Foundation Capital The Way To Design

Transforming a complex manifesto on the future of entrepreneurship and design into an intuitive digital experience and a beautiful printed book.

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"Human After All swiftly gained a deep understanding of the project, using that knowledge to ensure that all their creative worked in harmony with the content. In getting this right, HAA built a foundation for truly engaging creative. Furthermore, despite being stretched across three separate time zones — London, New York and San Francisco — our partnership produced a perfectly structured and highly creative product, right on time. We were delighted with their work!"

Meg Sloan, Marketing Partner
Foundation Capital

The Challenge

  • One of Silicon Valley’s biggest venture capital firms, Foundation Capital has been inspiring and funding entrepreneurship for two decades.
  • Leaning on the personal and professional experiences of General Partner Steve Vassallo — as well as key figures in the startup community — Foundation Capital devised a designer's manifesto that focused on the increasingly important relationship between business and design.
  • This manifesto centred on the emerging role of the “designer founders” in companies — natural designers who have gradually equipped themselves with business acumen.
  • Foundation Capital turned to us in order to fully realise the potential of this ambitious manifesto.
  • Our task was to craft a distinctive, creative approach to this manifesto that could be rolled out across different channels — but with a particular focus on print and digital.

The Solution

  • We embarked on a thorough discovery process in order to gain a complete understanding of Foundation Capital, its aims, and the passion and philosophy that drives it forward.
  • A series of insightful workshops with Steve — the brains behind the manifesto — and other Foundation Capital employees allowed us to tease out the key ideas underpinning the company and understand the minutiae of what the design should convey.
  • Building on this information, we walked Foundation Capital through a number of concept routes to get a better feel for what visual direction would be best to take.
  • Next we began to structure the book, now christened “The Way to Design”. We worked with illustrator Christopher DeLorenzo to bring the book’s varied concepts to life, and to unite them with a lively, coherent visual language.
  • Christopher devised handwritten, bespoke lettering for both the digital and printed book in order to better reflect its theme: the marriage between organic creativity and business acumen, and the amazing benefits resulting from this union.
  • The illustration and typeface assets were also used to aid the development of a variety of assets for the launch event.
  • On the digital side, an intuitive UX and important wireframes were created for the “Way to Design” website, which ensured that all the content of the printed book could transfer across seamlessly to form a unique, digital experience.
  • In collaboration with a development agency in New York and Foundation Capital HQ in San Francisco, we worked to wireframe and design a lean, digital platform that would allow people to access the content of the book online.

The Results

  • In its first month, “The Way to Design” attracted over 30,000 online readers and 5,000 downloads.
  • It’s since been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NPR, TechCrunch and Design Week and has drawn praise from industry heavyweights such as the CCO of Airbnb.

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