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In Episode #35, Ross sits down with Blake Howard, Creative Director and Cofounder of Matchstic.

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For nearly 20 years, Blake has focused on helping growing companies level up their brand identity by being radically relevant. He’s led brand launches for over 200 projects, spanning a broad range of clients, from global heavy-hitters to ambitious startups poised for growth. The most notable of which include, Chick-fil-A, Mailchimp, Spanx, International Justice Mission, and the City of Atlanta.

Ross and Blake discuss the true value of design in helping companies stand out and grow, what everyone should know before they rebrand, and how companies can benefit from working with local agencies.

Highlights from the conversation

A rebrand doesn’t have to be extreme. It could be the right decision to just modernise or refresh

We want to give up and coming businesses a fighting chance

No one cared about them. They were visual spam all over the city, no one engaged with them. The whole point of them was to inform the public, but no one cared

Brand identity really can just attract people in that front door. A lot of those small or mid-sized growing organisations lack that

A lot of organisations can’t see the obvious right in front of them. And creatives, especially at an agency, have the gift of being an outsider. We can bring a fresh, unique perspective

When clients rebrand, they often forget the context out of which they came […] When you’re tone-deaf to where you’ve come from, it can be quite dangerous from a relationship perspective

More about Blake

Blake is the Creative Director and Cofounder of Matchstic, an Atlanta-based brand identity firm. For nearly 20 years, he’s focused on helping growing companies level up their brand identity by being radically relevant.

Blake has led brand launches for over 200 projects, spanning a broad range of clients, from global heavy-hitters to ambitious startups poised for growth. The most notable of which include, Chick-fil-A, Publix, Mailchimp, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Spanx, International Justice Mission and the City of Atlanta. His work has been featured in Fast Company, City Lab, and Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler, and has received recognition in Graphis, Communication Arts, and Brand New.

Blake extends his creative vision into thought leadership, having taken the stage to speak on brand identity best practices and creative courage at DesignThinkers Toronto, AIGA-Atlanta, HOW Conference, Plywood People, and MODA.

In addition to co-leading Matchstic, Blake organizes the Atlanta chapter of CreativeMornings, a free monthly lecture series for the creative community. With more than 400 attendees each month, the Atlanta CreativeMornings chapter is the country’s largest.

His podcast, The Creative Rising, features conversations with creative professionals and industry leaders who share their perspective on career, courage and creative leadership.

Find Blake here: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter

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