It’s common business sense to follow what’s happening in the design world. So for you smart folk who are reading my blog, here’s some help in the form of the most notable agencies and studios using Twitter to their advantage. But not all get it right.
Design agencies and studios on Twitter
This Philadelphia-based branding agency “tweets” news, thoughts, and links that you wouldn’t find through their website. Nicely done. Their award-winning identity for Woodmere Art Museum also gets a thumbs up.
This agency in London produces stellar work. Friendly people, too — they’ll be featured in my upcoming book. After two months of fairly regular tweets between June and July, they’ve now stopped updates.
Established in 2002, this is the first dedicated brand consultancy on the Romanian market. Not all tweets are in English, although it’s clear they actively engage with followers — a good sign.
An award-winning brand agency in New York and Los Angeles, showing case studies from Pepsi, Texaco, IBM and many more. Mainly self-promotional tweets on an occasional basis, with some “retweets” of brand-related news.
Website: Coudal Partners
Branded with the surname of founder Jim, exciting projects have sprung from this Chicago-based design, advertising, and interactive studio. Tweets are often personal in nature, and there’s a good level of interaction with followers. How it should be done.
Specialising in corporate brands, the Twitter profile is seldom updated, and then it’s simply to highlight their web articles. With that said, they’re doing more than some.
Duffy & Partners
FutureBrand has a huge global presence, offering brand strategy and experience. Their profile is a placeholder with no updates (not even a hello). Two thumbs down.
Hoefler & Frere-Jones
Website: Hoefler & Frere-Jones
Not your typical design studio, and more specifically a type foundry. Hoefler & Frere-Jones works with leading brands to develop original typefaces, also licensing some fantastic fonts from a library of nearly 1,000 designs. Tweets are engaging and personable. Nice.
Creators of the gorgeous visual identity system for Melbourne City, one of my favourite recent works. Friendly tweets, helping add some online social character to the organisation.
Website: Moving Brands
Controversially creating a call for spec work for their London identity pitch, Moving Brands might not be everyone’s favourite, but there’s no denying their calibre of work. RTs, @replies, and friendly chat. A great example.
A bastion of design, the Pentagram partners have collaborated to create visual identities we see around us every day — Citi, Nissan, The Guardian… Their tweets are one-way, but the stream is regularly updated sharing some quality linkage.
With a client list similar to a “who’s who” of the business world, the firm employs more than 200 people in the US, UK, and UAE. Very infrequent updates, but a few interesting links.
Headed by Eric Shelkie and Eric Karjaluoto, I’ve grown particularly fond of the latter’s personal blog ideasonideas. Friendly updates, although not very often. “Karj” has a personal profile worth following @karj.
Website: Sterling Brands
Design intelligence personified. Experts in strategy and global positioning, with AIGA president Debbie Millman one of the partners in the firm. The Twitter profile is relatively new, but like with smashLAB, there are personal profiles on the go e.g. @debbiemillman.
Website: Wolff Olins
140 people in London, New York, and Dubai, Wolff Olins have worked on strategic projects for the likes of GE, Sony Ericsson, and Amnesty International. Friendly, regular updates about branding and topics of more general interest.
Social media management
The rate at which social media tools are are being adopted for business is phenomenal. “Social media management” is incorporated into specific agency job descriptions, detailing responsibility for ego searches, profile updating, online communications etc.
Sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, take on lesser importance, operating a “closed”, permission-based system that requires you to “know” the people you interact with. Twitter, on the other hand, is an “open” platform where anyone can see what you publish, and they don’t need their own account to do so. It’s infinitely more transparent, helping to build trust, relationships, and drive web-traffic.
As yet there’s no Chermayeff & Geismar. No Minale Tattersfield. No Johnson Banks or Lippincott. At the very least, they should be “listening” to what’s happening on Twitter, and I’d be surprised if they aren’t.
Any other notable absentees, with or without a profile?