Time flies when you’re having fun! 

Over the last 10 years, we at Story+Structure have been blessed to do this thing called Design! 

2017 marks our tenth anniversary doing business; of being a design firm; of defining and growing the definition of design; of advocating for user needs; of helping our clients unlock their creative hearts and meet their goals; of making a difference.

Our plan was simple: Put humans first. That meant leading with empathy and compassion...
— Story+Structure Business Plan

When we first opened our doors, we had two clients and a dream that design could truly change the world. Our plan was simple: Put humans first. That meant leading with empathy and compassion, regardless of the latest platform or trend. It wasn’t about our personal preferences. It wasn’t even about our clients’ preferences. Design is about you, the customer, and your needs and experience. That is, and always will be, our commitment to design.

From day one, we were adamant that we wouldn’t commit to a specialization (product, digital, web, mobile). We understood that good, impactful design should be as broad and holistic as possible. We knew that for design to be authentic and fresh, we needed to take a “tabula rasa” approach to every new opportunity. We would often start meetings by pulling out stickies and sharpies and declaring: “So, we are going to ask you questions like second graders.” And we knew that for design to truly stick, a team approach would be needed—our clients and their customers/users are part of the design team. 

We’re very excited for 2017

Here’s a preview of what S+S is up to this year:

• Education - Our work in Higher Education continues to grow rapidly. Design in this space has evolved so much over the past 10 years. We have gone from talking about web standards and mobile apps in 2007, to today’s conversations about organizational transformation and brand experience design. The canvas is bigger. The thinking is more holistic. But the core is still about building more effective relationships between students and colleges.

• Cancer Care - We are working with an amazing startup called WorkUp who have cracked the code on adherence, starting with oral chemotherapy. We have been working with them to manage investors and runway, and helping them to expand their impact to other chronic diseases including HIV, HPV, and heart disease. This will be a huge year for this Brooklyn-based company!

• Banking - We have been approached by a Boston-based startup that is looking to revolutionize the community banking experience. With the current controversies surrounding big banks – particularly the “too big to fail” scandals of recent years – community banks will play a vital role in bringing value back to Main Street, USA.

• Transportation - A key part of the U.S.’s economic infrastructure is based in transportation, yet the trucking industry is in need of critical innovation. Truckers are some of the hardest working people on the planet, and one of our startup clients, based in Canada, is leading the charge for change! Their impact will improve the lives and livelihoods of people in this industry. We are excited to be the lead design firm on this.

• Social Impact -  My hometown of Chicago saw more than 760 murders in 2016. We have decided that we simply cannot sit on the sidelines anymore. We have started some conversations with municipalities, community groups, and research institutes on how we can help curb violence, open up avenues for empathy, and contribute to the healing of our most at-risk communities. 

Over the past 10 years, we have had the good fortune to work with a number of outstanding businesses. Our clients are ambitious, passionate, and hopeful. This is what has kept us jazzed and excited for the last decade—and will continue to inspire us for the next!