A Note from Kevin Landwehr, Creative Director

I’m an idea guy at Nothing Something. Designers these days wear many different hats; mine say creative director, brand strategist, experience designer. It isn’t important what we’re called, it’s what we create that matters: A look, feel, intellect & spirit for somebody else’s dream. In the end, You’ll judge your career by whether you’ve enjoyed your work, made money for your benefactors, and made the world a more beautiful place.


 

“As a creative strategy guy working in the digital world, it was beneficial to take it further and design branded interior spaces. It enhanced our understanding of how we connect customers to brands, products, websites, SaaS, and more.”


 

I savor the knowledge we’ve helped companies tell their story with maximum impact across social, digital, and print outlets. I’ve embraced each new communications project with crisp inspiration and sharp attention to the end result.

As professionals in marketing and graphic communication, we’re endlessly enthusiastic about teamwork-driven creativity and bridging the human/digital experience. This led us to an interest in branded environments as well, which segued into environmental concepts. Our interest stems from two very simple ideas: One: If you want a fresh message, you pull creatives from beyond the echo chamber. And two: Where a brand can bear weight, load it up. These ideas prove successful time and time again. 

Motivated by our love of Omni-directional XD — also called experience design — we were happy to do whatever it took to create lasting moments with brands. Now, you may know that part of the XD discipline improves the online experience; but the other side of the concept revolves around designing brand-supportive moments which integrate naturally into the ways we experience the world. And so, without much fuss, we just did what we do: we took it further. Well, okay. A lot further.

Did it work? Sure it did. Let’s look at some social data.

I guide brands through difficult problems using a combination of empathy & first principles. What’s really there? Not the paradigm, not the perception; what’s actually happening? What are we trying to accomplish? Are we addressing real problems? Nothing Something identifies not just what works visually, but what caused the problem in the first place. 

The best of us wearing “creator” hats in the modern marketing world know that the history books won’t waste time noting our names. There’s only one great living, creative organism in our time and it’s called “The Internet.” From the enterprise to the internet of things, we’ve all noticed our shared humanity is now defined by a much-less-than-human type of connectivity — but that’s in no way depressing. Why?

We’re thirsty for a new, denser humanity, an emotional concentrate. We want our connections strong, and full of flavor, and we’re addicted.

 

Which brings us to my basic recipe, one I’ve cultivated over the years here at Nothing Something:

Does the work have texture? 

Does it engage the human experience? 

Is the storytelling alive? 

Does it give the brand soul? 

Marketing seeds with cold analytics and consumer insights, but it succeeds by connecting us to the beauty of our shared humanity. In the end it’s what makes it all so much fun; we’re just working hard, everyday, to be more human.

-KL


How do you create something from nothing? Shot from conception to completion and packed with process footage, filmmakers follow Nothing Something designers as they reveal their inspiration for their highly anticipated Dogpatch SF restaurant and brewery. Witness the meticulous creative process and get to know the personalities behind the design, food, beer and spirits that make up this one-of-a-kind San Francisco destination.

Kevin Landwehr and Devin Becker of the design firm Nothing Something switch from graphic design to environmental design, revealing the concepts and inspiration for Magnolia's new BBQ restaurant “Smokestack”.