February 2018

Practice makes perfect

There is a lot of admiration to be found in humility and self-control. When Brett Bergeron was studying design, like many designers, he had a desire to start his own studio. Instead of rushing into it, he set a goal for himself and decided to hone his craft. By gaining experience and pushing to be a better designer, Brett put himself in a position to successfully launch his own studio. In 2014 he did just that, launching the Brooklyn based digital studio, This Also.

Go west, young man

Founded alongside Brian Baker, the pair were working at Google Creative Labs when they decided to pursue the studio life. First working in Brian’s apartment and then a small sublet in SoHo, This Also eventually transitioned to their seventeenth-floor studio. High up with a westward view, the team gets an inspirational view of Manhattan, the New York Bay, and the Statue of Liberty. While those are great to gaze at, the real attention grabber is the warm sunset bidding This Also adieu in the evening.

For the people

When Brett and Brian recruited their friend Becky as a business partner, This Also was still working out of Brian’s apartment. She was the piece to push them to the next level, not only finding their new studio space but also turning their company vision into an effective business plan.

"We all agree that we’ll look back on our business and care more about how we treated people than any of the projects we launched."

Being a progressive company, I find a lot of inspiration in This Also's values. All three partners hold unethical business practices in contempt and only accept the highest ethical standards for employees and clients. Not to mention, they showcase complete transparency on their career listings—publicizing employee benefits and interview expectations. It’s the sort of openness that benefits both the studio and potential employees.

"Hiring our first full-time employee proved to be much more stressful than leaving our own jobs."

Portfolio Review

Living results

This Also's style guide is one to admire. Know as Bonsai, it's a modern take on the identity manual. Living entirely online, Bonsai is based on a single font family, Untilted Sans, by the talented Klim Foundry.

Using a mathematical framework, Bonsai’s typography fluently adapts its readability across all types of screens. Beyond the typography, Bonsai also offers a clear direction of the writing voice of This Also. While not as expansive as some of the identity manuals featured on Standards Manual, Bonsai still manages to offer everything one would need in its compact size.

While I failed to ask Brett in our interview where the Bonsai named originated, I can’t help but think it was strategically chosen. Originating in China, bonsai was brought to Japan by the Buddhist monks. Simply meaning "planted in a container", these impressive dwarf trees represent something much greater.

Striving for a human connection with nature, bonsai puts you in a zen-like state of mind which the Buddhist monks practice. It’s an extremely challenging technique, but with years of care; the results are gratifying. And due to the meticulous nurturing, these dwarf trees live much longer than their full-size counterparts. It’s a timeless solution, just like a great identity manual.

Here comes the sun

Simple and satisfying, This Also has a lovely space to create in. A full kitchen compliments early mornings and late nights, while the great scenery and ample space allow for a comfortable working ambiance. Other than a mood board, there are no overpowering bookshelves or artworks on the studio's walls. It's a relaxing space to wind down your day with a picturesque sunset.

This Also's website: thisalso.com
This Also on Twitter: @thisalso
This Also on Intagram: @thisalso
Photography courtesy of This Also.