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WeWorkForThem” is a design team of Michael Cina and Michael Young. They recently temporarily took down their sites “Designgraphik“, “Trueistrue” and “Submethod” and has released a book CD-ROM, called “ONE”, containing those sites. What is their intention? What will they do the next?

Please introduce yourself.

We are a design firm called WeWorkForThem, but we also run an online store and brand called YouWorkForThem. It is just the two of us, Michael Cina and Michael Young, that do all this. We design for clients like MTV, BestBuy, ESPN, under our company name WeWorkForThem, but we also handle all the service, shipping, packing the items for our store YouWorkForThem. We teamed up in 2001 to start all this madness and excitement. In other words, we work really hard, and that’s what we are about.

Please tell us about “YouWorkForThem” and “WeWorkForThem”. What sort of projects/activities you are doing in each site?

Client wise we have become a lot more selective due to there being so many bad budgets and bad clients. Basically we don’t take client work unless the client work is looking to truly work WITH us. This means, it’s a 50/50 team up, we both come to the table creatively and execute ideas. We were tired of clients trying to micromanage projects. This new method has helped us to make much better client work, not only for us but for them as well. We listen to what they want and are able to execute what they are looking for.

With YouWorkForThem there is always a lot in the lineup, and I am sure it will stay this way, since it is our baby. We have been putting out products of all shapes and sizes. We recently self published a book on our personal work called One as well as a project called Arba that features work by other artists. We have been working on projects to get more designers in the mix and invest in their talents. We admire so many artists and designers out there it is an honor being able to release their work and seeing them grow.

A book with a CD-ROM, called “One” is released in this March. What triggered you to produce “One”? Please tell us the contents of this as well.

We took all of our old personal web artwork down, to sort of progress our own ideas, but also we felt all things must come to some sort of an end. The contents were over 8+ years of online work dating back to 1998. The sites were Designgraphik, TrueisTrue and also Submethod. We didn’t want to totally kill the projects, and we had a good list of people always asking us to see it again. Just for the fact people showed all this appreciation for it, we felt the need to give back with a book explaining all this work for once and also a CDrom with all of the work for them to view once again.

What made you decide to close the sites “Designgraphik”, “TrueisTrue” and “Submethod”, which were on line from 1998 and 2002, and include them into a book and a CD-ROM? What was the aim(s) of this try?

Basically it was just time to take them down, for many reasons. Some of the earlier reasons were due to the cost of keeping them online because of the high traffic to these sites. We also got tired of people thinking we were JUST web designers all because we published so much work online. When in fact basically the number of all the client web work we have done in the 2+ years, can be counted on one hand, and our print work would take quite a few hands to count it all on. It was nice having that work up for sure, because it did bring in a lot of client work. At the same time, we felt it was just time to move on, end it, and start in a new direction.

Putting it all on a cd and a book was basically to give the people who enjoyed it insight to why we made the work, and the ideas behind them. Being it was always web based artwork, and done very offbeat from the normal web path, they never had much explanation to them, but there is a lot to be told about these projects. This book was able to do that and archive them in a proper format.

The sites are now off line, and the book and CD-ROM are in front of you as tangible things. How do you feel about this now? Are you satisfied? What kind of reactions have you received so far?

We are very happy with taking all our early personal work and putting it into one tangible format. There is years worth of projects, ideas, blood, sweat and tears contained in the One package. Words can’t begin to explain what it means to us. The book alone took us a year to put together, concept, organize, write and produce. The response so far as been really positive. That positive response makes us feel that we are going in the right direction, and will continue to push the products in the right directions.

It is possible to think that temporarily took down a site means you loose a place or function that allows you to present your portfolio. Do you think this point is “a minus” affect for you?

This was also another GOOD reason to close these sites, was to point the focus of our actually straight forward portfolio at the WeWorkForThem site. Having basically 5 divisions / websites at one time, it was hard to get people to understand where to go to actually hire us! So that’s one reason we started to make our personal sites similar, less chaotic, and direct commercial work for hire to the portfolio shown at WeWorkForThem. We are always still posting new personal work on TrueisTrue and Designgraphik and will continue to work on them as long as we can find the time to.

Will “Two” come after “One”? Although, you might not close existing sites like this time, would you like to show your thoughts and projects through books or CD-ROMs, too?

Yes, there will be a Two, but when, only the one above knows. Yeah, we have already started to look into DVD for our next medium to produce for, for now, the web has about 0% interest to us because we did that for so long and we don’t like to stay in one area for too long or get too comfortable. Spending 4 years publishing the main majority of our personal work into that medium, is enough for us for sometime now. There is way too many mediums and ideas to explore outside of a browser based internet work to stay stuck there. So that is why you see a lot of other types of projects in our personal sites now.

How would you like to expand your field in the future?

We are constantly doing this everyday, we work monthly in basically every medium: Typefaces, logos, print, branding, DVD, web, print, concepts, 3d, traditional art, the list just keeps on going and going. And we like that it keeps going and growing. If not, you get into a pattern and it gets stale. If we wanted a patterned life, we would work at textile factories.

One [Book+CD-Rom]
Price: 26 USD
Available at “YouWorkForThem

Text: Sachiko Kurashina

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Stephen Cheetham