In the wonderful intersection of business and design, one of the most energizing (and sometimes frustrating) aspects of our work is how it stacks up against those of other designers. Sure, we’re passionate about our own expressions and styles, and looking to others can be a great way to get inspired to grow in new and exciting ways. But what does it actually take to grow and sustain a successful design business? When it comes to this, we designers often don’t share our experiences of what it takes to get going and stay in the game.

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Designers coming right out of college tend to want to start a firm right away, but before you can put yourself forward as an expert, you need to figure out the profession which you’re going to tell clients that you’re an expert in. I know, I’ve been there, and I’m here to help you get there too. …

New symbol applied to a flag, flying on a flagpole. Blue and red diagonal stripes intersect from the left and right.
New symbol applied to a flag, flying on a flagpole. Blue and red diagonal stripes intersect from the left and right.

In the summer of 2015, I began conversations with the producers at WNYC Studio 360 about our team working on their latest project in their redesign series — imagining a symbol to represent the modern South.

This invitation arrived in the wake of the terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, which reignited the debate about how the Confederacy is celebrated and memorialized.

In many ways, we were the right team at the right time to take on this challenge. A team led by two creative directors directly descended of civil war veterans from both sides of the conflict. Both genuinely driven to bridge the divide of rancor and try to start a conversation that might begin to have people to listen to each other and heal old — generationally old — wounds. No small task. …

A book that’s on our reading list here at the office is The Phoenix Project. It’s a novelization of the life of an IT director thrust into an enterprise-wide crisis in a company buckling under the weight of out-of-date tech and culture — from applications powering the factory floor to servers powering marketing efforts. This is the very situation plaguing companies everywhere in every sector. And it’s driving the rocketing demand for cloud computing, the infrastructure to power it, the cybersecurity to lock it down and the big data to gain advantages for their customers and stakeholders.

Push Button, Create Server. …

In May 2018, my dream job leading the best damn team in the business underwent a metamorphosis.

We all jumped into an exciting new reality, one tailor-made for us: a wide variety of projects, 100% aligned with our expertise, trusting client relationships and boundless new opportunities. We became the in-house team for the brand we launched in 2017: One of the largest global data center brands and progressive cybersecurity providers, Cyxtera Technologies.

Nearly ten months in, we’re finding new ways to put our 15-year track record of successfully building, strengthening, and marketing billion-dollar technology brands to work as a dedicated team.

Watch this space for observations and insights from this new leg of our journey.

70kft was born in the summer of 2003 in an apartment outside of Charlotte, North Carolina with a giant CRT monitor, Mac G3 and a blackberry. Today, the agency shepherds marketing for some of the globe’s top enterprise technology brands. 70kft is a teenager now — in our fourteenth year — coming into our own, embracing who we are and doubling-down on what we do best.

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Smells like Teen Spirit

Around us all, the world is in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution, and it’s bringing about dramatic global change made possible by the explosion of internet and mobile technology over the last ten years. …

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Over the last decade, our team has been on the front lines with some of the highest-profile brands in enterprise technology, whether it is cloud, IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT) or Big Data. We’ve seen Lilliputians grow into giants. We’ve seen giants continue to stand tall. We’ve seen giants fall on their faces. Whether you’re a startup aspiring to be a big enterprise or a big enterprise aspiring to be as agile as a startup, here are key considerations for thriving when bringing your product to market.

What makes you different? No seriously. What really makes you different?

Differentiation is the critical first step. Too often companies come to us looking for help with a pitch that is watered down and generic because they are casting too wide of a net. As a result, as small fish, they are competing with juggernauts. Pick your niche and own it. You’re not going to out-Amazon Amazon. …


Gus Granger

Personal blog for Chief Creative Officer for Cyxtera, a global data center and cybersecurity leader—the new home of the award winning 70kft creative team.

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