We’re a brand, design and web consultancy that lives in the ether (and in Somerville MA). We work with mission-driven companies, start-ups, non-profits, social entrepreneurs, hybrid business model companies, people in the collaborative consumption space and other innovators — no matter what their corporate structure — who are putting good stuff into the world, not more junk.
We do both ideas and implementation. Beautiful and useful. Art and science, learning and teaching, past wisdom and unbridled futurism. We like how dichotomies are often smarter than black and white choices.
We’re also developing some projects of our own — very nascent at the moment — but there will be shouting and social media-ing and the flapping of arms about all that soon enough.
Who is this “we” of whom you speak?
I’m the head of the “we” — Annie Smidt. I’m the owner, creative director, idea-wrangler, head honcho, designer, writer, and maker at Durable.
I’m not big into hierarchy (just into saying the word “honcho”), I actually work with people rather than have employees. If a project requires more hands on deck than just me, or specific kinds of expertise beyond my own, I’ll pull together a custom team for the job.
I personally work on brand strategy, research, planning, design (graphic, web, UX, etc.), some coding, content strategy, writing, and hands-on implementation of all sorts of things. I’ll often bring add some of my great colleagues to the team for disciplines like PR, ad placements, some kinds of coding, some kinds of user testing and/or market research, ongoing SEO projects, content strategy, copywriting or design production.
Where I’ve been and what I’ve gotten up to
I’ve been working in this field since I graduated college in the mid-90s. Before that, before I became a bona fide “professional designer” I spent several years as an amateur, making zines and artist’s books and generally going round getting excited about printed, designed stuff and calling myself a publishing concern.
I’ve been around the block (well, several blocks) in the design industry, working with everyone from corporate behemoths (Ernst & Young, State Street Bank, BankBoston) to agencies (tfa/LeoBurnett, Phillip Johnson Associates), to non-profits (WGBH, Partners In Health) to sole proprietorships and small consultancies. I spent a significant amount of time as a designer at the boutique Boston design firm Seltzer, eventually becoming a partner and then its owner.
Beyond design, branding, social media geekery, and business model innovation, I’m also into lifehacking, alt-pro (alternative processes) photography, the arctic and antarctic, animals (ok, obsessed a bit), drawing and painting, odd travel projects, Vietnamese fresh rolls with tofu, striving for simplicity and sustainability, learning, teaching, science, nerdy stuff, learning to box (so long as no one hits me), cultural history, William Morris and the Victorian Arts & Crafts Movement, period films, stodgy novels, loud Scottish indie rock bands, a million other sorts of music, and soy lattes.