Culture by Design

It’s hard to believe I’ve been working at Trampoline for eight months. It’s even stranger to think that last month marked my tenth year working in advertising.
As I initially cut my teeth at an agency of over 100 employees, I experienced a number of the nuances of a “traditional agency.” Many a Sunday night in the late 2000’s, the goings on at the various iterations of Sterling Cooper mirrored those I encountered in real life, despite a 45-year time difference (heck, sometimes I was even meta enough to be watching Don and Peggy on a conference room TV). I became accustomed to having a particular niche: I was the Production Guru. Every position on the organizational chart had a well-outlined role and projects were approached within a specific framework to get the job done right. The structure and process did evolve—both naturally and intentionally—but it was usually clear what responsibilities were and were not part of my job.
The Trampoline process also follows a traditional structure—but the beauty of a shop of nine employees (or upwards of ten when the dogs come to play) is that we’re encouraged to do a bit of everything. Everyone manages their our own accounts, but teamwork and flexibility reign supreme. Whether gathered around a table for a formal critique, or simply shouting out ideas in our bright, sunny space, communication is key. Projects dance from designer to designer to balance workflow and take advantage of individual skillsets. Copy lines can come out of focus groups or under-the-breath asides. I’m getting to wear a whole bunch of hats these days (both of the baseball and professional varieties). The best ideas win. That’s how we work.

The dog days of Spring. Photo by Derek Slayton.

The teamwork doesn’t end when the office door is locked for the evening: Darts, Running, Trivia, Cornhole: if there’s a competitive event happening in the area, Trampoline is probably fielding a team. There’s always something wonderful about a crew that wants to spend time with each other even after the day is done. I’m thrilled to be a part of that—just as I am for the benefits that come from trading Times Square for trail markers.

Buck Mountain
Last Saturday’s impromptu solo hike up Buck Mountain.

The agency I worked on in New York created the show posters that adorned my walls in High School. I’m now designing the Finch brochures that were on a shelf in that New York office. I’ve come full circle.
I’m still the “Production Guru.” McSweeney’s still does a great job of summing things up, even after all these years. It’s a comfort to know that some things will never change.