February 24, 2016
Posted By: Marc

GCI-4-WAYS-TO-ORGANIZE-YOUR-BRAND-AROUND-THE-USER-EXPERIENCE

Brands want their customers to be able to choose products that are right for them, and keep them coming back for more. Smart brands do so by basing their experience around the user’s experience. Sheri Koetting was invited by GCI Magazine in the January 2016 issue to share some of the ways brands can best optimize their products to already-existing norms within user experiences.

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April 22, 2015
Posted By: Marc

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Mark your calendars, there are now four chances to catch MSLK partner and Chief Strategist, Sheri L Koetting, as she discusses topics such as how to define your brand, how to position you brand, and packaging design considerations for brands of all sizes. See the info after the jump for dates, and registration information & more!

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June 23, 2014
Posted By: Marc

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MSLK’s Creative Director and Principal, Marc S Levitt was invited to speak on HuffPo Live about what inspires graphic designers to strive for greatness in what is basically an “invisible” field. Marc is featured in author David Zweig’s fantastic new book “Invisibles: The Power of Invisible Work in An Age of Relentless Self Promotion.”

January 17, 2014
Posted By: Marc

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Annual reports are seeing a resurgence amongst a number of savvy consumer brands. Once only the domain of publicly traded companies and non-profits, annual reports began with humble roots to fulfill a fiduciary responsibility with shareholders and to file with the S.E.C. Typically, these reports were single-color, and had little to no design. During the 1950s, many large corporations turned this yearly obligation into lavish glossy catalogs, affording them an opportunity to tell rich stories of achievements to their most ardent supporters.

Annuals typically follow a “reverse mullet” convention of “party in the front” via photography and interesting production techniques, with “business in the back” where financial data was relegated. Many famous graphic designers throughout the 20th century created notable reports such as Paul Rand for Westinghouse and Bradbury Thompson for Westvaco. Some reports were ostentatious, others were profound. This trend grew well into the 1990s until Microsoft sounded the death knell by having their annuals available online, setting a steep downward trend in printed annual reports’ significance.

Then, in 2005, something interesting happened.

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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

November 8, 2012
Posted By: Marc

Strong branding helps carve out a distinctive voice in today’s noisy landscape that is filled with emails, social media, and traditional marketing. No longer limited to companies creating products — good branding is needed by individuals providing services, too —a point understood by today’s savvy creative professional who knows that doing great work is no longer enough to get them noticed.

For over 14 years, MSLK has worked with countless talented creatives: artists, photographers and forward-thinking artist representatives. We’ve  helped them focus their messaging promoting their services to create distinctive, memorable identities, which connect directly their audience. Making sure that these brands look great across varied media has been carefully considered, too — and it’s the reason we are trusted to oversee all aspects of a brand.

We’re now showcasing some of our best examples of the work we’ve done for creative services into in a short, entertaining video reel. Enjoy, and get inspired!

February 1, 2012
Posted By: Marc


MSLK works with our clients to build great experiences with every touch-point of their brand, from identity design to websites, packaging, and promotions online and offline. Over the years we’ve found that the best promotions and websites are really only possible when there is a truly unique offering. The only limit is with the brands themselves. When we see a brand that has everything right, it’s exciting.

I came across such a brand during a search for eyeglasses. After numerous visits to online stores and brick & mortars, I found the whole process to be draining: too many choices, and a nagging sense that things were more expensive than they should be. Then I remembered an article I had read some time ago about a start-up making vintage-inspired frames with prescription lenses for only $95.00. I began my Google search using the keywords “New York Times vintage eye-wear website” which lead me right to the article.

Now, I’m the proud owner of a wonderful pair of stylish, vintage-inspired frames from Warby Parker. I only paid $95.00, and found the whole experience to be, well… fun, which is a far cry from my previous experiences. Here’s why:

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October 26, 2011
Posted By: Isabella

For many, the word audit isn’t connected to creativity or much less something that can be good for business or actually fun. However, a brand audit is a great way of reviewing your brand to get an overview of how your company communicates. This is necessary in order to understand what’s working, what’s not working as intended,  and to set a successful course for the road ahead. We recently completed a brand audit and thought we’d share what we’ve identified as some best practices.

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June 7, 2011
Posted By: Sheri

Hiring a graphic designer to create something isn’t an easy task. The best design is a custom-tailored solution that could only work for that specific brand. Therefore you can’t expect to go to the store and simply pick up a pre-made logo, package or website that “fits” your brand.

But if you aren’t buying something that already exists, how do you know what design team is right for you? How do you choose?

Over the years I’ve come to define a few telltale signs and measuring tactics. I  follow these principles when hiring a designer myself. Read more

April 21, 2011
Posted By: Marc


A few years back we worked with high-profile photo illustrator, James Porto to revamp his brand identity. Since then, we’ve been working with him on occasional touch-ups to his marketing by helping to consult on new images to shoot for his promotional ads. Recently, we helped him solve a vexing problem: getting his work found on social media outlets. This was essential, as the new generation of art directors and art buyers are more likely to find about new work through blogs and image curating sites than the more traditional print channels. We determined that a personal blog would be the best way for James to achieve this goals. Read more to go behind the scenes of our process. Be sure to also check out the James Porto blog, as well. Read more

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