Today marks CODO’s 8th anniversary. I intended to sit down and write a heartfelt, reflective piece on what we’ve accomplished over the last year, but honestly, am too excited about what we’re currently working on and what’s just over the horizon to do so. On deck is international travel, working with some of the largest breweries in North America, and some other cool projects that we can’t quite talk about yet.
But, in the interest of not letting a full year pass without a quick lookback, here’re some highlights from around the shop over the last 12 months.
The Craft Beer Branding Guide would have to be this year’s headline. We launched the Branding Guide as an online resource back in August 2016. It was so well received by the brewing and design community that in December, Neenah Packaging reached out to partner with us on a specialty print run. Fast forward to April 2017 when we debuted the final product in Washington DC at the Craft Brewers Conference. Aside from helping hundreds of breweries (and other small businesses) work through their branding, it’s created opportunities we couldn’t have even dreamed up a few years ago. The initial print run will be completely sold out before the end of summer and then we’re rolling onto our next book.
We partnered with clients all over the United States and around the world, from places like Mexico, Scotland, Britain, China and Australia and Hungary. Through all of this, we launched several new brands, spanning craft breweries, vintage arcade games, artisanal meats (!!!), old school diners, wineries, distilleries, coffee-ies, cannabis products, some of Indy’s best restaurants as well as a bunch of other fun, non food & beverage work (orthodontists, realtors, fraternities and non profits).
In our personal lives, this last year saw some of us get married (not to each other—we keep things strictly platonic around the office). We adopted dogs, cats, and guinea pigs. And one of just us became a father (mom & baby are doing great!).
But beyond all of this, most of what we do revolves around helping clients understand the most compelling aspects of their business—what’s their competitive differentiator, why does this matter, and what does that all look like. Through the course of this last year, in the face of fast growth, we made a concerted effort to take time to look inward and do this for ourselves as well.
This introspection, along with frank client conversations helped us to re-clarify and double down on just how important collaboration is to our process—everything we make is born out of this philosophy. We’ve always known this (it is why we founded CODO, afterall), but it’s powerful to hear from people who have actually hired you and given you money and stuff, just how important it is to them.
Building on that, it’s been amazing watching each member of our team step up and lead on projects. They eagerly take ownership of every aspect of work, from research, to concepting, to presentations and continually fighting to make the best damn work possible. It’s fun watching projects develop and most of the time, I’m just trying to stay out of the way.
Here’s to that and more.
Now, let’s see what year 9 brings.