Fred Richards, Chief Creative Officer
January 30, 2018
Every so often we have what we like to call “Movie Nights” at Kaleidoscope. It’s a time to put your feet up, mindlessly munch on some microwave popcorn, sip a soda or a beer and watch a movie that you may have heard of, listened to people talk about, witnessed scenes and snippets over the years…but never actually seen from beginning to end.

Some might say a passionate description of this type of movie is enough to feel that you’ve seen and experienced it yourself. Wrong! Why? Because the magic of great storytelling is a first-hand experience. And for anyone in the creative and design business, experiencing different types of storytelling isn’t just a good idea, it’s imperative.

Which is why movie night at Kaleidoscope isn’t just a way to relax with colleagues and blow off steam. It’s a critical source of inspiration that goes beyond the normal avenues of design books, conferences and Pinterest. Because as I have stated before, there is nothing more dull to me than designers talking to designers about design. Lord give me strength.

Great movies invite us into a completely different world. They provide us with an opportunity to step inside the emotional experience of someone else. Sometimes they’ll make us contemplate ‘what just happened’? They’ll make us ask questions of ourselves. Did that movie just change my perspective on life?

To witness movie magic in all of its cinematic glory is to understand how some movies make such a profound impact that they serve as the DNA of not just countless other movies – but of culture itself.

At the end of the day it’s about storytelling – something that ties us all together no matter what your skin color, sex, race or religion. And something we currently need more than ever. Because stories are all about a journey, and great storytelling comes down to understanding what it takes to emerge in a new place stronger for the experience.

“To witness movie magic in all of its cinematic glory is to understand how some movies make such a profound impact that they serve as the DNA of not just countless other movies – but of culture itself.”
Developing brands is exactly the same way. It’s about thinking far beyond the practical artwork or packaging design to create compelling narratives that inspire, provoke and hold consumers to believe in a purpose. Great movies immerse an audience and cause them to stop and question the world around them – brands need to do the same to justify “why” they exist in the first place.

Because that “why” is everything! The design industry is all too quick to pour scorn on each other’s work without really understanding the reasons why. What it takes, or why it works.

Movie making and brand design are both about making choices. Some we love and some we hate. Some movies make you so uncomfortable you feel it down your spine as you squirm in your seat. Some package design and branding has the same effect on me. Some movies we experience again and again with a ritual of repetition or seasonal recognition. Yes, you know how the story ends. Yes, you know when that lump in your throat is going to appear. And yes, you know all the good lines and yet there you are year after year watching the same old scenes play out on the silver screen.

Brands have and can leverage the same emotions if the holistic experience – and the story that drives it – is as compelling, creative and sincere. Don’t sell…tell.

In conclusion. Go watch a movie. Not the latest blockbuster shoot ‘em up CGI nonsense… maybe one with subtitles! Go to the theater or ballet or opera. Get on a plane and try that food that might scare you a bit. If you’re not inspiring yourself and pushing yourself to discover then you my friend will never be a great creative. Know what you love and why you love it. Hold it accountable and return as often as you like to repeat the experience. But also strike out and discover new things with the fascination and innocence of a child. Your career just might depend on it.