Category: Design

On Mood Boards

In the Mood

When we sit down (or stand up, depending on what kind of desk you prefer) to develop a brand identity, it doesn’t happen in a silo. (Not much happens in a solo silo at Brains on Fire, to be honest.) We try to bring as many brains to the table as possible, whenever possible. AEs …

Free Stock Photo Sites That Don’t Suck 2.0

A few years ago, we wrote a post about Free Stock Photos that Don’t Suck. That post has been one of our most popular over the years. The fact that people are still finding it using search phrases like “where can I find stock photos that aren’t ugly” and “non-sucky stock photos” would seem to suggest …

And the Color of the Year Award Goes To…

Well. It’s the most wonderful time of the year again. No, not Christmas. Pantone COLOR OF THE YEAR time! In case you’ve been living under a rock, once a year Pantone emerges from their presumably colorful lair and declares one color to rule them all. This year’s chosen one? Pantone 15-0343, “Greenery.” The award is supposed to …

Space matters.

A while back we took a leap of faith and did an extreme makeover on our space in the INNOVATE building. We love it here, but we were way over due for a bit of spiffing up. Little did we realize that it would transform the way we work and connect. We knocked down ALL our …

Thought for a Monday Morning

We have the most interesting stuff in our archives. I found this while hunting around for a photo last week. This oldie but goodie from the super talented Justin Gammon is too good not to share. Have the best week EVER. And keep your ears and heart wide open.  

The Springs LA

  Our latest branding and design work from the Springs LA, a multi-faceted urban oasis cultivating health, wellness, sustainability and community. Located in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District, the springs includes an organic juice bar, yoga studio, wellness center, and raw vegan restaurant & wine bar. Creating a hub for health-conscious consumers, wellness-seekers, and foodies. …

What if love is the answer?

Another lovely photo from Libby Williams. Last week I got this great little email from my friend Dan Holm. It kind of made my day so I thought I would share. From Dan: I read this article and thought of you and BOF. I hope everything is amazing. “What was the best piece of business advice you …

How do you stay inspired everyday?

Another inspiring photo from my friend Libby Williams‘ collection of beautiful things.  A couple of months ago, I got asked a simple and amazing question during Q+A time at a speaking engagement. “How do you stay inspired every day?” I stopped for a moment and said, “ME PERSONALLY?” “YES”, she said. I shared how personal stories …

Design is a secret language.

I love this slide Greg Ramsey quickly did for one of my presentations. I love being able to feel the person behind design. This week I presented at a conference in Vermont and I got asked the most wonderful and unexpected question during Q+A time. “You have the most beautiful slides. Do you believe design …

What’s your moonshot?

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a Rapid Ingenuity Blitz in NYC. Greg Galle from Future Partners shared Google’s criteria for moonshot idea during the Blitz. 1. Must be an idea that will affect a million people.  2. People will say you are nuts.  3. Yet you still believe it’s possible.  Don’t you just love …

Design Is a Time Traveler

I recently visited a friend’s house to discover a canister of Cafe Bustelo sitting on their countertop. With its bright yellow and red design, it stuck out like a sore thumb in a space  I lovingly (and accurately) call the epitome of a hipster haven.  A quick Google of Cafe Bustelo history makes me think their branding …

Heroes In Recovery: Lessons learned building a powerful, sustainable community

Almost three years ago, Brains on Fire teamed up with the courageous folks at Foundation Recovery Network. Together, we ignited Heroes in Recovery, an amazing community of people from around the country working together to break the stigma associated with addiction. To date, more than 800 people have shared their stories about recovery. I recently …

Making a Difference.

At Brains on Fire, we believe marketing has the power to change lives. We get up every single morning with that belief in our hearts. We’re all about finding and fighting injustices in the world and doing work that inspires people to remember what it feels like to be good people. Even in the work …

I love beautiful design.

I’m inspired by Moe’s (@jukboxdiver) flower designs. So wonderful they make my heart swell. I really, really love beautiful design. And luckily, I’m surrounded by a group of kindred spirits when it comes to loving great design. They express their love of beautiful design in many ways – the words they choose, the clothes they …

Creating Desire.

The door most people love to walk through is the one marked private. Don’t you love that line? I suppose it’s just another way of saying “We all want what we can’t have.” The other day I stumbled on the most remarkable example of creating demand and desire on Emilie Rambaud’s website. I was introduced …

Giving “Neue” Life to Comic Sans

Remember the YouTube video “David After Dentist?” Today’s blog post is a serving of “IS THIS REAL LIFE?” with a side of Fontpocalypse, but it will also tug at the heartstrings of anyone who loves a good comeback story. We’ve all heard the saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” (or a gin and …

50 Shades of Great: Black + White Design in a Technicolor World

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld once said, “Black-and-white always looks modern, whatever that word means.” While it may not be the most eloquent quote in history, there’s a lot of truth to his observation. I’ve always been drawn to black and white. I collect antique photos. Geek out when black Sharpie meets card stock. Even the …

The Passion Conversation Doodles

Speaking of doodles, check out this awesome piece of work from @gapingvoid. Passion Ignites. Ain’t it the truth?! We asked for your inspired doodles and our faces hurt from smiling. Thank you for sharing! AND THE WINNER IS… drum roll please… @HUGHWEBER‘S “Bet on good people doing good things” doodle! (He’s quoting John Gardner, by …

Working Backwards

We celebrated on Friday, so here’s your jolt of creative energy today. Good morning, folks. We gather as a crew every Monday morning for a family meeting. We chat and share, and I’m inviting you to our family huddle today. It’s just too good not to share. Seth Godin spoke in New York at Creative …

Design Discussion: Typography

Can we chat about this typography? Dressing up your font, pun intended, is a big thing here at Brains on Fire. Emotions and aesthetics go hand in hand, and design often fills the void when words just aren’t enough. That’s an understatement, yes. We have a tweet to back that up. Kudos, Yvette Yang. I …