This Designer Spotlight appears in HOW’s January 2015 issue, the In-House Inspiration issue, which also gives you a peek behind the curtain at NPR, the details on 89 award-winning in-house designs, and steps for preparing for the inevitable—change. Plus: How locking in an iron-clad infrastructure will strengthen your team.
The Design Studio: Franklyn, Brooklyn, NY
Principals: Michael Freimuth, Patrick Richardson
Total staff members: 6, plus “an incredibly handsome part-time dachshund (Buster) and an excruciatingly cute morkie (Mia). [They] battle it out as ‘official office pet.’”
Notable clients: Airbnb, Art Directors Club, Betaworks, Jewish Museum, JUDD Foundation, Rhode Island School of Design, Sotheby’s
Franklyn is the kind of firm you want to be a part of. The Brooklyn-based design studio, headed by principals Michael Freimuth and Patrick Richardson, aspires to stay “trill”—which is to say, “true to themselves and real with everyone.”
“This informed the name we chose (Frankly + n). For us, it’s not about perfection, it’s about striving to create something that’s both fresh and genuine,” Richardson says. The firm’s client work is a reflection of this philosophy—which means there’s no relying on tricks and trends. “We pride ourselves on our desire to experiment, play and make mistakes. Convention rarely results in anything meaningful or interesting—so though we do have strategic underpinnings to all our work, we enjoy setting up a playpen for ourselves,” Freimuth says.
It’s through this purposeful fun that Franklyn is able to create stunning work that helps companies, brands and products—big and small—show the world who they are. “We do push our clients when they need it, but we’re not the type to force a brand to do something out of character just so we can make something cool to add to our portfolio. … That’s like dressing up your dad in tight pants. We’ll definitely take a brand to the mall and get it out of its comfort zone, but we realize that tight pants aren’t for everyone.”
As if that’s not enough to make Franklyn stand out from the pack, the firm employs a multifaceted, boutique approach, built on the principals’ experience with big brands and infused with “a healthy dose of an iterative, experimental process. We know how big business works and are reliable enough to be trusted with it. In our previous lives, we spent a lot of years working with very serious brands (Rolex, IBM, Nike, Motorola). On the boutique side, we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty, and we like to get weird,” Freimuth says.
The future is bright for a firm this honest, fun and wise to boot. And we can all thank them for helping to rid the world of dads in tight pants.
Check out more of Franklyn’s work here.
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