WRITING SAMPLE 1 - EXTENDED FORMAT COMMERCIAL WRITING

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THE REDOUX BLOG

Ground Work Essay One - The ____ Is the Medium



GROUND WORK is an essay series exploring Redoux's journey of identity building.

Lately, we’ve been thinking about the Balenciaga couch. A 2019 project of the now prominent Crosby Studios, the sofa was crafted from clear vinyl stuffed with discarded clothing and was intended to promote sustainable design. Whether or not it was successful in that regard, it reminds us of a larger truth about the world of brand-building today. These days, It’s not enough to have a style: today, a successful brand must build a world. For Balenciaga, that world was and is an interdisciplinary large-scale inversion of expectations and purposes in design. For other brands, perhaps it’s Y2K retrofuturism or New West Coast skate culture; whatever it may be, brands are now concepts, and each product - whether it be physical or experiential - is a glimmering piece of their entire world.


This series is an evolving conversation: a dialogue between two friends and collaborators about the future of commercial identity and the ways in which we see the world evolving. This has been an ongoing discussion between us, and what you’re reading is a cohesive, palatable version of our back and forth. As the author, this writing is important to my own development as an artist and functions as a kind of conceptual hobby - I love thinking about the way aesthetics, products, and thought come together, especially when they do so seamlessly. My interest and expertise here come from my work as a designer, curator, and design writer, as well as the founder of creative studio Pink Essay. For Asia, this branding thought is integral to the development and success of Redoux, as it serves as the link between her vision and you as the community. Empathy, intention, and accessibility - these are at the core of Redoux’s work and our decision to share a glimpse behind the curtain of our thought is woven into the process of making these values real.


To open the conversation, we’ve found there’s an important distinction to make between brand-building pre-2019ish and brand-building today. In the past, brands became known for a look: you could tell this was Prada, you could tell this was La Mer - logos, iconography, and patterns reigned; nowadays, the brand book is only one working part of a brand’s identity. By employing world-building techniques through social media, physical installations, and interdisciplinary experiences, we are invited in as participants to the creative process. Digital space allows us to peer into the imagined vacuum between idea and advertising, yearning to know every detail of the brand’s world. What color is, say, Paloma Wool? (violet blue) What material would it be constructed from? (limestone) What does it sound like? (A gentle bell)



All of these world building techniques tend to fall into two buckets: visual curation (moodboarding, etc.) and deep research (artifacts that inform brand consciousness and deep concept building). Upon examination, Paloma Wool employs both methods with a high level of success. A quick, informal photo on their Instagram shows a person (a model, perhaps? This feels deceptively irrelevant) eating breakfast in one of the brand’s shirts, while a cup of coffee is held up in the foreground. The image is simple but the impact is powerful, explaining to us that PW is for every occasion: easy, lovely, stylish - the feeling of a morning with a new fling.




Upon exploring their website, you find examples of their deep research under the Projects and Collaborations tab: photo essays, digital collages, and complex illustrations, all conveying a deeper message: Paloma Wool is a world of organic, expressive art. Futuristic forms and ancient textures are blended to create a vision that we, the consumer, buy into upon purchasing a shirt or skirt. This world is both light and ponderous, structured and windblown, evoking a vision for the future of all branding.





Analyzing this world-building is integral to growing a company because it allows us to both identify what steps lead to successful engagement and also envision a universe in which owning a business does not necessarily equate to taking money and handing out a product, but rather engaging with the population in a way that fosters art, self-expression, and community care. For Redoux, this work is our work: world-building is and has always been the glowing core within our range of products and experiences and we hold it close to our heart as we move, expand, and grow in a variety of directions.

In this series, we will explore the world of Redoux and what it means to build our brand today. This dialogue is not only for you, but for us as well - an ongoing conversation that gives us the space to be flexible, make errors, learn, and bring our dreams into the living world.

What color is Redoux?

What is it made of?

What does it sound like?

Let’s explore the GROUND WORK together.

WRITING SAMPLE 2 - EXTENDED FORMAT COMMERCIAL WRITING

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THE REDOUX BLOG

Ground Work Essay Two - Thinking in 3D: How Redoux Builds Their World


ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON REDOUX’S BLOG

In our first essay in the GROUND WORK series, we introduced some essential questions that are useful for a brand’s world-building practice. These questions help to frame the ongoing work of crafting an identity and honing in on what exactly forms the core of the brand. Today, we’re going to examine the world building experience of Redoux, asking the essential question:

What does Redoux look, sound, taste, feel, and of course, smell like?

By bringing it back to our sensory experience, we are tapping into the Redoux values of empathy, intention, and accessibility, rooting it the essential human condition of being alive and the experiential relationship to aesthetics.

