At d+m, we practice many modalities of design across a diverse range of fields, treating each project as the unique endeavor that it is, and we blend our various disciplines to develop and refine novel solutions with captivating aesthetics and functional elegance.
Founded in Detroit, MI, in 2012, and currently based in Chicago, IL, d+m is a multi-disciplinary creative studio dedicated to artfully serving clients and projects of all sizes, locally and internationally. Our collective formal backgrounds in art, design, neuroscience, and anthropology, combined with shared interests in design theory, experience, and culture, as well as our wide range of technical proficiencies, provide us the unique ability to conceive and implement unique, progressive, and effective insights and concepts into our projects.
Our highest concern throughout every project is ensuring that every element has purpose, and that every goal is addressed. We reduce the distraction, distill and clarify, and enact design as elegant subtlety to organically and subconsciously enhance experiences.
We think the term "branding" is a vulgar word, and that it's execution has warped into a masquerade. Rather, we prefer to develop and refine visual representations of the client's intrinsic characteristics and persona, to build honest identities and compelling narratives.
It is our conscious decision to maintain a high standard of integrity in our operations. From upholding standards of good design, to rejecting the use of templates and stock imagery, to committing to open and intimate dialogs with our clients, we take great pride in the caliber of our professional character, and the execution of our craft.
Our collective skill set is wide and varied, spanning many fields of art, design, science, and theory, and also well-developed, a combination of traditional proficiencies and an understanding of current trends, technologies, and understandings. We treat our profession as a craft, and continually work to improve our methods and practices, to deliver on projects we're proud to put our name on.
We work with clients in a diverse range of fields, on projects of all sizes, and recognize that each is born out of a wholly unique situation, with accompanying needs, goals, and obstacles. Through our methods, we aim to provide our clients with artful and effective solutions that will help reinforce their message in a genuine and purposeful way.
Just like how we believe in maintaining open and productive dialog with our clients, we also want to share with the public and our followers things that we find interesting, including case studies of select projects, insights we've acquired, equipment reviews, and others' works we find inspiring.
In the Insights category, we’ll be sharing the fundamentals of our guiding philosophy at d+m, helpful tips that we’ve picked up along the way, and generally interesting concepts for you to ponder, if you’re so inclined. To start this category off, lets look at the neuroscience of engagement, and how an understanding of the mechanisms at work can lead to a smarter way of communicating with your audience.
To start, lets dissect the term “branding” (which we’re not fans of, outside its use as a term people relate to), as it exists in the modern lexicon, as well as how it fits into traditional marketing schemes. Branding implies an explicit – as opposed to implicit – ownership over something, and characterizes a thing as a possession, belonging to some larger entity. In essence, it’s the act of inserting meaning and value where there was none before, or at least a meaning and value system not based on the thing’s intrinsic qualities. For instance, two for-the-sake-of-this-analogy identical cows are bought at auction: Cow A is bought and branded by Farm X, and Cow B by Farm Y, but Cow A is immediately worth more, as it has the legacy of Farm X applied as substitute for any intrinsic meaning. Yes, this analogy borders on hyperbole, but for the sake of brevity, lets assume establishing (more…)
Every now and then, we plan to give a behind-the-scenes look at our creative process by outlining our favorite projects in Case Studies articles. What more appropriate way to start this category off than to discuss our very first project at d+m, developing the visual identity of Detroit’s own Batata Shop.
Founded by Tawnya Clark, Batata Shop is a Detroit-based food start-up that dishes out made-from-scratch and completely indulgent sweet potato waffles. Taking advantage of the uniquely collaborative business community in Detroit, Tawnya has put brick-and-mortar thoughts to the side, and instead operates the Batata Shop as a transient pop-up (more…)
We can't wait to meet you. We would love to hear about your latest project, and would never take for granted the opportunity to work with you. We lend our talents to projects of diverse sizes, types, and budgets, so send us a brief email describing your concept and needs, and we will connect with you soon as we can.