Since 1979, we've partnered with companies who understand how design can drive culture (inside and out), ideas and sales. We bring together problem solvers, strategic thinkers and conceptual designers to develop compelling brand stories.

TAKING HOME SOME HARDWARE

Last week we had the honor of taking home five gorgeous and surprisingly heavy new pieces of office décor from the 2014 AIGA MN Design Show. The winning projects were the Fair State Brewing identity and the Fair State website, this year’s Little Valentine, LSI City posters, and the APM Marketplace identity. There was some absolutely amazing work from our peers on display, we’re extremely proud to be among such great company!

WELL HELLO, HOJO

Let’s give a warm welcome to HoJo Willenzik, our newest Copy Director at Little. Aside from his sharp wit, HoJo brings us more than 15 years of experience accumulated while working at Kruskopf Coontz, VSA Partners and HartungKemp. Oh, and apparently he’s a ringer when it comes to Nerf hoops, but we have yet to test his skills on the court.

HoJo’s client roster includes Target, Cargill, 3M, IBM, GE, Harley-Davidson, Mack Trucks and United Healthcare. HoJo has been featured in Communication Arts, Print, Ad Age, ADWEEK and Creativity. His awards include The One Show, AIGA365, AR100 and the Mpls Show. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, History from Tulane University in New Orleans.

GETTING IN WITH THE VIPS

Remember spending hours at the playground? Of course you do. Parks do a lot more for kids than provide a distraction and help them get fresh air. Studies have shown that they can actually help support safer, cleaner and healthier communities. Landscape Structures, Inc. (LSI), a Minnesota-based playground manufacturer, wanted to start conversations about the importance of parks with mayors and city planners around the country and understand what drives certain cities to invest in parks and playgrounds more than others. They had their list of targeted cities, but they needed a way to get their foot in the door.

We knew we had to cut through the clutter to help LSI grab the attention of these busy city employees who are often inundated by various requests. And what better way to make them take notice than apply a little flattery? We used maps of each targeted city to create large format framed prints that were then silkscreened with a graphic statement declaring the importance of parks to the community. After each mailing, LSI President Pat Faust followed up with a request for a meeting.

Seen as works of art rather than just another marketing piece, the posters opened doors to a number of discussions and the start of important relationships with mayors and other key leaders from the targeted cities, and LSI continues to rely on these mailings to secure additional meetings.

At Little, we’re all about the work. We LOVE the work. But there are so many other things that surround it. Reasons to get out of bed every day and come into the office. The little things that make life at Little great.

WE LOVE YOU TO PIECES

This Valentine’s Day, we’re reminding everyone that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. For our 13th Valentine installment, we took inspiration from a very unlikely source right outside our own windows. From our 14th floor office in the International Centre, we have front row seats to a vulture who frequently soars between the buildings. Every so often, he even drops by our ledge to give us an up-close view of his so-ugly-it’s-cute mug and lets us snap a few pics and/or videos. We’ve dubbed our vulture friend Cornelius.

It only made sense that dear Cornelius became the inspiration of our Valentine mailer. After all, being in the business of branding from the inside out, we recognized that this unseemly creature has a bit of an image problem. And surely there’s more to love about him than meets the eye. So, Cornelius became the unlikely hero in a story featuring his evolution from scary loner to everybody’s best friend. It’s a story that reminds us why we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, because you might just be happily surprised by what’s inside.

If you haven’t read the story yet, visit ValentineVulture.com.

From all of us at Little, we wish you a very happy and hug-filled Valentine’s Day.

MEET THE LITTLES: IAN DAVIES

At Little, we’re all about the magic of strategic, design-driven branding. That’s our game, day in and day out. We’ve got over 34 years of experience, dozens of success stories and boundless creativity – but our best asset is our people. That magic we mentioned? It happens because of our magicians. Want to meet them? You’ve come to the right place – we’re introducing staff spotlights as a new feature on the Little blog. So, hello! It’s nice to meet you. We’re Little.

We’ll kick off the series with Ian Davies, Associate Creative Director.

 

LITTLE NAMED “2013 SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS STORY” BY TWIN CITIES BUSINESS MAGAZINE

MINNEAPOLIS — January 6, 2014 — Creating employee engagement business strategies and an enviable portfolio of world-class branding work for a diversified client base has earned branding and design firm Little the distinction of being named one of 10 “Small Business Success Stories” in Twin Cities Business magazine in its January 2014 issue. Since 2002, the influential business publication has recognized 10 Minnesota companies annually for a variety of achievements, ranging from entrepreneurial efforts to other outstanding characteristics like community involvement.*

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A LITTLE LOVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

While the winters here can be rather brutal, we’ve certainly learned how to make the most of them. There’s nothing quite like bundling up and heading outside to play in the snow. That’s why we’ve partnered with local nonprofit organization Way to Grow for our annual holiday giving campaign. We’re helping outfit the kids in their program for winter fun by collecting new or gently used winter coats, snow pants, boots and socks for infants through kids up to age 9. We’re excited to give these kids the gear they need to enjoy all that our Minnesota winters have to offer. 

LITTLE ELEVATES THREE EXPERIENCED LEADERS TO VICE PRESIDENT POSITIONS IN ACCOUNT SERVICES, OPERATIONS AND CREATIVE

MINNEAPOLIS — December 6, 2013 — The strategic design firm, Little, has promoted three outstanding internal leaders to new Vice President positions.

Jaye Peterson has been named VP of Account Services. Brooke Brown has been promoted to VP of Operations and Account Services, and Mike Schacherer has been named VP and Creative Director. 

"As part of our growth and an expansion of client services, we are happy to announce these new positions for three of our many talented staff members," says Joe Cecere, President and Chief Creative Officer for the company. “Their collective leadership, vision, energy and spirit contribute greatly to Little’s ongoing success. It’s a pleasure to acknowledge their contributions.”  

MILLENNIALS: FORCING LONG-OVERDUE CHANGE

Expected to make up to half of the workforce within the next year, Millennials have been getting plenty of attention lately. Column inch after column inch asserts that they’re narcissistic and lazy, doe-eyed dreamers who will change the world… the moment they finally select the perfect Instagram filter. Worse yet, Millennials will leave your company after a year with no remorse, and they’re taking their vested 401(k) with them. 

As you’d suspect, companies are going to have to change to accommodate this generational influx. And you know what? Those changes are way overdue.

While a 2013 Gallup poll did indicate that Millennials are the most likely generation to leave their jobs in the next 12 months, the urge to job-hop may not be entirely their fault. What’s the best way to motivate Millennials? According to the same poll, they’re driven by “mission and purpose” and “opportunities to learn and grow.” Perhaps it’s not that Millennials are disloyal, but instead that companies have not adapted fast enough to inspire and motivate them. When companies have a well-defined mission and purpose that is communicated effectively across the employee base, brand champions are born – whether they are employees who stay on the job longer or customers who buy more. This is change all generations can appreciate.

Companies driven by a clear purpose perform better and give employees something to strive for beyond this quarter’s numbers. However, it would be shortsighted to say this is enough. We live in an era of constant innovation where start-ups are valued at hundreds of millions of dollars by their first birthday. Companies that can’t keep up won’t be around for long. 

To keep from falling behind, organizations must be willing to constantly reinvent and take risks. And as mentioned earlier, Millennials - the generation that will soon make up half the workforce - are more than open to new ideas and are driven by “opportunities to learn and grow.” Organizations that embrace constant evolution and provide opportunities for the best ideas to rise to the top are those that will end up getting the best Millennial talent to stick around. And if not? Millennials will just create those companies themselves.

Downtown Minneapolis