Category Archive: Design

Revealed! The Secret Weapon to Any Film

Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest hotel is a wonderful film. It seems that he has finally made the movie and story that perfectly encapsulates his signature style of filmmaking. All the quirk, style and detail in Grand Budapest Hotel is completely necessary to the characters and plot as compared to previous efforts (“Life Aquatic” comes to mind) where you’re left wondering if some of the quirk is just overkill.

One of our absolute favorite part of the film is the attention to detail. Anderson’s puts prop design front and center with GBH, and it really made the film that much more lovable. The letterhead on written notes, the packaging for a pastry, the mailing label on a parcel:



GHB_0341 20130131.CR2


And so it seems that sometimes, it is in fact all in the details.

Images taken from Annie Atkins’ full interview in Creative Review
Additional commentary in this months issue of Fast Company

If We Were to Make a Super Bowl Ad…

We haven’t had the grand opportunity of even coming close to creating a Super Bowl ad or contributing to one. Nope. But one day– surely!– we will. And when that day comes, we would want the ad to be like these, our four favorites from the Super Bowl 2014:

And while the idea here was awesome, and expectations were high, we were just a tad shy of excited about the “Up for Whatever” Bud Light commercials:

DL! Featured in Crain’s Detroit Business

A special thanks to writer Amy Haimerl of Crain’s Detroit for a nice writeup on DL!, the work we are doing and our brand new office inside the David Stott Building in downtown Detroit. In the article, she discusses the humble beginnings that got the ball rolling for us– the shirts, the street art, the films– all the way through to us growing in to being a full service creative studio focusing on film production.

Click this link or the image below to read the article in full.

MANTRACITY Mural #1 Gets a Tune-Up

We like doing a lot more than making videos, hence the effort behind the ongoing mural series MANTRACITY, whereby we paint simple message-based murals throughout the city of Detroit that aim to casually uplift and inspire. The first one we ever did was at Brush and Milwaukee. The message? “We Kahn Do it!” — an ode to Albert Kahn who designed three buildings seen off to the right as you look at the wall. See the evolution of the mural here:

So that mural was painted over two years ago, and as the cookie crumbles, fell victim to some tagging that defaced the lower portion of the wall. Interestingly enough, someone unbeknownst to us repainted over the tagging, or at least tried to. But of course, they came back. So we decided to really give it a proper tune up to get it back to its proper glory. The result is pretty nice, we were quite happy with how it turned out:


MANTRACITY Mural #3 Complete! “Plant a seed, watch it grow”

We are still rolling out the MANTRACITY series of murals– simple, message-based paintings throughout the city– that aim to uplift and casually inspire. The latest installment in the series is part of the Georgia Street Community Collective and is located on the east side of Detroit at Georgia Street and Vinton.

Mark Covington, the garden and community collective’s chairman, has been a longtime friend of DL! and so it’s been fun working with him to create a mural that spiced up the area behind the collective’s community center, greenhouse, goat pen and children’s playground.

Funding and concept for this mural came from DL!, with design skills from Nick Jaroch. Nick also led all the painting and has been involved in all of our MANTRACITY murals to date. Alex Lauri was out there for his first mural. Nick has been brought on boar with DL! to lead the charge pumping these murals out until it’s too cold! Stay tuned for more.

Pics below:




Google Maps Ad Takes You to Detroit

See the new Google Maps ad for yourself. Bravo (I wish we knew who put this together!), it’s very great:

New Client Work: Abraxas Worldwide and Kiva Detroit

The last few weeks have been pleasantly busy with two new clients coming our way for film production services that we were pretty excited about.

We teamed up with Skidmore Studio (we did a piece on them for the Speakers Bureau when they moved their offices downtown– see that here) to shoot and direct content for a client of theirs called Abraxas Worldwide. The project entailed shooting employee testimonials that went in to a promo piece that opens the website and then little pieces throughout the site that guide users through Abraxas’ process and capability. Pretty cool. See that piece here:

Next, some work we did for Kiva Detroit. They disperse micro-loans to businesses throughout southeast Michigan in cases where traditional lenders usually will not intervene. A micro-loan is typically $1-5,000 and is paid back by the recipient over and agreed upon timeframe. What’s really cool is that the source of the loan comes from citizen lenders who want to support the business. Unlike something like Kickstarter, however, the lender gets their money back. We were really excited to do a piece for them that will be used internally to garner support for some of their upcoming programs, and will also be housed on their website for promo purposes:

New Client Work: Detroit Design Festival 2012

Detroit Design Festival will take place this year on Wednesday, September 19th – Sunday, September 23rd. The five day event translates as a community curated and supported design festival developed to showcase the talents and abilities of Detroit’s creative communities. It will take place in Detroit’s Creative Corridor, as well as several other Detroit neighborhoods. Official Design Happenings will include studio tours, panel and roundtable discussions, lectures, product and fashion shows, product launches, retail happenings and design battles to name a few. This is the promo we did for them as a showcase of what’s to come in this year’s festival:

Detroit and Lodz: Hygienic Dress League Takes the Connection One Step Further

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We are really pumped to see some more connection happening between Detroit and Lodz, the two cities we featured in our recent documentary “After the Factory” (that is playing at Traverse City Film Fest in August!). Street art duo Hygienic Dress League (that we’ve talked frequently about) has been making tracks through Lodz this past week doing a series of paintings, including one 70 foot mural near Lodz’ city center. See for yourself:

Nice to see some more connection being had obviously, but I think it just takes the narrative of the two cities one step further. Bravo!

Huffington Post Likes the Idea of Adult Playgrounds, Do You?

After yesterdays article about the merits of adult playgrounds as a tool to build healthier neighborhoods and happier people, the folks at Huffington Post Detroit posted a poll asking a simple question: Would you go to an adult playground? As of this posting, the results were as follows:

YES, I think it’s a great way to get exercise. 51.06%
NO, I’m not in grade school anymore. 2.13%
YES, with adult-sized slides and swings! 40.43%
NO, it’s a waste of time and money. 6.38%

Kind of interesting to think about. Seems there is a reasonable amount of support. I think one of the key contingencies of something like this working though is building off of the hard work that others have already spearheaded– hence in the last post why I thought it was a good idea to put adult playgrounds in neighborhoods where community gardens are flourishing. When you’ve tirelessly endeavored to create a cultural attraction via the garden, more activity on the heels of that just encourages the original pioneer that started the growth to begin with. It provides affirmation and a sense that your hard work is paying off. And the great thing is that there are a ton of community gardens that are really thriving, so it seems like it’s time to get to work.