As we kick off 2022, we would like to present the very first installment of our shiny new newsletter. Athletics Quarterly surfaces ideas and dialogues that embody our values as a creative studio, express our views on business and brand, and provide a window into our thinking and culture. Please enjoy!
“There’s no greater feeling than standing at the right frontier with the right team and taking the next step forward, together.” — Georg Petschnigg
In this year’s first installment of In Conversation — our series of discussions with colleagues and friends of the studio — Athletics Creative Director Malcolm Buick speaks with Georg Petschnigg, Head of Product Design at The New York Times. The two long-time collaborators discuss the intersection of technology and creativity, the benefits of brand-led product development, Georg’s plans to shape the next generation of news, and the perils of medieval jousting.
Traditional healthcare has evolved into a costly, fragmented system that leaves millions in a state of precarity — underinsured and frustratingly distant from their doctors. Well before the pandemic exacerbated the healthcare crisis, entrepreneur-physician Tom X Lee assembled a team of health-tech experts to fix it. They set about reimagining a modern medical practice from the ground up, using the latest technology to improve how we access, experience, and stay connected with top-level clinicians. The company they formed is Galileo. To differentiate them from the madding crowd of plug-and-play telehealth platforms claiming to be “reimagining the future of healthcare,” we built a brand strategy, visual identity, and website that distinguishes Galileo as a new authority in this transitional moment for human health.
At the height of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, we responded to an open call seeking an agency partner to bring an intriguing idea into being. Activist-creative Annika Hansteen-Izora had a vision to cultivate Black creative ecosystems: communities led by Black people to advance art, creativity, and imagination. Arm-in-arm, we set out to build Creative Ecosystems: an online directory of Black creative organizations that helps other Black creatives find resources, inspiration, and connection. The brand and platform we designed and developed connect individuals with like-minded communities ranging from galleries to incubators, publications to parties.
When Citrix invited Athletics to help the company grow as it shifted from being a tech provider to being a strategic partner focused on the entire employee experience, we saw a golden opportunity to modernize a well-established enterprise tech brand. But as our partnership deepened, our efforts echoed well beyond the four walls of a standard brand redesign. Positioning Citrix as “the intelligent workspace that creates space,” we explored smart ways of creating space through the senses, enlisting the aid of an unlikely ally: sound.
Miscellaneous is our no-frills round-up of the cultural items inspiring our team. Featuring exhibits, concerts, experiences, reading material, music, and more, we’ve been sharing the media that moves us on a monthly basis since 2017. As we move forward, Miscellaneous will serve the quarterly picks of a single Athletics team member or friend of the studio. Senior Strategist Zander Abranowicz kicks things off with a few ways to start 2022 on the right foot.
Story Club with George Saunders
George Saunders’ Creative Writing seminar at Syracuse is famously selective. His latest book, A Swim in the Pond in the Rain, dissects the stories of masters like Chekhov and Gogol, opening his teachings to a global audience. With the launch of his newsletter, Saunders’ classroom got a whole lot larger. In a scrum of great Substacks to choose from, Story Club stands out.
Merlin ID App Birdsong Feature
I was in the backyard and heard an unfamiliar birdsong. Opening the Merlin Bird ID app, I clicked “Sound ID” and recorded a few seconds of audio. In an instant, Merlin identified the source: a Carolina Wren. As if that wasn’t magic enough, I replayed the recording over my speaker, and the little songster flew to the grass near my feet, thinking its call had been returned.
Windswept Adan by Ichiko Aoba
Like a Miyazaki movie for the ears, Windswept Adan soundtracks a fictional film set on two islands. One is the home of the central character, and the other is the island she’s “spirited away” to, a wonderland of lush coastline and fantastical creatures. This is less a series of songs than a sonic field guide to a complex ambient ecosystem. Pack binoculars, amphibious footwear, and good headphones.
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