Big Shot, Big City Design Firms...Your take on it!

Anyone want to input some of their opinions on some design firms they like/dislike that they’ve indirectly or even directly encountered with? Designers do such great work, but are hardly recognized. Same goes with some firms (unless they get the CLIO award for a great ad campaign), and other awards. But, everything seems so “hush hush” let’s speak up!

Maybe also discuss and offer some critique on a firms “style.” What are some thoughts of firms regarding the geographic locations (i.e. NYC, SF, LA, UK, Japan, etc.) We all know that CA is such a liberal place and NY isn’t, does this also show through in design. If you were to pick a place to work, firm to work for, which one would you choose and why?

to answer your first question, design has taken a back seat to culture in my opinion. all the companies and firms focus on culture / development, and even if that culture does not exist as something tangible for the consumer they create it through concealed products and such.

so this “hush hush” is the alternative to “not much to say”. in a way these are becoming common tactics for staying in business in a very fragile market where clients can jump around faster than flies on fruit cakes.

a firms style is a thing of the past, although the firms who try to stick with old ideals of identity and brand will find it more difficult to stay in touch with general design public.

CA is rather unpredictable i would say compared to japan or even NY but i don’t think even that matters anymore because the culture is rapidly changing and becoming global.

if i was to pick a firm to work for i would throw a coin that could flip more than just twice.

Design firms are a great place to get experiece, esp right out of school. You will work on a wide variety of projects in all kinds of industries. You get to learn about all kinds of manufacturing proccesses as well as how to “handle” input and manage clients maximize your time and make everything presentable down to the roughest thumbnail. All things that are very desirable if you ever decide to go corporate. You also avoid being pigeon holed into any one industry.

Other than the big established names like Frog, IDEO, Petegram, Smart, and FITCH there are lots of firms that have been around for 5-15 years or so like Lunar, Astro, HLB Proteus, Fuse, Big, Alititude, Eleven, Bridge, Evo, Ziba and on and on that all do great work. Most of these aree transforming into idea houses, that don’t just design and develop products, but also work on large scale ideas that develope into products and services. It’s all about billable hours baby.

There is a lot of competion and posturing but in the end they all do great work and would be great places to learn.

Not sure if that is so true, there are a lot of closet conservatives in Cali, it gave birth to the political careers of Reagan and the Gubernator, and NYC is a pretty libral place so I wouldn’t go off of media assumptions. Get out there and judge the places first hand. There are tons of other great cities in the US to be in that are more livable anyway, Providence, Portland, Seatle, Denver, Miami and San Diego to name a few. All have pretty active design scenes.