NYLMA: Visual Differentiation



The chapter’s March luncheon focused on a new topic, “Visual Differentiation: The Business Case for Design,” and attracted a lot of first-time attendees as the New York Metro LMA chapter continues to widen its reach in the legal marketing community.

The March 19 panel discussion, Visual Differentiation: The Business Case for Design, held at Convene, discussed the importance of utilizing strategic design to stand out amongst the vase sea of sameness in the industry.

The sold out luncheon was moderated by chapter Board Member at-Large Andy Edelstein, an award-winning copywriter and creative director. The panel of senior level experts also featured:

  • Janet Odgis, President and Creative Director of Odgis + Co.
  • Fred Loessel, Marketing Graphic Design Manager at Debevoise & Plimpton
  • Gerben Hooykaas, Executive Director of Branding & Marketing at JP Morgan Chase & Co.

One highlight that colorfully reinforced the concept of visual differentiation was a video illustrating the overuse of the color blue throughout the legal industry. “Blue is not a differentiating color – that is why JP Morgan went with brown,” said Mr. Hooykaas. The panelists agreed differentiation starts by developing a strategy around the qualities or characteristics that makes one’s firm standout.

Most of the discussion centered on the value of consistency across all communications. For example, Mr. Loessel explained Debevoise & Plimpton created a style guideline for its messaging. “Even if you are not thrilled with the design, at least we are speaking as one company,” he said.

Ms. Odgis succinctly summed up for everyone the business case for design: “Good design differentiates your firm and promotes your business.”

Audrey Pfau is the Marketing & Recruiting Coordinator at Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP.