Yo Santosa, Branding Expert
Illustration by John Hersey

Yo Santosa, Branding Expert

with Yolanda Santosa

Video: Studio tour

Speaker 1: We're at the Ferro Concrete. Speaker 1: So, we have a diverse group of people here. Speaker 1: We really love this space even though it's kind of tiny.

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Watch the Online Video Course Yo Santosa, Branding Expert
24m 4s Appropriate for all Jun 06, 2014

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Yo Santosa took a big leap when she decided to quit her job as a motion graphics artist. But her fledgling design agency, Ferroconcrete, has gone on to create award-winning branding campaigns for companies like Pinkberry, TNT, and TBS. As Yo explains it, there are parallels. Branding, like film, is about storytelling. But instead of telling a story over a few minutes or hours, a brand's story is told over a period of months, years, or even decades.

In this Creative Spark, Yo explains how her team maps the personality of a brand, creates messaging and imagery that support it, and helps clients earn the love and loyalty of their customers. See how this played out for Pinkberry, which under Ferroconcrete's guidance evolved from a single storefront to a nationally recognized name. Yo's team also introduces its fragrance line, Commodity, a project they started to gain firsthand experience building a product alongside the brand. Plus, get a glimpse of the uniquely collaborative design team hard at work in their downtown LA offices.

Yolanda Santosa

Studio tour

Speaker 1: We're at the Ferro Concrete. We're in downtown LA, and we've been in this particular space for almost two years now. Speaker 1: So, we have a diverse group of people here. We have designers. We have art directors, creative director, copywriter, strategist, web developer, animators. Speaker 1: We really love this space even though it's kind of tiny. But because of the, there's a second floor, and it has a high ceiling, the lights come in in the morning and the day time.

So the space feels really, really open. Otherwise with this many people in this tiny space, it will feel really cramped and tight. And also we like having our, all our tables in a row like this because it encourages people to just talk to each other and collaborate on projects. And it's an open floor plan. We actually, our previous office has two rooms, separate rooms. And then, what we noticed was everybody just started doing their own work and don't talk to each other. So we really like this open plan. Speaker 1: This area is our kitchen where mostly we hang out. Usually every friday at six o'clock, we'll start drinking.

Last week Owen was making Chicago dogs. And Sam was making some flambé, banana flambé, very fancy. And he burnt his finger. Speaker 1: This is my office. It's a converted little bathroom. Everybody always asks me, is there a second bathroom here? Yes, there's second bathroom upstairs. So people are allowed to go to the restroom. And here's some of my inspiration, some of the things I like, the first Commodity sample bottle, and when I got to be a United States citizen, I got to keep that, and our One Show pencil award very, very happy with that, my birthday candle, my favorite books, Dieter Rams, one of my favorite designers.

And we have this extra TV right here because so when we deliver motion projects, we need a dark room to be able to test all the colors. So, sometimes they kick me out of my office while they check all their colors before we send stuff out. Up here, we have our conference call, collaboration meetings. Sometimes we do many many photo shoots. And we don't have to do a studio shoot, we'll just shoot it over here. We'll have a white backdrop that we put out here, lights and everything. So, this be converted into a little mini photo studio. There's also something that I like to do sometimes in the middle of the day.

I'll just go up here and sneak peak at everyone down there, really hear what they're talking about when they think I'm not here. Speaker 1: We have a core team of about 12 people. But whenever there's more project, we'll have to ramp up and bring in more people. And at some point, it was so packed that we turned this top office into computer desk. How we like to work here's like we always get everyone involved no matter what the project is. And even if we grow bigger, I don't want to lose access to having everybody be able to contribute to different projects. Speaker 1: We are really happy with the space we're currently in.

And I think we really enjoy the energy of downtown LA. And also, since our clients are all over LA, it's the, it's the most central to be driving from Downtown LA to West LA to Hollywood. So, it's a very convenient location. And we're so close to the Arts District, which we visit a lot for drinks on weekends. And so, I hope to stay here for a while.

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