Kevin Landwehr | Design Director

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Being creative for a living is the greatest gift I’ve ever received and one of few things I truly need. Whatever the problem, whatever the form and function, I want to create on, to, and for it.

What do designers create? A look, feel, intellect & spirit for what often begins as somebody else’s dream, and hopefully becomes our own. In the end, I hope only that we have enjoyed our work, made money for our benefactors, and made the world a more beautiful place.

Beauty and truth, truth and beauty; both are things worth creating and sharing. 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. 

Creating lasting moments with brands isn’t about the brand. It’s about people discovering new things and ideas and sharing these little eurekas with literally anyone who will listen. Online or physical, people are exploring branded moments, looking for those that integrate naturally (hello, iPhone) and rejecting those that require unnatural effort (I’m looking at you, robotic bartenders). Design defines the ways people experience the world. This simple truth drives our design of Magnolia, where we integrate a significant digital footprint of websites, applications, and digital marketing with a multiple tiers of branded and packaged products and interiors, and it all feels very natural and human in scale.

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? My work with Nothing Something identifies not just what works visually, but often what causes problems in the first place. 

The most imposing creative organism I’ve ever known: “The Internet.” 

From the user-banality of enterprise software to the aggro-personalization of our IoT, our shared humanity is sometimes defined by an anti-human type of connectivity. I’m hyperactively consumed with ways to create around these issues. I believe only the freshest ideas big-bang the necessary and profitable solutions that solve really big problems — and bring us back together.

Together, they say, is where we belong; yet we’re clearly thirsty for a new, denser humanity, a cheap and practical emotional concentrate. We want our connections strong, and full of flavor, and we’re addicted. So how can we do that right?

Does what we create have texture? 

Does it engage the human experience? 

Is the storytelling alive? 

Does it give the brand soul? 

Marketing can seed with cold analytics and consumer insights. It mainly 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 create the new human.

-KL