Design agency Handsome rebrands itself in the face of an industry that’s ‘lost sight of art, emotion, and feeling’

Austin, Texas-based branding and experience design agency Handsome has unveiled a new visual identity which it describes as a “fresh, future-facing approach to human-centred design”.

Handsome focuses on creating brands, services, and products for “the future of the human experience” using a “holistic approach”, it says, working across numerous platforms including eCommerce, mixed reality, mobile apps, websites, and more for clients including Facebook, FedEx, Dell Technologies and Audi.

CEO John Roescher hints that the new Handsome approach is in part a reaction to what he calls an industry that’s “lost sight of art, emotion, and feeling.” He continues: “Data-driven design has become about designing because of humans and not for them, which leads to trying to please everyone and ending up pleasing no one.

“We didn’t want to fall into this trap, because we understand that design, technology and storytelling have the potential to be magical. So instead of honing our design to a point of making it over-optimised, homogenised and robotic, we created an all-new handsome. Our work will marry this new emotional, qualitative focus with intelligent use of data-driven, quantitative perspectives. Rather than a wholesale abandonment of data-driven strategy, it is the embracing of what makes humans human.”

Aiming to focus on a more “emotional approach to branding and experience design,” the agency has thoroughly repositioned its design and technology consulting since its launch nine years ago. Handsome claims that it’s “putting humanity, culture and emotion at the centre of their brand, product and experience design practice and client relationships.”

In response to the drastic shifts that the covid pandemic has forced studios to undergo, over the last year Handsome has added a remote workforce to its core team and expanded to twice its original size. New hires include Jennifer Allen, chief operating officer, who has assisted CEO John Roescher in orchestrating the changes. The agency describes her as the catalyst behind the new Handsome structure by bringing about “new, unconventional” business partnerships and opportunities.

Allen previously worked at R/GA, leading a multidisciplinary team across New York, San Francisco, London and Buenos Aires and leading on projects such as the design and development of the Nike Fuelband product and experience.

Among the projects in Handsome’s portfolio are its modernisation of the business-to-consumer retail and business-to-business customer experiences for FedEx, creating a new mobile-based enterprise business fleet for Audi, design and development of a virtual reality experience for Dell Technologies’ Social Impact story and more.

Upcoming launches include projects for meal delivery service Snap Kitchen, Facebook, Axios, Shell and Visa Cybersource.

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