20 years of 4040. Just wow. During this time of celebration, three questions come to mind; what has been the key to our success, why has 4040 lasted longer than most agencies, and how has 4040 maintained the same joy and determination that existed in our company since 2002? Was it the amazing clients and partnerships? Always. Was it the hard work, passion and awe-inspiring creativity? Without a doubt. Was it the dazzling creatives, strategists, project managers, and staff that were part of the 4040 team? Most definitely. It’s all of that and more.
Over the course of 4040's existence, there are three themes that have stood out; Joy, Partnerships, and Team.
Joy isn't spoken much in the context of design or creativity. However, 4040's best work and the work I am most proud of elicits joy. I love the moment when the perfect idea is revealed. The moment when a smile begins to creep across the client’s face as they see what they have been hoping we accomplish. The Washington Capitals, a great and tough client (our best clients always are), were looking for a new slogan. On our third and final pitch, 4040 presented them with our ALL CAPS solution. The moment the energy shifted, the smiles, head nods, and joy…. Are why we have done this for 20 years.
In 2002, I sat down with our very first client, Jeremiah Pick, who came to us looking for a new sub-brand for his coffee company. I remember sitting down and talking about his visions; the excitement behind how we were going to bring them to life, and the eventual solutions that affirmed that we could be a viable branding agency. I remember sitting down with the most senior Citizens Bank executives convincing them to build a 30 ft pinball machine at the new Phillies Ballpark garnering incredible engagement while creating a relevant experience for fans. In 2008, I remember seeing the smiles on the faces of our Keen client when we captured their core values and ethos simply and perfectly through defining what it meant to live a Keen HybridLife. And in 2010, I remember when the players on the Washington Nationals baseball team began using 4040's tagline, "#Natitude" on their social accounts to describe how they played. A hashtag that has now been hard 10’s of millions of impressions. Just plain awesome. So, I look back at 20 years and am most thankful for the friendships, relationships, and partnerships that I have developed with the good people at Keen, Citizens Bank, The GAP, the Phillies, The Nationals, The Braves, DC United, Minnesota United, The MLS, NFL Players Assoc., NASCAR, Fanatics, Bay 13, Pomodoro, Piatti, Sellers Markets, Climate Corp, Rumble Club Cannabis, and our latest, the San Diego Symphony. All champions in their fields.
When I first started this company, I made a commitment to work for and with good people and after all of this time, I am most proud of my team. To the amazing and diverse group of strategists, designers, writers, 3D design specialists, artists, producers, photographers, animators, client managers, and finance people that have worked at or with 4040 from the start: thank you all for making 4040 timeless and thank you for being champions at what you do.
As I write this, I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the journey that has been 4040. It’s had some incredible highs and some lows that invariably come from running a small business for 20 years. I am grateful for it all. These last couple of years have been the most challenging and at the same time rewarding. The pandemic has forced us to adapt to a new way of work and caused us to evolve into a more nimble and smarter agency, one better suited to the current environment.
We are excited to keep at it, build, grow, and create great work for amazing clients as we move into the next 20 years. I am looking forward to creating more joy, building even more relationships, and growing this team. And to Branding Champions.