Kevin Landwehr, Creative Director

Creative types these days wear many different hats. Creative director, brand strategist, communications manager, experience designer, copywriter, web designer — where are the lines drawn? I've personally done all of these jobs, typically bundled into one inaccurate title or another.

What we’re called is less important than what we create: A look, feel, intellect & spirit for what often begins as 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.

What’s so enjoyable? For 15 years I’ve explored a broad range of commercial projects, and I recognize each for their unique, relatable stories. I cherish knowing that we’ve helped companies tell their story with maximum impact across social, digital, and print outlets. 


 

Taking it further and designing branded interior spaces enhanced our understanding of how we connect customers to brands, products, websites, anything.


 

As professionals in the modern era of 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 for the design of brand experiences, we’re happy to do whatever it takes to create lasting moments with brands. Of course 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. A great example is Smokestack in San Francisco, where we took it further. A lot further.

Did it work? Sure 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 often what causes problems 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 most of 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 the basic recipe 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”.