The New Wide Eye
In 2018, digital agencies and creative agencies can no longer be neutral. Values matter.
I started Wide Eye Creative in 2009 as a freelance business. Strongly inspired by the 2008 Obama campaign, it started with a simple and naive premise that good design and smart technology should be accessible to those on the frontlines of doing good: campaigns, organizations, charities, and nonprofits. The reality I was quickly confronted with is that good digital products require extremely hard work, masterful coordination, and, frankly, a solid dose of obsession. The budgets and timelines afforded by working with scrappy campaigns, digital organizers, and activists simply don’t always square with the realities of growing and sustaining a creative business in the 21st-century. For this reason, the market for design agencies in progressive, socially-conscious work remains niche. But Wide Eye hasn’t just toughed it out, we’ve grown and thrived. Put simply, good values have become good business. The last ten years have been a huge challenge, but one that, in the long run, has been remarkably fulfilling. I’m proud in this post to unveil the fruits of our labor as a company, now fifteen staff strong, and to share our vision of the future for our growing company: one we refer to as “the most important creative agency that you’ve never heard of.”
Put simply, good values have become good business.
New look, new website
First, the superficial: we’re excited to share our new look and our new portfolio: wideeye.co. Check it out and let us know what you think. We’ve officially gone “purple” and we’ve trimmed the “creative” out of our name. We’re now “Wide Eye” instead of “Wide Eye Creative”. Yes, we’re still a creative agency, but we also provide a much broader set of services and are ambitiously growing our impact beyond our initial vision from 2009. Besides, “Wide Eye” is less of a mouthful than “Wide Eye Creative”.
New services and new clients
Over the last couple of years, we’ve begun to expand our services. We’ve historically been best known for producing beautiful, custom websites, but as our team has grown we’ve taken on an increasingly broader scope of digital strategic communications disciplines: content, social, brand strategy, technical consulting, cyber-security consulting, digital campaigns, rapid response, and video. We’ve doubled down on the notion that in order to do exceptional work, we need to develop a deep understanding of our clients’ goals and needs. A series of sustained relationships with larger domestic and international organizations have provided us the opportunity to cut our teeth as a dedicated partner that helps to lead on larger objectives — telling the story of an organization’s mission, strengthening their voice, and helping to fuel their growth and impact. We are now officially referring to ourselves as a “full-service agency” and will continue to take on bigger and bigger challenges and establish more ambitious client relationships. The underlying vision will continue to be the same, however — to power those doing good in the world with innovative digital best practices, clever problem solving, and a uniquely creative and custom approach. Our mission is to help our clients communicate to their audiences boldly and with courage. Never has this been more important.
Our mission is to help our clients communicate to their audiences boldly and with courage.
Staff and culture
Our staff has grown in tandem with our reach as an agency. We have welcomed eight new members to our team since summer of last year. It’s not rocket science — quality creative work rides on the array of backgrounds and experiences of the people responsible for it, and in maintaining a team that mirrors the broad diversity of our clients. That means we hire intentionally — across all of the vectors that encompass racial, gender, economic, and religious diversity, as well as skill set and experience. We can’t imagine it any other way. Our new staff, including Director of Technology Drew Tipson, Senior Digital Project Manager Lauren Starrett, Web Developers Reavens Fenelon, Nishiki Liu, and Camden Lee, Visual Designer Vania Myers, and, most recently Digital Project Manager Emily Carbonell-Ferguson and Studio Manager Anusha Sivalingam, come to Wide Eye from a range of different backgrounds and they reflect those ideals. We’ve worked very hard to create a company culture that embodies a spirit of transparency, inclusion, mentorship, generosity, and fun. We are exceptionally proud to celebrate the fact that our company reflects the values of the clients with whom we work.
Time to live our values
Nothing has been more important in attracting top talent to Wide Eye than our core belief that ability, experience, and creative problem solving should be put in service of the public good. Every member of our staff has joined our team to bring deeper purpose and mission to their craft. We need more talented digital practitioners working on the right side of history, and Wide Eye is proud to count ourselves among this small but rapidly growing community working for progressive causes. In just the last year we’ve worked with organizations and campaigns committed to fighting for a stronger democracy, human and civil rights, access to health care, criminal justice reform, gun safety and reform, reproductive rights, immigrant rights, refugee rights, increased environmental standards, marijuana legalization, anti-corruption, and reducing economic inequality. These issues form around a central purpose: to make our world more just and more livable. We believe profoundly that wielding digital tools ethically and with clarity of purpose on all of these fronts will have a net positive impact on our world and our future.
We need more talented digital practitioners working on the right side of history, and Wide Eye is proud to count ourselves among this small but rapidly growing community working for progressive causes.
The internet doesn’t have to be an awful place
Ultimately, the internet is a tool like any other. It’s not inherently good or bad. In recent years we’ve seen countless examples demonstrating the ways in which the digital landscape can fuel cruelty, dishonesty, and antisocial behavior. Our goal as an agency is to fill the internet with what it often sorely lacks: delight, beauty, empathy, and respect for its users. Big ideas, invention, and creativity matter and shouldn’t be undervalued in favor of short-sighted strategies and tricks. Building trust with visitors, donors, volunteers, and consumers should be the primary job of every branding and creative agency, big and small. Wide Eye will continue to uphold those values first in all the work that we do.
Have a project? We’d love to chat: https://wideeye.co/hire-us/