Illustration by Mejse Windfelt

Samurai Wisdom in the Design Process

We were approached by Part2 last year, as they felt their current site was not in line with their brand. They had feature films and documentaries premiering at Sundance and Tribeca. Producing high quality TV content for major networks like Showtime, CNN, Discovery, and PBS, they felt they didn’t have a website that projected that. Our entire process for helping companies like part2 would require a longer article, but how do you start? What are the most vital steps? We started by taking some good advice from a 2524 years old Chinese man.

The important step

It was a misty dawn near the city of Macheng in the Hubei Province. Only the ruffled water of the Huai River and the occasional snorts from the war horses broke the silence. General Sun Tzu was calm despite the scale of the massive battle ahead. His officers looked at him respectfully and waited in anticipation as he stepped forward to address his anxious troops. T-Mobile coverage was pretty spotty in this area of China, and since this was 506 BC the iPhone couldn’t yet send one of those funny animated animal Emoji messages. So instead, Sun Tzu turned around and spoke to his soldiers:

“If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.“

Being militantly pacifist, I was first reluctant to quote some unstable suicidal Samurai. But this man was a pretty nifty strategist and philosopher when he was not busy chopping people’s heads off.

In other words: The more you know your target audience, company, and brand, the greater the likelihood for success. This quote snugs comfortably in the pillows of our first step in creating your digital presence.

When we were approached by Part2, they felt that their current site was not in line with their brand. They regularly had feature films and documentaries premiering at Sundance and Tribeca. They produced high quality TV content for major networks like Showtime, CNN, Discovery, Nat Geo and PBS, but their website that didn’t project that.

The design of your website is not more important than your content, but having your product wrapped in a package that is inviting for people to open is obviously crucial. Whether your product or service is “cost effective”, or “luxury”, customers should get an immediate sense of what your brand is about when your site pops up on their laptop.

No one knows their customers and brand better than the client. So the first and most important step in our design process is extracting these invaluable insights into the brand. We ask the whys, whos, and hows. Usually in this process the client also learns a lot about themselves. And that is always a nice by-product. We believe that close collaboration always yields the best results.

The rewarding step

The most rewarding step of the digital design process is ultimately the final one. It is that satisfying feeling you get hitting the submit button for an award site and posting our latest creation on Instagram. It is the warm fuzzy feeling you get when receiving emails from happy clients. Clients like David at who recently wrote:

“I just wanted to write to say thank you for creating a completely new, completely elevated website for us that finally feels in line with the company we are. It is a joy to look at, to use, and to share. It has already gotten a great response. Just like a TV show we produce, there’s always a few things more — a few things you see when it goes to air — but at some point you just sit back and watch it with deep appreciation and wonder at the process of everything creative.

So, thank you again for the great work and superb outcome. “

There would be no point in firing up those Macs everyday if we didn’t always strive to receive this level of response. It is the fuel that energizes us and makes all the hard work worthwhile.

The best step

Does that mean we only look forward to getting over the finish line? No! We love crafting outstanding design, user experience, sparkling clean code, mind-maps and dammit, we even love Explorer.

My father used to take me camping when I was a toddler. He would throw me and a tent in the back of his beat-up Talbot Horizon. There is a good reason why that brand of cars is not produced anymore. It was quite a challenge to keep it running. But we did manage to get from our home in Denmark all the way to the tip of Spain. Seeing the sunset in Malaga was the goal, but the trip there was always just as amazing. Even the state of the French camping toilet facilities could not discourage us from always enjoying the trip as much as we eventually enjoyed the destination. If getting the reward is the only thing that makes you happy, then you are going to feel the opposite.

You have to enjoy the journey, and that journey starts with the most important step… you.

Thanks for reading. If you want to work with us, have comments, questions or anything else please email us at

Fun and play creates disruptions that feeds creativity. Read more about our take on disruption here.