Let’s use Bathhouse, a brand subset of Redoux that launched earlier this year, as a case study example of this process.  Bathhouse is a nesting doll of sorts, living within the larger Redoux world. Asia and I coined the term synecdoche brand to describe it, signifying the fact that Bathhouse is both representative of Redoux as well as its own living thing. A synecdoche brand is different from a diffusion brand, like Versace/Versace Versus: a diffusion brand is a cheaper version of a luxury brand, holding less weight and value than its parent brand.



Examples of synecdoche brands are common in the world of luxury clothing - think of the “sport” lines of Prada or Issey Miyake, or the many iterations of Comme des Garçons. The key to a successful synecdoche brand is a highly realized and easily identifiable aesthetic - for Bathhouse, the Redoux team revealed their vision for the concept with a digital concept book, which deftly sums up the aesthetic before building upon it:

Bathhouse is inspired by the cross-cultural ritual of bathing and the feeling of relief that comes from a proper deep cleanse. We took elements from what we love most from a bath. It quiets the external noise, expands to create space for presence, and releases internal tension.

It’s important to note how world-building goes beyond the productin this case, a single incandescent bar of soapand invests in the project’s long-term future by building a wide, specified, and well-researched base for it. This concept book is just the tip of it all: Asia’s team spent many hours thinking through all the ways in which the Bathhouse concept lives in the world.



We can look at one of these questions to know that this kind of deep research is an essential part of world-building:

What does Bathhouse pair well with?

Incenses/ Reed diffusers
Jade stones
Good moisturizer
Green grapes
Pumice stone
Green pears
Dry white wine
Herbal infused gin w mint
Sparkling water w cucumber
Seedlings
Silver things
Sand gardens
Green tea
Facial spray
Fresh bed sheets
Bath salts
Bathboard
Bamboo plant or soap dish
Jute rugs
LINEN goods (pants, robes, special towels)
Crunchy salad (tuscan kale, seeds, mandarin oranges, dried fruits)
Hard cheese (manchego/ iberico)
Focaccia
Small tart
Light green macarons



For Asia’s team, the development of this aesthetic blends the traditional design thinking process with more freeform concept building through dialogue. It starts with Asia presenting a conceptual core to her team, upon which they build, model and spread out, giving flesh to an idea. This is then iterated upon through feedback loops: data gathering from Redoux’s core and expanded audience through people-driven beta testing within their community. 

This data gathering is centered around the desire to seal the gap between perception: “There’s three working perceptions in any conversation: what I project, how I perceive myself, and how I am actually seen. If you don’t have a grasp on those, you don’t have a grasp on how your conversation is delivered and receivedstrong sense of all 3 to have a successful brand.” states Asia. “The way that we gather that last piece is through the design thinking model—it’s limiting in that it takes more time to do this, but it's potentiating in that you get to build the world with the people who are experiencing it.”

One interesting method that was employed consisted of asking the core Redoux team to describe Bathhouse prior to sampling the scent, while others were asked to describe the world of Bathhouse after smelling it. It all comes back to questioning. Deep thought, concept building, data gatheringeach of these tools serves to both answer these core questions and strengthen Redoux’s audience’s recognition of both the significance of these questions to their daily lives:

What color is Bathhouse?

What is it made of?

What does it sound like?

Take a look at the concept book, or the scent mechanics cube. Can you answer these questions? We feel that the answer is yesfor now. As Bathhouse grows, the answers become more specific, finely tuned, and nuanced. That’s the beauty of branding.

Explore the other GROUND_WORK essays:

Essay One: The ____ Is the Medium

Essay Three: Deep Research

Essay Four: When Two Becomes One

WRITING SAMPLE 3 - LISTICLE FORMAT ECOMMERCE WRITING

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON ARCHITECTURALDIGEST.COM

Art for All: Affordable Art Prints From 10 Artists We Love


No more excuses for that blank wall

By David Eardley
November 25, 2021

If you enjoy home tours as much as we do, you’ve probably noticed a theme in many of the spaces you’re drawn to⁠: Artwork. The artwork that individuals put on their walls can make or break their space.

Oftentimes, sourcing art is also one of the most daunting home decoration projects because, let’s face it: It can be really expensive! For this reason alone (as well as the myriad of choices out there), shopping for wall art can feel like a frustrating process. But that’s where prints come in.

We’re lucky to be living in a time when there are a wide array of talented artists and illustrators making work that appeals to a diverse range of tastes and offers a little something for everyone. Many of these artists sell high-quality prints at an accessible price point, and buying their prints is a great way to support their work while also expressing your personality in your home. Since the options are seemingly endless, here are 10 visual artists and illustrators behind some of our favorite prints.

