Goliath Gives David a Lift

By John Winkleman

Reports of scandals and missteps at Uber over the last several months have been prolific. Allegations of sexual harassment, the theft of trade secrets, and regulatory obstruction, plus the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick, created a sense of never-ending drama for the company and clouded perceptions of the brand.

Leveraging Data, and Judging Singers

By Cornelius Hummel

As a strategist, I am driven by the urge to understand things. This means not just glancing at an issue superficially but exploring all its facets in depth and examining them from different perspectives. Metaphorically speaking, approaching a new topic is like jumping into water: First you touch the surface, then you dive deeper. While touching the surface, there are various assumptions floating around. These are usually based on existing experience and knowledge — sometimes true, sometimes not. Therefore, testing these assumptions is crucial to gaining a deeper understanding.

On the Road, In the Flow

By Christian Manns

Even though three years have past since we started working for our client TVS, I remember the beginnings of the project as if it was yesterday. Because the way we got to know the client was very special. It was definitely one of the most impressive experiences of my career, and I feel like it’s worth sharing.

Rebranding the New York Philharmonic

By Hozy Rossi

MetaDesign San Francisco recently created a new visual identity for the New York Philharmonic. Lindsay Gravette, the creative director who oversaw the project in San Francisco, shares the story behind the making of the identity in a Q&A with Hozy Rossi, who also worked on the project but feigns ignorance for the sake of this post.

The Three Percent

By Rupali Steinmeyer

I read a few weeks ago in the New York Times that I am one of the 3.3 percent that the United Nations estimates to be living in a country other than the one they were born in. I also happen to be part of a group that makes up the largest diaspora — there are some 16 million of us Indians scattered across the globe. Continuing along the path of being “part of the statistic,” the two top destinations for migrants (the United States and Germany) are the countries I chose to live and work in for several years.

Chinese Brands Going Global: What’s the Beef?

By Mauro Marescialli

I recently came across an interesting article on the AdAge website talking about the difficulties Chinese brands face in their attempt to go global. Some of the reasons listed included the often-cited, thorny issues with the “Made in China” stigma (cheap and unsafe), shaky brand identities (often irrelevant once outside of China), and the fact that expanding abroad is an inherently difficult challenge to undertake for any enterprise.



San Francisco has a lot of history for a US city and each neighborhood has its own share of stories, legends and half-truths. I took the historical walking tour of my neighborhood, Dogpatch, this past weekend with about a dozen other people. I went to learn more history about the neighborhood I’ve lived in and around for almost 20 years, while everyone else (from SF and the peninsula) came to see what all the hype was about. This is a small former industrial area that wasn’t written about in many history books and unknown to many in SF until recently. Our old formerly isolated Victorians and warehouses have gained new transportation options, restaurants and bars, sky-high real estate values, and the tag of hot, “new” neighborhood.

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rise of the deo, metadesign

Innovator, artist, protagonist, and positive provocateur, Maria Giudice has pursued a vision of intelligent, elegant, people-centered design throughout her professional life. Under Maria’s leadership, Hot Studio, the experience design firm she founded in 1997, grew into a full-service creative agency with an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients. In March 2013, Facebook acquired the talent behind Hot Studio in one of their largest “acqui-hires” to date, where Maria now works as Director of Product Design.

Maria presented at our February MetaTalk, a monthly lecture series that showcases the Bay Area’s top thought leaders in branding and design. Her latest book is Rise of the DEO, Leadership by Design.

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