2014 Mobile Year In Review


Hello Internet, For the 5th year, we worked with DC based Mobile Future to recap the state of mobile technology from the year 2014. Using visual design and some really cool animation to highlight interesting data + statistics, we put together the following video. Enjoy! Some of our favorite stats include:

  • Global mobile data traffic grew by 81% this year.
  • 19 million connected wearable devices will have shipped by the end of the year.
  • Wireless carriers invested a record $33 billion in wireless infrastructure in 2014.
  • The Brazil vs. Germany World Cup game was the most tweeted sports event in history.
  • 2014 saw Queen Elizabeth II send her first tweet from a tablet.
  • Ellen DeGeneres’ 2014 Oscar selfie crashed Twitter by garnering over one million retweets.

If one year in review isn’t enough, check out 2013, 2012, 2011 and  2010.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinna-Party


The Cinnamon Toast Crunch (CTC) Cinna-Party was a two day livestreamed event where individuals played CTC-themed online games to gain points and trigger real-world activities. As players achieved specific accomplishments online they saw real-world results play out on a customized set. The Cinna-Party was a huge success — becoming the longest viewed page on the client’s website with more than  200,000 views in just 2 days.

Experiential campaigns such as this are comprised of a number of non-traditional components and a lot of out-of-the-box thinking. Here’s an overview of a few elements we focused on:

Set Design + Construction

Screenshot 2014-11-10 17.08.57

We designed and constructed a set centered around a large milk-bowl and raised platform from which a human-sized Cinnamon Toast Crunch square was periodically blasted with “cinnamon” and “dunked” into the bowl. Special set considerations included a primary “cinnamon meter”, secondary activation indicators, and the cinnamon blaster design and function. These were designed for optimal viewing on a live-streaming web video.

Costume Design:


Screenshot 2014-11-10 17.08.45

We sourced the design and fabrication of human-sized Cinnamon Toast Crunch square costumes and actors to fill them. These characters populated the set and played out on-set activations throughout the entirety of the live event.

On-Set Activations


Periodically throughout the engagement, in-game accomplishments online triggered real-world activations on our physical set. These included the primary cinnamon blast and milk bowl dunk and secondary intermediate activations.

Enjoy our Cinna-Party? Check out some similar projects: Nickelodeon SpongeBob Skill Crane and Miller Coors’ Redds Apple Ale launcher.

The Facebook “Mentions Box” Goes Live At The Emmy Awards


Facebook, already the biggest brand in social media, was looking for a better way to bridge the gap between celebrities and fans, specifically at live events. Behold: The Facebook “Mentions Box” which just debuted at the 2014 Emmy’s — allowing celebrities to “shake” the device to surface a fan question (pulling directly from the event’s Facebook Page) and immediately record a video response back.

At the Emmys, the Mentions Box was used by everyone from Jimmy Fallon, to Matthew McConaughey, to Ty Burrell and Jason Biggs — to stars from Game of Thrones, Orange Is the New Black, and HBO’s Silicon Valley (see below!).

Matthew McConaughey - Mentions Box

After many discussions, brainstorms, and rapid prototyping efforts focused on how to best represent the Facebook platform in physical space, we landed on a simple concept drawing inspiration from mediums people already know and enjoy (landing on something between a Magic 8-Ball in function and an Etch-A-Sketch in form).


Ultimately, we settled on a tablet encased in a polycarbonate form factor, with a luxury car finish.



We started the process by concepting potential types of physical devices that talent would be able to easily (and quickly) interact with — using cardboard and simple materials to play around with various form factors.


The admin console (primarily a question moderation tool) sources questions from specific Facebook posts and then pushes approved questions straight to The Facebook Mentions Box.


Leading up to the Emmy’s, The Mentions Box was featured on Access Hollywood by hosts Billy Bush and Shaun Robinson:

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 5.51.08 PM



More pics of the Mentions Box in action, straight from the Access Hollywood Facebook Page!






On September 5th, Facebook teamed up with Stand Up To Cancer to utilize the Mentions Box to connect celebrities with donors supporting the live charity event.

su2c_mentions 2

su2c_mentions 1


Creating a Logo for ContraryCon


This Saturday, ISL will be putting on a free web conference entitled ContraryCon. The half-day event, kicking off at noon at 1776, will consist of a series of presentations in which speakers will present ideas in opposition to the popularly accepted trends in interactive design and development.

When I joined ISL in May, one of my first projects involved working on a logo mark for the conference as well as subsequent branding along with several other new hires (James, Rebecca, and Alyssa). Each of us was tasked with creating several logos on our own before coming together for group design team critiques.

The final logo mark, a criss-crossing “X” formed by back-to-back C’s, came from many personal iterations trying to explore the idea of contrarian views that would be expressed at the conference. Here’s a quick look at what went into crafting a mark for a contrary conference.

Many Many Iterations


Although the end logo may look sleek and simple, there were many different iterations that went into crafting the final crossing C’s. Between three designers, we ended up with 20+ different ideas of logomarks and typefaces before coming to the final product.

Just on my own, I explored concepts ranging from a canary in a coal mine (both a bird meant to warn workers and a song off of The Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta) to the idiom of the black sheep (“used to describe an odd or disreputable member of a group, especially in a family” – thank you Wikipedia) to a take on the clichéd speech bubble representing debate. All of my ideas were focused on ideas that go against the grain, offer debate, and seek attention. Unfortunately, they were all also a bit of a stretch when it came down to what they meant.

Shuffling Up the Conversation



The end goal of ContraryCon is to encourage attendees rethink how and why they work. Our amazing panel of speakers will be arguing for and against trends in design and technology. In essence, they’ll be mixing up the stale and complacent conversation so many of us are having every day.

This idea of remixing our thought process lead me to think of the shuffle icon. A simple cross of curved lines, the icon has come to represent the mixing of content. In the case of ContraryCon, words, ideas, and speeches will be shuffled and rethought.


What started as the everyday shuffle icon became a simplified cross, symbolizing a warning – a call for attention. Above you can see just a few of the many iterations on this simple shuffle idea that lead to the final deliverable.

The End Product


In the end, my final cross was paired with Norwester, a typeface chosen and slightly modified by James. Not only that, but our small team fleshed out a variety of collateral that will be displayed throughout the conference venue.


If you’re in the DC area this Saturday, make sure to come out and and get contrarian! For any more info on the event, check out the ContraryCon site.

iStrategyLabs: Small Agency of the Year 2014 by Ad Age


backpatWe’ve never been over the top with awards submissions – but this year we felt iStrategyLabs was really hitting its stride so we submitted to the Ad Age Small Agency Awards in the biggest, baddest, most prestigious category: SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR

We felt our work had finally reached the point where we could be considered the best in the business….Ad Age Agreed.

We’re proud to announce that iStrategyLabs has been named Small Agency of the Year by Ad Age!

iStrategyLabs’ Creative Director, Zach Goodwin, just picked up our silver award for the South-east region in this prestigious category.

We’re so happy and proud of all the hard work the team has put in over the years getting to this point – and for the wonderful clients we’ve had the fortune to collaborate with over our early years. There’s so much more to come!

Here are just a few animated gif shared by the team when we heard the news:



Now if only the US could win the World Cup…