Who We Are: Meet Our CCO, Charles Grieser

We live in a visual world, where the look and design are just as important as the message. That’s why as a public relations firm it’s imperative that we have an in-house designer to help make our client’s message as aesthetically pleasing as it is interesting. Enter Charles Grieser, CCO at Emerging Insider Communications. A full-spectrum creative, Charles believes the first step in the design process is to always listen to the client and market. Despite his artistic aspirations, his goal is to never just making something “pretty,” but to create solutions that are clear, relevant and lasting. Here, Charles fills us in on his thoughts on some of today’s hot topics in the design industry… 

Why in today’s world is design and branding more important than ever?

There is a popular phrase that pervades current culture: “Design will save the world.” As a designer, I will be the last person to jump on that bandwagon. The world was fine long before the first craftsman or designer staked their claim in human history. What is unquestionable is that design—and more specifically, the design process—makes the world a far better place to live in. This process is simply an open and aggressive approach to problem solving that is a topic of a whole other discussion.

More specifically to the world of technology, public relations and marketing, design is no longer a nice-to-have add on. Thanks to the likes of Apple, Pinterest, IDEO and others, the market now expects well-designed products and succinct messaging. The expectations go even further in that people now expect custom-tailored solutions in order to hold their attention. This is a good thing. The bar is set high for products and services to really shine and address real needs and important issues.

What’s lacking in the way most brands and companies execute their creative?

The biggest hurdle for any company wanting to harness the power of good design is a failure to truly embrace the importance of design in the marketplace. There are many companies who pay lip service to this “fad” of design. Design thinking and priorities need to start at the top. Implementing design as an afterthought to simply “make things pretty” is not an effective approach to creating something great. Design must be in the blood of any company that wants to profit from its power. It must start in the mission and run through every product, every piece of copy and every touch point so that in the end the brand lives in the consumers mind.

In the age of content overload, what makes anything stand out?

Simplicity and relevance are my mantras in an overcrowded marketplace. As the lead in Mad Men, Donald Draper, is famous for saying, “Make it simple, but significant.” Simple beauty and well-chosen words are always a stand out. They have the air of honesty and the brevity to maintain a place in memory. The other compliment to simplicity and relevance is relationship. A company doesn’t need to go the extra mile, but just a few extra steps to show that they care about the customer and their satisfaction. If you do that you may just have a customer for life.

Has modern technology decreased the need for outstanding creative or increased it?

Modern technology is a result of outstanding creative thinking, so I would say it has opened the door to an increased emphasis. Technology has also produced more tools and outlets for being creative. For example, instead of advertisements consisting of television, radio and print, we also have an explosion of digital outlets and renegade-style marketing.

Are there any incredibly controversial topics in the design space today?

In my opinion design, just as any other mode of human motivation and industry, has the power to be used in both positive and negative ways. Design can be used to create drones built to spy and kill or can create images of people so perfect that no one can measure up. If removed from the human condition and abstracted to pure aesthetic, design can tip the scales from creative to destructive. As anything else, design takes on the image and intention of its creator. It think it’s important that we recognize design’s integral place in society, but keep it in check with the people it serves.

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