Creative AgencyCreative Agency

What We Do

Whether it’s a pop-up meal, a visual study of a sector, or a training kit, all Creative Agency projects are influenced by systems and people-oriented thinking, and end in targeted insights, programs or products that move forward your organizational goals.

All Creative Agency projects start with a discovery phase in which we understand the core goals of your effort and apply the Creative Agency approach to understanding the larger opportunities you might have. Creative Agency projects can be categorized into three major types that are linked by a continuum of transforming information into action and experience.

Research & Strategy

From mapping the evolution of the public space advocacy sector in New York City to a study of women in design, our research services document, visualize and make sense of social and place-based systems.

Includes research and study design, concepting and strategy, study research, best practices, case studies, frameworks and guidelines, interviews and ethnography and research writing and visualization.

Experience & Program Design

From pop-up meals to workshops to art installations, our program and experience design services transform insights and goals into action and community building.

Includes program, event, convening and workshop design, speaker selection and participant coaching, facilitation and curriculum development, exhibitions and installation design, and full experience content and collateral strategy.

Content & Collateral

From a ‘recipe book’ on community change to leadership kits, our content and collateral services build out full experiences through written and visual components.

Includes print and web content, creation, writing and visuals, editing and design, outreach and social strategy, initiative branding and identity, and design of all the components of a content experience.

Hire us for a study or an engagement campaign or product. Bring us in as advisers and facilitators.

While our specialty is design and research, clients also hire us for arts engagements, design of information products and campaigns, facilitation and creative program development.

Why Creative Agency is Different

We always start with the social ecology.  We are students of how change gets made and know that social factors are centrally important. Our process starts with an understanding of your goals and the social context of your organization. We are heavy on ethnography and understanding user experience. We believe that every project is an opportunity for greater empowerment, equity and connection.

We are not hammers and problems are not nails. We are passionate about an outcomes-based approach and unsiloed thinking and network building to address our ‘wicked problems.’ We are ‘format agnostic’ and don’t seek to fit your problem into a frame of solutions that lie within our skillset wheelhouse. We maintain a network of collaborators in allied fields such as community development, marketing, public health, publishing, academia, architecture, and planning.

We excel at the intersection of rigorous analysis and the power of imagination. We combine the rigor of a research and analysis process with the creative process and the power to imagine what is not yet but could be. We use visualization and creative tactics to brainstorm and envision. We borrow ideas liberally from other fields and transform them into new contexts.

We’re highly tactical. We don’t stop at frameworks, we want to know how to use and integrate the insights we develop. We are plainspeaking, interested in facts on the ground. We are positive-minded and optimistic, but realist, focused on the core issues and limitations at hand and the tactics and strategies to address them.

We use lean, iterative working methods. We’re influenced by the ‘lean startup’ methodology of testing out ideas quickly and inexpensively and seeking proof of concept before fully committing resources. We seek out potential for a catalytic effect—understanding how each project or effort could spin off into something larger. We work with clients to integrate our work from a stand-alone item into a deeply integrated aspect of their organization.

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What to Expect When Working With Us

Creative Agency projects are more than just research, design or collateral projects—they are informed by the larger strategic and impact goals of your organization’s effort, and aim to add a meaningful and catalytic contribution to the existing ecosystem you work and make change in. Each project starts with an initial inquiry session—or series of conversations with key project stakeholders in which we discuss and ideate on the larger context of the project. We’ll cover the project’s larger goals, your target demographics and influence groups. This will help identify ways in which this project can do more with less, and possibilities for this project to push forward your other efforts.

Whether the deliverable is a strategy, a study or a product, we’ll work with you to integrate it into the rest of your organizational agenda, and to help you use it to spinoff or launch your next efforts.