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Focal Point: Being brave with Believe in®

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The Believe in® team love inspiring bravery in their clients. Moving them on from safe to risky concepts and delivering simple, powerful designs as a result. We're converts, and they've got us asking: What would it look like if you chose to be brave? 

Tell us a bit about who you are and what you produce.

Believe in® is a brand-design agency with studios located here in Exeter and Ontario, Canada. All of our work adheres to four core rules: clarity through simplicity, meaningful creativity, overcoming indifference and feelings over features. Our work encompasses all creative disciplines but we have earned a bit of a reputation for brand identity, packaging and print communications.

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What is your favourite kind of brief?

All briefs, like clients, are unique. We like it that way. Creativity isn’t a cookie cutter, so being challenged is what gets us up and buzzing in the morning. We treat every brief with the same level of importance, irrelevant of budget. Most important for us though, is that we believe in what we are working on and who we’re working with. We’ll never compromise on that.

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Do you guys have any specific work habits upon receiving a brief? What's the creative process?

Our creative process is probably no different from the way that most studios work and our teams follow all the usual creative stages. However, all our projects have a strong strategic driving force behind them and so it’s imperative that we understand why our clients and their products exist. What makes a crucial difference to the work we produce is this understanding of what our clients do and the promises they make.

Believe in has a small creative team without an overt hierarchy so it’s a true ‘team’ ethic. We are all passionate about the work we produce and so we’ll combine all our individual talents on each project in order to produce the very best outcomes.

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What does your design studio look like? What's in there to inspire you?

Our Exeter studio is in the roof space of three Georgian townhouses just off the main city center. It is decked out in stereotypical minimalism and everything is neat and orderly - in line with our modernist values. White furniture and black floors are juxtaposed against the grandeur of the building and surroundings. Our Mono studio in Canada has a similar interior aesthetic. It’s located an hour’s drive from downtown Toronto and nestled within ten acres of magical Maple Forest.

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You guys do some great self-initiated work as well as contributing a lot to other collaborative projects. Why are these important to you?

Being asked to collaborate on something which will be shared and enjoyed within our industry (as well as with the general public sometimes) is a lovely opportunity to remove ourselves from the constraints of clients, budgets and brands. It’s a bit of respite and a great opportunity to create the things we’ve always wanted to with like-minded talent.

It’s the same with our self-initiated works. Often, these projects are held in high regard and featured in blogs, books and curated design collections. In self-initiated projects we are at our most brave so it gives us the chance to showcase the kind of work we would like to do more of.

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Tell us more about Love Letter to Me. We're super intrigued!

A few years back we received a letter in the post, totally randomly, from the Netherlands. It was from a collective called The Gallery Presents who were planning an exhibition around the theme of love letters. The letter was quite mysterious but totally genuine. We liked the level of intrigue and uncertainty we felt after opening it, a bit like when you send a secret love letter.

The brief was very open so we decided to craft something (in the old-fashioned sense) whilst also introducing a new-worldly digital aspect. The result was a hand-cut, fully functioning (20 layers of very heavy black board) QR code presented in a sexy black gift box. When scanned, the QR code connected to (and became a part of) a collective, self generated, digital love letter. The experience of participation was more important than the finished result.

Some will embrace it, others will abuse it, but like in love we have offered it in hope and we have no guarantee of its reciprocity. The exhibition; Tribute to the Love Letter, was held at The Museum of Communications in The Hague.

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