Every day is “opposite day” at Hush, a content creative studio in New York led by Erik Karasyk and David Schwarz. Animations, TV commercials, music videos, broadcast packages – you name it, Hush has done it. And they’ve worked with some of the world’s leading brands along the way, including Nike, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Honda, Unilever and more.
But what truly sets the studio apart isn’t the client list – it’s the team’s contrarian approach. Whether it’s fighting against their own tendencies or rejecting the prevailing industry trends in aesthetics, they make it part of their process to go against the grain.
Hush calls this patented approach “structural inversion,” which is basically a more complicated way of saying that they like to do everything “backwards” and/or “inverted.” With a nod to Apple’s motto, Co-Founder and Creative Director Schwarz describes their philosophy: “Think differently. If everyone is making things loud, we make them quiet. When the initial instinct is to open up Photoshop, we start cutting things out of cardboard instead.”
However, the idea of structural inversion isn’t as simple as looking at what others are doing, and going 180 degrees in the other direction. Rather, it means that Hush is constantly trying to mix things up in order to find new ways of doing things, and new ways of sharing knowledge. Experimenting with a fresh internal hierarchy, shifting around how teams are structured, and exploring new technology and mediums are all ways that this inversion can be achieved.
Of course, such experimentation doesn’t always work. But without it, our businesses miss out on a chance at true innovation and meaningful growth. As Schwarz puts it: “Sometimes these experiments will fail and sometimes they will surprise you,” he says. “In either case, you’ll end up evolving creatively - and isn’t that what we’re all trying to do?”
***This article is based on research by Scott Belsky and the Behance team. Behance runs the Behance Creative Network, the Action Method project management application, the Creative Jobs List.