Tales from an American girl living in Denmark
No, not you. That’s the name of the studio we visited today. I had to climb, huff, and puff to get to the top of another cute but brutal staircase, and it was totally worth it. This place was incredible in multiple ways. Thank You just moved into a new building, and it is prime real estate, let me tell you. From their deck you can see over Copenhagen’s roof tops in 3 directions. It was an excellent day for it, too – the weather has taken an agreeable turn again. The inside was also as lovely as I’ve come to expect with most things Danish.
The people at TY are fantastic. As I understand it three of the guys (Anders Frandsen, Esben Jørgensen, and Örn Ólason) were working in the Danish Broadcast System when they got the idea to start the company about 6.5 years ago. They first entered the Icelandic market, then entered the U.S., and then introduced motion design to Denmark (I might have the order of those steps a bit…out of order). They grew in leaps and bounds after starting work for one of their biggest clients, Swatch watches.
Now I’ve seen pieces of the Swatch campaign before, but I didn’t know it was these guys behind it. There’s so much more to it than I even realized-it’s spectacular. Our presenter claimed they didn’t have much branding experience before Swatch, but you could have fooled me because they’ve done worlds for the brand. Just in my opinion, the watches are kind of…ugly…and the people at TY expressed the same feeling. But the approach they took makes these things seem cool. The parts that stood out most to me were the store design in Times Square (if I wasn’t on an iPad I’d post some examples, but look that stuff up!), the print work converted to projections on the walls of Piazza San Marco, and the way the TY team took Western ads and modified them for the Middle East without sacrificing any of the cool factor. There was also this whole Snap Dance deal that took place in partnership with MTV Awards in what they called “Fanzones.” Winners of the dance contests got Bieber tickets. Well, that’s one way to foster engagement with your brand…I guess. I forget that some people like Justin Bieber.
I really liked the philosophy the guys at TY talked with us about – they emphasized how they work “in a constant beta” where they test ideas in real-time. They say you have to do that because companies don’t have a lot of time or money to spend so everything goes “so fuckin’ quick.” Danes love their F-bombs. And I love Danes. Anyway. Anders also talked about how getting removed from the physical, sitting at the desk yourself, design process presents the risk that you’ll miss all those happy accidents that cause good ideas to become priceless. It’s a problem in the U.S. because of our large corporation model in contrast to the smaller, closer-knit, everybody is hands-on Scandinavian model.
The guys at Thank You also provided us with unlimited beer, soda, and snacks. I love that the Danes have beer at work.
Now just a quick bit about the rest of today – After another much needed lab session at DIS we rode our bikes over to the park to eat lunch and it was sooo lovely out. Very relaxing. Happy time. Michelle made a new friend.
Later in search of a bathroom, a very nice girl gave a few of us some of these to try for free. Sold.
Miki and I stopped by the mall later to look for gifts to bring home. In the same store that I bought a nice cast iron æbleskiver pan I also found these…
After that we had Italian night at the dorms (how am I blessed with so many good cooks in one group?), and now I am full and sleepy and sleepy and… this is the end of this blog for now.