Felipe Hillard

A great first year for Fjord São Paulo

What a year! Looking back on the last 12 months, Fjord São Paulo has completely killed it. We are now a team of 30 designers (a harmonious mix of craft specialists, management types, internationalists, locals from all parts of Brazil – though Brasilia is represented in uncomfortably high numbers – and one pioneering intern).

With an average age of 26, we are also one of the youngest Fjord studios. Nothing is holding us back, bar our own ambitions and willingness to be bold (which is in no short supply)… I think it’s completely appropriate as the first studio in one of the BRICS, or emerging markets.

The needs of our clients have been different when compared to the more mature markets, and our approaches and methodologies have evolved to support the local needs of different users, where the majority of the country live below the middle class income line and Android is the dominant player (80%+ market share).

We’re proud to say our client work is already being recognised: our work with Globo Play won App of the Year at this year’s Tela Viva Mobile, and our work with Brazil’s largest telecoms company, Oi, was awarded the Pega Communications’ Business Impact Award.

The future is looking bright as we also continue to connect with the local design community. This is done through new event formats like the Fjord São Paulo Gig&Talk (recently launched with a segmented live interview of Mark Curtis accompanied by a local set of musicians at the Museu da Casa Brasileira), and also our further explorations with clients across other markets in broader Latin America.

As a studio, we have embraced “time-to-market” as critical measure of our success alongside “design quality” and “designer experience” just to note a few others. To date, we have seen nine products launched to market with nine different clients (that’s about one per month!), the publication of Brasil-specific trends to supplement Fjord´s Global Trends 2016, and the development of a new strategic visioning and innovation method we affectionately call the Fjord São Paulo “Freak-a-thon” (note: we are still waiting on official clearance for that one!).

Fjord São Paulo! Come see us!

Felipe Hillard

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