W+K 12 was approached by Paper Magazine to contribute to the design annual in a piece called “homesweethome.”
From: Kim Hastreiter
Subject: Rebranding America
Date: March 16, 2009 4:54:26 PM EDT
To: Alex Bogusky, Dan Wieden, Ivan Chermayeff, Kevin Roberts, Andy Spade, Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Peter Buchanan-Smith, Steve Powers, Chris Johanson, Jonathan Horowitz, Mike Mills, Geoff McFetridge, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Alex Kalman
Hello! I’m a great fan of yours so I wanted to approach you about participating in a piece I am producing for my annual Design issue of the magazine (themed “homesweethome”). I felt compelled to include you in this piece as you are truly some of my personal favorite fearless creative communicators.
As the times we are living in are so radical, I think radical ideas are needed to help save our proverbial asses and to create a new path forward into what I like to call the “new normal”. The best part of being in deep shit is that with it comes a unique opportunity for progressive thinking because the status quo is desperate. I thought it appropriate to dedicate the issue to home, and so the subject of one piece I am producing is about our homeland: The U.S. of A.
I have chosen a stellar list of my favorite mavericks (you are one!) and invited you all to create a visual page — as if it was an ad — for America. HOW WOULD YOU REBRAND AMERICA??? (we certainly need it desperately!) How would you make people love us again? How would you change our brand image? Our perception abroad? How could you project our future to our citizens? If America had a new ad campaign, what would it look like? I will run the portfolio of these “Ads for America” as the editorial well in the May issue of PAPER.
I know you are big cheeses, and yes, super busy, but I really hope you are inspired to contribute something that will then inspire others. To me this is an opportunity to share with our readers some amazing ideas from the best thinkers I know of using our pages. Can you (or your team) come up with something for this issue?
Paper Magazine’s Rebranding of America.
W+K12, a creative school based in Portland, Oregon, is an experiment launched by design agency Wieden+Kennedy — its designers, writers and strategic thinkers collaborate on client projects under the guidance of managing director Byron Oshiro and creative directors Tyler Whisnand and Hal Curtis. W+K12 seeks to discover different ways to create together, while serving as a laboratory for the advertising industry’s best practices and newest thinking. This amazing artistic collective is named W+K12 because it selects twelve new, talented members every twelve months. (Special thanks to Wieden + Kennedy executive creative director Susan Hoffman.)
“America is a forever-young country, branding and rebranding itself incessantly. This is no country for old ad people to re-imagine — that is best accomplished by the youngest hearts and minds. And that is why we turned to W+K12. They did not disappoint.”
Stuart Elliot of the new York Times gives a perspective on the Rebranding of America.
New York Times article by Stuart Elliot.