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Solve problems.

My mom is probably the world’s most dedicated bookkeeper. As a kid, I spent most weekends with her at the office, sitting on the floor by her desk, toying around with the things I found in the supply closet: paper clips, rubber bands, sticky notes, grid paper, twist-ties, toothpicks, etc.

It was awesome, and I was having fun because I was solving problems — working with limitations, making sense, and finding meaning. It’s one of my favorite memories, and it’s part of the path that led me to where I am today.







Oxide’s updated identity

Along with the other changes we made for Oxide’s 10th anniversary, we also updated our identity.

Since Oxide’s inception, the 2-D and 3-D versions of the symbol have been used interchangeably, but with an emphasis on the 3-D/bubble version. People have responded really well to the bubble, so we used it pretty much exclusively — as a small adhesive sticker in the real world, and in faux 3-D for print and online.



This is our manifesto

We’ve used our 10th anniversary to launch some pretty exciting things. We have an entirely new website and our own bus. But the thing that’ll have the biggest impact on our next 10 years is easy to miss: our new manifesto.

This list is a direct response to every client interaction we’ve ever had. It’s an acknowledgement that the design process is complex, unpredictable, and personal — and sometimes a little too much for all of us.

This list is also an opportunity to align our personal and professional selves. It’s an admission that — as people and as professional designers — we cannot disable our love for the potential of design.

So we’ve taken a look back at our most successful projects, identified the things that really worked, and distilled them down to these 11 things. For the first time, we’re asking all of our new clients to read and agree to these things before we sign a contract. That’s a pretty big deal.





Big Omaha 2011 identity

Three years in, it can officially be called an annual tradition: design an entirely new identity for an entrepreneurial conference utilizing a giant cow. The premise is so ridiculous that it should have only worked once — if at all. And yet, three years in, we’re still discovering solutions that make sense. And three years in, we’re still having a lot of fun.



Know when to care

This is a sequel to the first post in this series: Care about your work — which continues to be the most important lesson we have for you.

But caring is more complicated than that. When you start caring, you lose the ability to evaluate your work independently of your personal investment in it.



Omaha Community Foundation website

As much as we enjoy designing identities from the ground-up, the challenge of carrying an existing identity into new territory can be just as rewarding. The Omaha Community Foundation approached Oxide last year to update their website, building from an identity designed by Bailey Lauerman and a set of illustrations by Mick Wiggins.