Kanesha Sneed


The award-winning artist, author, and creative director Kenesha Sneed, who goes by @tactilematter, creates work in gentle, soothing tones that “speaks to empowerment, the Black female experience, with a balance of purposeful color and forms,” as her website states. The Los Angeles native has prints available from $45 in her shop in a range of sizes, along with a selection of throw blankets featuring her artwork.

Alexis Jamet


French designer Alexis Jamet crafts ethereal, almost-fleeting images that combine abstract shapes and familiar objects, creating work that ranges from commercial to more experimental. His prints are available for sale in his personal shop and at the Fisk Projects online store from $25 and up.

Niege Borges


Brooklyn-based Brazilian artist Niege Borges captures the vibrant, pulsing color of social life in her dynamic illustration through use of color and texture. Her pieces often portray figures in action, caught up in the enjoyment of a life well-lived. Starting at $33, prints of her work can be purchased on Society6.

Erick M. Ramos


Vancouver illustrator Erick M. Ramos creates dreamlike scenes that transport the viewer into a sort of alternate universe. “The thoughtfulness and consideration my background provides integrate into everything I make,” he states on his website. “This allows the work created to be applicable to a broad spectrum of subjects such as tech, science, lifestyle, mental health, and current events while still exuding personality and maintaining a sense of grit.” Prints of Erick’s work are currently available here for $25 and up.

Simone Martin-Newberry


Lush scenes often depicting interaction with plant life are the subject of prints by Simone Martin-Newberry, a graphic designer and illustrator based in Chicago. The pieces, printed on kraft-tone paper, offer a serene window to the outdoors. Simone is a self-professed fan of “color, texture, and balance,” and the gently contrasting hues of her work are sure to bring these elements into your interior. Simone’s prints can be purchased for $70 on her site.

Crystal Zapata


For fans of abstract art, make sure to check out the work of Chicago graphic designer and artist Crystal Zapata. Crystal’s work is simple yet detailed, incorporating elegant shapes and familiar symbols to create images that dance on the page. You can explore Crystal’s portfolio on her site and purchase prints here and at the Fisk Projects store from $25 to $33.

Darien Birks


Familiar imagery is translated into glowing, psychedelic works in the practice of Portland illustrator and creative director Darien Birks. His previous experience as an art director at Nike is evident in his use of sports imagery, which he reinterprets as flowing pieces that pop with color and energy. Darien’s work is available for purchase at 1xRun and in the Fisk Projects store in the $25–$150 range.

Jocelyn Tsaih


Playful figures dance across the images created by Oakland artist Jocelyn Tsaih, “which are meant to act as vessels for those that view her work.” Her work explores “introspection, curiosity and a desire to dive farther beneath the surface.” You can shop prints by Jocelyn at Drool, Evermade, Hen’s Teeth, and the Fisk Projects store starting at $25.

Martian Press


Martian Press, the Los Angeles-based brainchild of Stephanie Lane Gage, works to “publish art and writing by primarily queer makers, with a thematic focus in science fiction and works of a speculative nature.” Their prints are geometric and otherworldly, and they are perfect for the sci-fi lover in all of us. You can purchase their work in their store for $15 and up.

Little Mountain Press


Vintage-looking textures and bright colors bring humor and energy to the work of the New York and Shenzhen, China-based independent publishers Little Mountain Press. Their store features work by founders Xiao Mei and Mountain Dog, as well as their friends. The work Little Mountain Press has available is expressive and personal: “We [are] not afraid to express our sexuality and our Chinese identity. Our mission is to transform boredom into joy and challenge people’s perception through print media.” Starting at $15, you can purchase prints and other materials by the press in their store.
WRITING SAMPLE 4 - LISTICLE FORMAT ECOMMERCE WRITING

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON ARCHITECTURALDIGEST.COM

Here’s Where to Find the Best Interior Design Content on TikTok


There’s more to the app than dance videos and cute animals

By David Eardley
September 24, 2021

Without a doubt, TikTok trends are now an integral part of the internet’s future. Though the five-year-old app has its skeptics, it’s impossible to deny the firm grip it holds on the culture—cue infamous TikToker turned actor Addison Raes’s Met gala attendance. In addition to hosting the now standard dance, cute animal, slip-and-fall videos, TikTok has also birthed a platform for subcultures where users can share, celebrate, and educate each other on niche topics of choice.

The world of design is one of those categories, as curators, designers, and even the remotely design-curious take to the app to share their own take on the wide world of interiors. “DesignTok” is made up of a wide range of accounts, from the didactic to the celebratory to the how-to. What sets TikTok design content apart from other social media is its willingness to go behind the scenes: As an audience, we are invited to see beyond the finished product and come along for the ride, exploring how furniture is made, how beautiful interiors are created, and how designers make decisions regarding their decor.

