Special edition Co.
Design Collective

Special Edition Co.

DESIGN COLLECTIVE

Kansas City, Missouri

http://special-edition.co
Instagram @specialeditionco
Behance
Facebook

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Special Edition Co is a design and art focused collective comprised of two designers and makers – Sam Small and Trent Roach. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, our mission is to collaborate on innovative and experimental projects with creative thinkers internationally.

We enjoy interacting with artists, designers and other likeminded people; cultivating unique relationships, understanding their background and means of making and creating really fun, collaborative work. The overlap of different industries and mediums, paired with different cultures and backgrounds results in exciting outcomes. Carrying this multidisciplinary, inventive mindset into our client projects, we strive to create unique work that is truly impactful and special.

 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

We've been collaborating on projects for years now and Special Edition Co. formed when we decided to turn these consistent collaborative projects into something more real. We've been grinding ever since, meeting new people and working on exciting projects. The curation of collaborations is sometimes difficult and because we do enjoy international partnerships, communication can sometimes become difficult. That being said, when we find a partnership that works, it really clicks and is obvious from the beginning.

 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

A lot of creatives often want to be flexible and go outside of their comfort zone, but they don't actually pursue this and push themselves. We've found it is important to experiment and try new things, even if you may be uncomfortable at first. Often some of the most exciting outcomes come out of this experimentation and element of intimidation.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

Right now, we are a little more focused on the client side of our practice. In the past year, we've done a ton of collaborations; some very large scale and some very quick and to the point. We recently completed a large collaborative audio/visual show in Brooklyn which we co-curated, branded and produced visuals for. That was a massive undertaking, so we've been pursuing more client related projects as of late. (Web Design, Branding & Identity, Apparel Design, Etc.)

 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

Our style is sort of all over the board. We are inspired by a lot of different things; music, nature, textured objects or materials, geology, molecules, cells and other microscopic shapes. Video and motion of all types are super inspiring and we often find even a single sequence of motion in a film exciting. Colors and gradients of all types find their way into our work. We are always capturing color palettes from the real world and searching for beauty in unexpected settings. Our work is broad and could focus on everything from bright gradient blobs and organic forms to very minimal and refined branding. Our Instagram page is a pretty good holistic representation of our style. 

 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

We love the digital world; it's obvious in our work. We would love to work more with analog methods of making. Mobile/UI/UX work could be interesting to overlap with our style. Most of this work is typically very constrained and clean. Thinking about traditional design aesthetics and applications and applying our expressive, sporadic style could be interesting.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Lack of communication. People bailing on collaborations. Clients never following back up. Again, working on partnerships and with clients worldwide, communication is probably the biggest issue we deal with on a regular basis.

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Maintain the business side of things like finances, email, press inquiries and features, etc. We love the creative side of things obviously, but the business side is a necessity. It sometimes pulls us out of the creative process, so someone covering all of that would be amazing. Also just basic design production assistance could also be a huge help.

 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

It would be awesome to go back and tell our high school selves what kind of impact the internet was going to have on the world. At the time, we were already immersed in the web, but it was sort of just another resource and more recreational than anything. We likely would have invested more time in learning about the future opportunities associated with the internet had we known how huge it would become. That being said, we sort of like being in this state of constantly learning and seeing technology evolve.

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

Being creatives, we want to focus on making work and sometimes the business side holds up the process. Perfecting the flow of these aspects would be helpful. We're always open to discussing and improving our creative process and client relationships. We're pretty curious people and we're always open to new insight, so we would love to learn about different ways of pushing our work further, both aesthetically and conceptually. Discussing what we do with other creatives, or even someone from an entirely different industry, always seems to spark ideas and offer unique perspectives which guide us in new directions.

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

We're really open to all types of projects, but we would love to collaborate with more brands and designers. We would love to do more creative consulting and direction for art shows/events, spatial experiences and fashion lines. We also would love to work more with apparel/accessory companies on creative collaborations. We love the idea of designing products and objects for smaller shop collections as well. Lastly, we're planning to offer more SE Co. work/items for sale via our website in the near future.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

Our ideal client is aware of current design trends, but also just understands aesthetic beauty in the world. It's exciting when a client offers creative freedom, but also provides constructive criticism to push the project further. We love involving the client in the process and treating the project as a collaboration.

 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

It definitely depends on the project, scope, timeline and various other considerations. Because we work on such a broad range of different types of projects, we typically provide custom quotes for each project. We usually kick things off with a meeting to discuss and better understand the goals and details of the project. This gives us the information necessary to create a project proposal which outlines the process, timeline and offers a tentative quote. We negotiate as necessary and offer any additional services/revision rounds on an hourly basis.

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Check out our website for more information/work samples and reach out to us via email (info@special-edition.co) if you want to work together. When shooting us an inquiry or project proposal, providing us with as much info right off the bat is super helpful! - If there is already a budget, scope or timeline established for the project, let us know up front. Is this a commission or do you want to collaborate with us? What's the end goal? Be as funny or chill as you want in your email. We'll probably talk to you either way. :)

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Chillin With Our Rad Talented Peers

 

Last one, who's on your go-to squad?

Dean Roper and Joseph Hutchins from Kansas City are good friends who we've worked with on projects in the past. Check out their collective OBJET - Dean also makes some awesome work that has been getting pretty big internationally.

 Joey Watson, also from Kansas City, makes amazing ceramic work. We're working with him currently on a new website design!

Brett Ginsburg is a super rad artist we met in Kansas City. He's currently killing it out in LA working with Opening Ceremony.

Oddities Prints here in KC is an awesome print shop.  We've worked with them on the past on some risograph prints.


This member profile was originally published in October 2016.