Air Traffic Control, Sort of…

ATC-01As the Studio Director of a Manhattan design house, I feel like an Air Traffic Controller at times. What’s taking off, what’s landing and what’s on its way?
Are runways clear? Do we have people ready to receive or deliver?

I also get to hear all the chatter from the airline’s point of view, so to speak.

So, what information may assist anyone new to our airline? Though there’s no official baggage limit, we can only take so much. Do you really want to carry all that over from your last design? Do you really want to put all of that information “up on the boards,” or primary display panels?

It’s best to know your flight plan. Arrive early with all the information you’ll need to ensure a smooth take off. Tickets, passports, copy and dielines help. Get to your gate extra early if you’re flying international. Global launches take more time.

Though we may expect some turbulence, don’t fight with your flight attendants. They’ve done this before.

Of course we can’t know all that is going on behind the scenes with our client contact. They may be just as subject to changes as we are when the word gets passed down through them. So, we put that baggage on wheels and carry on; designers are determined, “We will get this done right and we will land this plane.”

So yes, it’s a team effort of sorts. Everybody on board wants to get there as swiftly and smoothly as possible. Moreover, time will be needed to come up with something new, beautiful and eye-catching. Don’t expect a flight to Hawaii if you only have 2 hours travel time, because when all is said and done, we all want to hear, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”


Out and About

Happy Friday!

This week’s photos capture the stunning natural beauty and vibrant cultural landscape of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The rich earth tones and stunning blue skies have inspired myriad artists and informed some of America’s most iconic works of photography, painting, and literature. Thanks again to our Studio Director Rich Rickaby for this week’s shots. See you next time! SantaFe

Out and About

It’s that time again!

This Friday’s dose of globe-trotting design inspiration comes from Studio Director Rich Rickaby. Check out Rich’s picks from Amsterdam, a city rife with history and artistic heritage. Red bricks, meandering canals and those famously vibrant tulips are just the start of the aesthetic adventure that is Amsterdam. Enjoy!

Missed the first edition of Out and About? You can catch up here.


Summer Sip: SpikedSeltzer


All Images – Edward Garrity for SpikedSeltzer

Look no further: we’ve found the perfect summer drink.

This season when the hot town gets you down, follow the siren’s call and get your hands on some SpikedSeltzer. The original hard seltzer, SpikedSeltzer offers a crisp, delicious buzz that’s lighter than beer and more refreshing than wine.

SpikedSeltzer is brewed with cold-pressed fruit extracts and comes in four refreshing varieties: Indian River Grapefruit, Cape Cod Cranberry, Valencia Orange, and West Indies Lime. Bright flavors, the perfect amount of bubbles, and 6% ABV? We’re sold.

SpikedSeltzer is the bubbly brainchild of Nick Shields, a 5th-generation brewer who’s  no rookie in the beverage game. Shields cut his teeth at Nantucket Nectars and honed his skills at Wolffer Estate before returning to his family’s trade, drawing on knowledge of both brewing and winemaking to develop SpikedSeltzer – the original hard seltzer.


Shields began by brewing 5-gallon batches of seltzer in his garage, tweaking and refining almost 100 batches to reach the perfect blend. He and co-founder Dave Holmes brought SpikedSeltzer to the market in 2013 and have grown it into a national brand in remarkable time. As of this spring, SpikedSeltzer is available in all 50 states as well as Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.

Shields and Holmes are true innovators. With the launch of SpikedSeltzer they didn’t just disrupt a category; they created one.


SpikedSeltzer Co-Founders Dave Holmes and Nick Shields

We were lucky enough to interview Shields about his history as a brewer, the inception of Spiked Seltzer, and his favorite summer cocktail. Read on.

What inspired you to create SpikedSeltzer?  

“With a couple decades in beverage product development, I’m prone to thinking of what’s next. I wanted to offer people something completely new, better-for-you, and refreshing in the alcohol space.” 


You’ve got some great cocktail recipes on your site. What’s your favorite way to drink Spiked Seltzer?

“I’m partial to the tequila-infused cocktails with SpikedSeltzer – the Margarita Fizz and the Paloma. But there are so many more combos that we haven’t published yet, particularly almost any red liqueur mixed with SpikedSeltzer cranberry. Try mixing it with Campari – excellent.”


And how about that logo? 

“Dave and I both row in sculls on the ocean. Personally, I get a lot of my inspiration on the water, especially towards the end of a workout. Mermaids are sleek, feminine, powerful, and mysterious creatures. They are said to be able to lead you to discovery. We like that story.”

We’ll drink to that.

SpikedSeltzer is available nationwide, wherever beer is sold. For more information check out the SpikedSeltzer site and be sure to show them some love on the ‘gram. Happy Drinking!