New to the platform? Here are seven design accounts that you should scope out on TikTok. We highly encourage our audience to explore and draw their own conclusions regarding the content created on the accounts listed below.

Isabella Segalovich


One of the more attractive aspects of TikTok is the way in which it democratizes knowledge, serving as a platform for experts on nearly any topic who take the time to break down complex topics into informative, digestible clips. @interstellar_isabellar does this with what she describes as “anti-authoritarian, folk art history,” which encompasses, design, craft, and more. Not only does she educate her audience on fascinating, specific subjects like neo-Andean architecture and Czech Cubism, but she often focuses on areas of the arts that are overlooked. She’s also quick to acknowledge when her knowledge is limited or she’s had a misstep. Buckle up and be ready for a crash course with this one!

Cliff Tan


Though you may find yourself spending far too much time on @dearmodern, the account is anything but a guilty pleasure. Instead, upon viewing founder Cliff Tan’s simple and practical advice videos that explore concepts like floor plan layout challenges, you’ll walk away feeling more confident and capable of decorating your own space. Cliff doles out tips with a refreshing sense of fun and lack of judgement, taking joy in simple acts like repositioning a bed to be more comfortable, or taking a bland bedroom and spicing it up with affordable splashes of color, inviting us to come along for the ride.

Kellie Brown


For endearing home influencer content, @andigetdressed comes out on top. The multi-talented Kellie Brown, the account’s founder, first rose to prominence as a fashion blogger years ago but has now gained a following for her expertise around home decor with her behind-the-scenes vlog-style look into the development of her space. Incorporating both vintage and contemporary pieces, Kellie pays careful attention to the details: She highlights simple but important facets of her space, like the magazines she chooses to set out on her coffee table or a new quilt she bought to switch up her bedding. For Kellie, the story is continually unfolding, as she fine-tunes her space and takes her audience on sourcing adventures in vintage design markets.

Enigma


Design takes a mysterious bent with the anonymous curatorial eye of @enigma.curation, who explores and critiques important design moments throughout history with simple slideshows and detailed narration. Their videos touch on topics like landmark buildings, experimental chairs, and designers throughout history, and they’re a great example of a project that has begun to transfer success on Instagram into a meaningful use of TikTok’s platform, one of the great challenges of the shifting social media landscape.

Jonathan Colin


Jonathan Colin, an L.A.-based designer and artist, shares his colorful experiments with wood and more, like his trademark grid shelf and other customizable shelving pieces. He delivers quick, punchy behind-the-scenes clips mixed with other sweet and often hilarious musings on his various interests. Jonathan’s account is a refreshingly relatable alternative to the overly produced and curated lives of many of TikTok’s Gen Z influencers, and his take on design offers a hopeful vision of the future for the next generation of designers.

Carefully Picked


If you could only shop at one vintage furniture store for the rest of your life, what place would you choose? Hopefully, we never have to make that decision, but if you had to go solely off TikTok, you would be pretty thrilled with @carefullypicked, a vintage design dealer based in Chicago. The appeal is simple: good design presented in a straightforward way. Their collection spans decades and aims for quality over quantity; statement pieces and walkthroughs of their living space offer more than enough evidence of their taste and sharp eye.

Josh & Matt


The award for the sweetest home on TikTok goes to Josh Jessup and Matt Moss, a couple who wows their audience with an invitation to their whimsical, design-conscious, and delightfully maximalist Melbourne home. The insider look is executed through playful step-by-step videos of their home-improvement projects and the design objects that fill their house. Josh and Matt bring a personality to design decisions that might otherwise feel overly trendy, allowing their own taste to shine through their Memphis-inspired space and revealing their refreshingly dynamic and authentic energy.

WRITING SAMPLE 5 - WRITING FOR SOCIAL MEDIA



We’re relaunching the Pink Essay newsletter today with three special features! The Newsletter was a core piece of our early success and we’re thrilled to be bringing it back with a new vision for 2022.

For the relaunch, we’re sharing an archival interview with @earthtolane, a relaunch letter from founder @david_eardley, and a special curated guest edit by @asia__grant of @redouxnyc.

We’re curious to hear from you - what do you want from the design community? Shoot us a note at hello@pinkessay.space 🌸

Link in bio!

The Pink Essay newsletter is a semiweekly publication exploring the world of design within the built environment. This is our love letter to design, which we hold as a tool for building community and quality of life. We believe that good design is democratic, accessible, antiracist, sustainable and collaborative ⭐️
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