Judith Mackin, Curator of Design by Kelly Lawson Judithmackin.ca went live this week, bringing together 12 years of creative work, unique experiences, and collaborative relationships of a very gifted person who I am very proud to have had the opportunity to assist.

The new site is the focal point of a carefully considered strategy  to help Judith become as accessible as possible and to extend the collaboration and dialogue on design that Judith has been sharing with her clients and friends for many years under a collection of successful companies she has built: Punch Productions (events), Punch Inside (interiors), Into the Wild (construction) and - coming soon! - Tuck (decor).

How We Started

What we identified early on is that Judith Mackin is, above all, a curator of design. The question we answered in the early days of planning this strategy is "If you were to recommend Judith Mackin for something, are you recommending Judith or one of her companies?"  For example, if you want a fantastic event planner do you call Judith or Punch Productions? Our view is that Judith is the creative talent that you are hiring and her businesses are the vehicles for service support and delivery.

It's actually a great model and there was a simple answer to solving the problem of how to connect with people socially while bringing the businesses with her: put Judith in front of the brands.

As I've said before, people connect with people, not companies. For businesses to be social, their people need to be social. And as the lead character in a cast of creative companies, Judith needed to put herself out front where she could develop personal relationships and share her insights and recommendations straight from the source.

Like every one of us who is socially online, there is only one Judith Mackin and she needs to express herself without splitting her voice or her interests. Her clients need to connect with her, clear of her many involvements, in a way that they are capable of doing with the social platforms we now have.

What We Did

As always, we started with the content available and it was plentiful. 12 years of great clients and super-interesting work will eventually find its way to the new site over the summer (Judith estimates about 30% of it is currently there, so stay tuned as more interesting work gets added).  On top of these stories are the ones she wishes to tell in the coming years as she meets new collaborators, new inspirations, and learns new things to share. We looked at how best to tell the stories behind it all and built a connectivity plan around it.

Again, people are interested in people and Judith's talent is definitely interesting. But it can feel limited when constrained by business units. It's hard to see the forest for the trees and I feel that we were most helpful to Judith in helping her to develop this focus, to understand social business, and to help her invest in relationships the way she has been all of these years - but now also doing it online.

We actually didn't do a lot of design work. As Judith has acknowledged, the great talents of previous collaborators on site design and corporate identity were brought into this site that Judith herself  had a greater hand in designing than we did. Doug Estey skillfully brought it together and understood Judith's design direction perfectly, but it was Judith's direction and her personality we were representing. Kelly Lawson, as always, took some amazing photos for us to choose from (including the one above) that grabbed Judith's true personality.

What To Expect

With this new online connectivity, expect to hear from Judith regularly and to enjoy a good conversation with her - not an assistant or colleague. Judith is fully connected and actively sharing her work and her inspiration online. Just like the President :)