The Firm List > The Firm List Spotlights > Scribble & Tweak

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Scribble & Tweak Spotlight on the Firms
FL: On your website you call yourselves "visual storytellers" which is a long way from saying you're technologists or e-business consultants. How is visual storytelling important to the work Scribble & Tweak has done?
S&T: By working closely with the client we are able to establish a visual dialogue that communicates the unique aspects of their product or service.
FL: You mention the right brain / left brain balance that is important to your overall strategy. Is this balance necessary in providing clients with a successful solution?
S&T: There are various ways to solve a design problem. Ours is to go through a rigorous process of combining data, inspiration, and sketches then letting imaginations run wild then pulling back at just the right moment. At times, this forces us to go into the unknown. When we come back, we bring along a unique solution that may not have been considered otherwise.
FL: We know that the "critical adult" is the one that does the long hours to pay the firm's bills, but how do the members of Scribble & Tweak express their "inner child?"
S&T: That's achieved through:
- Painting
- Animation
- Pro bono projects
- Book Jackets
FL: Scribble & Tweak offers a range of print and digital services. What do you find is the usual balance of demand between your print & digital services?
S&T: Print is still king. Yet there are times when clients make requests for solutions in digital format that were once conceived only in print... A formal invitation for example.
FL: Has this balance shifted along with the market over the last few years?
S&T: Lately, there seems to be less of a demand for a complete package.
FL: How important are your partnerships in helping to provide the complete solution for your clients? When does it make sense to partner with another firm and when should you bring those skills in-house?
S&T: In today's volatile economy, scalability and flexibility are key in providing clients with highly creative solutions, while respecting the bottom line. We achieve this by collaborating with highly creative individuals who bring a unique mix of talent to the table.
FL: You describe Scribble & Tweak's process as a+b=c. Is this equation complete? Are there variables in the equation that emerge with certain types of clients or solutions?
S&T: Usually this equation is complete: research, compile, and execute. Other times it isn't. It all has to do with the level of trust and communication we receive from the clients.
FL: I see the mention of "wit" on your website. A sense of humor seems essential to an individual's personality, but how important is humor/wit to a firm's identity?
S&T: I feel it wins the trust of the general public, and makes them feel good about themselves. Take a look at McDonalds for example: on one hand they love to see people smile, on the other hand they are busy destroying the rain forest.
FL: While many of us have seen examples of pencil sketches turning into logos, product designs and many a business plan, how well does a pencil sketch transform into the interactive environment of a website?
S&T: Good question, I never tried it. Instead I turn those images in to a bitmap graphic.
FL: Now NYC has the largest number of web design firms in the world (at least by the numbers on The Firm List). Do you feel that it's easier or harder to keep on the cutting edge with both design & technology when you have so much competition in your own backyard?
S&T: It's not easy, and it's becoming increasingly important to be a quick critical thinker. By having the instinct in knowing which design path to stay away from, one finds more time to develop stronger solutions.
FL: With so many web design/development professionals in the NYC area, I would imagine that it's pretty easy to meet & communicate with other professionals. What sorts of groups or associations are you a member of and how do you feel your involvement has enhanced your firm?
S&T: I would never make a mistake of being a member of a club that would except me.
FL: If tomorrow suddenly all pencil sketching was outlawed and you couldn't refine anything, thus Scribble & Tweak was no more, what would you and your team go on to do?
S&T: Probably become bards.
(spotlight first ran July 2002)

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