Brooklyn-based Hyperakt is a firm opposed to the notion that design is just about making something pretty. This team is committed to using design as a tool to create meaningful, engaging work that improves communication, clarifies meaning, and captures hearts and minds.
“We believe that we have a responsibility as designers to ensure that design is used as a positive force,” says Deroy Peraza, Hyperakt’s co-principal/creative director. “We hope to add a little of vector of good into the world with every project, and we aim to inform and inspire people with our work.” The firm was founded nine years ago by Peraza, and Julia Vakser (Hyperakt’s co-principal/creative director). The two met while freshmen at Parsons—shortly after graduation, they founded Hyperakt. “I don’t think we knew in college that we wanted to work together,” says Vakser. “But we both knew our aesthetic and work ethic was very similar. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found a passion in design and running a studio in partnership with a great friend.”
Hyperakt now includes four members, a balance of talents in an atmosphere of creative inspiration. The hub is the studio itself. Based in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, the space is designed to be a creative sanctuary. There are no cubicles or enclosed spaces, aiding collaboration. A backyard is the spot for impromptu barbecues, and night movies screenings for friends and family.
Hyperakt’s client list includes work for big names like Ford Motor Company, Penguin Books, Bayer, Macy’s and Colgate. They’ve also done work for the United Nations, NAACP, and ACLU. But they don’t make a distinction between for-profit and non-profits when it comes to making a difference.
“Whether a client is non-profit or for-profit doesn’t dictate its potential to make significant contributions that are beneficial to society,” says Peraza. “The joy of our work is getting to learn about our clients’ many endeavors, which include improving access to quality education and clean drinking water, teaching people about different cultures, creating intelligently designed products people love, giving local communities a voice, fostering small business, incentivizing innovation, promoting sustainable development, defending civil rights, democratizing access to information, promoting artistic expression, and empowering people to share their opinions about important issues. These endeavors enrich and improve lives.”
Lisa Baggerman Hazen is a Chicago-based Web designer and writer. www.lisahazen.com
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