Evolution through design
Since our early days of designing in the early era of the internet, we believed in “form follows function.” Today we help our clients by elevating their design, build their brands, and help design their digital footprint.
We are a digital design strategy company
Counterspace has been solving complex business problems since 2001. Design remains the core of our business, but we use research based strategy, design thinking and user centered solutions for every project. We work as a direct hire, an extension of a team or agency, or on consulting terms. (We’re the ‘big dog’ companies call in we they need to get it done.) We work on-site for months at a time in leadership roles, or satellite on a per project basis.
A brief history of counterspace
There are few digital directors around the world who have the experience and expertise that Brett Yancy Collins brings to a project. Over the last 25+ years he has worked with the largest companies on the planet, helped the smallest startups and evolved some of the biggest brands online. Here are a few highlights from this expansive career.
Form & Function
1995 The beginning
Brett Yancy Collins’ digital journey began in the early 1995, while working for a company called Ignition. A multimedia company led by Robert Abbott, and partnered with Learn Technologies Interactive (LTI) led by Luyen Chou in New York City. Working with clients like The Smithsonian, Time Warner Electronic Publishing and Sprint, Brett learned the art of designing pixels.
Sex, drugs & rock n’roll
1997 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
1998 Rational Rose
Working with Rational Rose, where Jakob Nielsen, one of the creators of the Unified Modeling Language (UML), and proponent of blue links worked. It was at this time that it was realized that Brett had been creating wireframes for every project since he had begun his career. Wireframes were the corner stone of every project. This period also marks the beginning of his love of information graphics.
The digital era
1999 The Discovery Channel
Everyone wanted to be online, and the rush of companies searching for experts expanded quickly in the late 1990’s. Way ahead of the curve, Brett worked with the Discovery Channel to create a way for people to create their own video clips using Discovery video clips.
1999 Bacardi Global Brands
2000 The Works
As a sabbatical in early 2000, Brett took a position developing the curriculum for a non–profit art, science & museum in Newark, Ohio. He designed the first digital curriculum, sourced all of the hardware on eBay and achieved Smithsonian Affiliation for the Museum. It was quite a year!
2002 The Susan G. Koman Foundation
A big part of Brett’s design philosophy is helping not for profit companies leverage the power of design thinking and strategy. During the early 2000’s he worked with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, The New York Department of Education, The United Federation of Teachers and the DCCC.
With 8 years of experience under his belt, 40 plus design awards, Brett opened the doors of the official counterspace office, well his home office!
Integrating design with technology
The integration of his UX/UI design skills partnered with clean swiss design problem solving began to bring in just a few clients. In 2005, client relationships with Akamai, Columbia University and the USGA began.
Transforming a book publisher
2005 Haper Collins Childrens
The ability to integrate flash technology into complex CMS systems led to the winning of the HarperCollins Children’s website. The contract was won against a few NYC companies, and they never knew what hit them. Harvard University, Merrill Lynch, Mastercard and Citibank were all in the client roster.
Architecting a Hedge Fund Platform
2007 Merrill Lynch
Brett’s ability to design dashboards was informed by the design and developed of CD-ROMs in the 1990’s and this ability assisted him in the UX/UI and interface design for a platform that supported the Merrill Lynch Hedgefund division.
Working on the Economy
Between 2004 and 2008 counterspace was sought by all sizes of clients, all trying to grasp how technology and design create new products. During these years the concept of design thinking and UX was in its infancy, and companies did not yet ask the right questions.
Back to rock n’ roll
Counterspace had evolved into a digital consultant company by 2008, and we were working with eMusic, Columbia Law School, Scholastic and many start up companies that were seeking our expertise to assist them to get to their next round of funding.
MOOG engineering not audio
Working with vShift, an agency in NYC, counterspace led the digital transformation of many companies. In 2009 the highlight was MOOG, not because of the design but because of the process. Through a complete wireframe process, we were able to bring all of the heads of the company together with a singular vision for their website and content.
The mobile era
Brett always stayed at the forefront of technology and design, and mobile is no exception. As the UX and design arm of Joule, a New York Agency, counterspace led the rapid expansion of AT&T, Dell, Macys and Virgin Mobile into the mobile market place.
After working with Akamai for more than 6 years, evolving their logo, designing their NOC room screens and creating on and offline advertising Brett was creating designs that led their marketing across multiple channels.
Leading Dell Mobile
During 2011 through 2014, counterspace created hundreds of mobile apps, ad campaigns and mobile websites for Dell, AT&T, Macy’s and Alienware.
Mobile Movie Trailers
With the explosion of bandwidth and mobile devices, movie studios couldn’t wait to get their movie trailers online. Counterspace worked some expert mobile developers to take a different look at movie trailer UX and design.