Mother New York. In some ways, the center of the Universe. This time around we’re looking at one particular ad agency in New York City, called Mother New York. What an eclectic place this looks like at first view – cultural references to regions where the founding designers have roots, a rotating gallery of family and friend’s artwork, and a carefully curated wall of employee’s mothers – always inspiring us to do more.


When our company stumbled upon Mother New York we were intrigued by their structure and unorthodox way of doing things. Because regardless, they create award-winning designs and deliver a strong core concept that carries through a project’s narrative until the very end. Their clear distinction, also backed by AIGA, is that their design team is at the core. They have realized that the process is streamlined from this perspective in their industry. While designers work with clients, graphics, and branding, they work an equal amount with business development and internal promotion. Now, this doesn’t mean that all lines are blurred. I’m sure they have their designated titles, but they work cohesively as a team at all scales and levels.


“It’s not a typical setup where the design group becomes the ‘make it pretty people’ at the end of a project,” says Mark Aver, a design director at Mother. Instead, “they have a crucial voice from the beginning of a project briefing.”


When Mother New York opened in 2003, the founders knew they had to approach the ad agency in a different way because of the emerging, digital, internet trend. That’s why they have steered clear of any typical way of running. They even rotate and rearrange desks in order to sit in newly formed teams that collaborate in entirely different tones throughout a year. How cool is that? Sounds like a great way to keep the mind fresh and ready for the next challenge.


A quick example of the uniqueness at Mother New York from AIGA’s article:

One of the Mother design teams even worked on their own liquor brand. From conception to recipe to the branding, White Pike is an invention that completely belongs to the agency, who agreed that your typical keep-it-simple beer and whiskey drinkers could still use a few more options at the bar. White Pike is a clear whiskey made for mixing that’s both a good booze and a good project for Mother’s designers, who got to flex their branding skills to create it. “When we’re developing brands it’s all about what something smells like and looks like. We live and die by these mood boards,” Christian Cervantes, Design Director, says, “and we create a world.”

Written by KK