we did for our client Prucheek, a greeting card line for people of color. Having recently designed Prucheek’s entire product line, we brought the brand to life at the National Stationery Show with an activity that was a true extension of its cheeky attitude. We developed the “Let Your Inner Soul Out” photo station, where people could pose with larger-than-life afro cutouts and snap fun profile pics for use on social media.

Share with the World
Each photo was taken against a Prucheek-branded background, so friends of fans were instantly exposed to the brand, which allowed for viral online growth. The activity drove traffic to the booth and  jumpstarted Prucheek’s online fan-base.

Read More to view a full video of the inner soul pics as well as more images of the booth. Read more

June 20, 2013
Posted By: Ryan

MSLK just launched our newest 360° branding case study video that shows how we rebranded Figment, an international participatory arts festival. Discover how we unified a 15-person executive board with an identity that provided structure and room for creative expression.

June 13, 2013
Posted By: Ryan

A brand audit is a 10,000 foot view of all that an organization does within the context of the competitive landscape and consumer perceptions. If you are looking to revitalize your organization to better achieve its goals but aren’t exactly sure where to start, you’re probably in need of a brand audit.

Too often, marketing firms present brand analysis books that demonstrate a lot of rigorous work — but do little to impart true insights and inspire action. At MSLK, brand audits are always visual, in-person meetings. All the organization’s print and online collateral, competitor materials, research from consumer & stakeholder interviews, and recommendations are all organized and tacked-up on our walls for all to see. It’s always an eye opener.

Team members will view their company in a way they’ve never have before, leading to key insights that could not have been drawn from a book or traditional slide presentation. Read more

June 13, 2013
Posted By: Ryan

We recently launched a newly designed website for Spark Design Professionals, a non-profit organization co-founded in 2002 by MSLK’s partners, Sheri and Marc.

The new site is truly the hub of activity and lifeblood of the organization allowing the board to register and maintain memberships, schedule events, handle event registration, and sending out promotional emails all from one easy-to-use platform. Read more

June 12, 2013
Posted By: Ryan

MSLK’s newest urban intervention, Choose Better Products, was at the Figment art festival this past weekend. Large graphic spills containing hand-painted illustrative typography challenge viewers to think twice about the contents of the products they use everyday. Choose Better Products focuses on Triclosan, an ingredient found in seemingly innocuous items such as soaps, body washes, shampoos and toothpaste. Triclosan is linked to birth defects, immunotoxicity and infertility and is potentially very harmful to the environment as it enters our water supply.

Find out more about how to take action and find alternatives here. Read more to view more images of the project. Read more

May 21, 2013
Posted By: Ryan

Here’s a few upcoming MSLK events/presentations that may be of interest to you:

Strategies to Revitalizing your Brand as you Grow
Sheri joins industry veterans, Kara Langan, VP Global Skincare and Color Marketing for Elizabeth Arden and Kendra Kolb Butler, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications for Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare in discussing strategies for repositioning and revamping
existing brands.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 2:45pm
HBA Global Expo (use discount code GPST to save 20%) Read more