Welcome to Brownstone Cambridge – pushing design parameters
Welcome to Brownstone Cambridge’s blog.
Who are we? For those of you not in the know, Brownstone are a boutique integrated agency based in Cambridge UK. We specialise in creating impactful communication solutions utilising digital tools that build brand engagement without compromising on design. We also pride ourselves on the effective utilisation of traditional advertising media and in advising our clients on the most effective way to get their message across to ensure ROI. What it boils down to is this: if we make our clients look good, we look good. There’s no better brand ambassador that a satisfied client.
Why Brownstone? Well, when we think of Brownstone in terms of a building material it has become synonymous as a medium used to convey a certain style and sense of design. The famous Brownstone buildings of the US East Coast cities came about purely due to the material, which was laid down in the Triassic and Jurassic periods, being mined by three mining companies in the 19th Century to meet the demands for dwellings in cities such as Boston and New York. In New York, burgeoning neighbourhoods in Brooklyn, such as Park Slope, Fort Greene, Cobble Hill, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn Heights, and Bedford Stuyvesant accounted for much of the new development. In Manhattan itself, especially on the Upper West Side, many Brownstones built during this period still remain and are highly desirable, today fetching prices of tens of millions of dollars.
The style of building conveys both tradition combined with style that has stood the test of time and entered into popular culture as iconic. Qualities we strive to emulate in our work for our clients even when working with cutting-edge tools.
If we take a look at how a stytle of building becomes the framework – the foundations if you like, to build a communications piece – then we’ve got to look no further than today’s popular culture. Nero Wolfe, the fictional detective from American mystery writer Rex Stout’s novels, lived in a brownstone on West 35th Street, New York. However, the house in question was as fictional as Nero Wolfe himself – there are no brownstone’s in that part of Manhattan and it is a bit like 221B Baker Street the address of Sherlock Holmes – it never existed! There are other similarities between Wolfe and Holmes or Stout and Conan Doyle as in both sets of novels, the detectives escapades are related by their assistants – in Holmes’ case the inimitable Dr. Watson and in Wolfe’s his assistant Archie Goodwin (yes, we know we’re digressing here – we’re just proving we have our finger firmly on the beating cultural history that is Brownstone!).
Brownstones continued to get the star treatment in I Love Lucy where the Ricardos lived in an apartment in a converted Brownstone on East 68th Street.
In Breakfast at Tiffany’s made in 1961, much of the action takes place in Holly Golightly’s apartment located in a Brownstone and in the Cosby Show which ran from 1984-1992, the Huxtables live in a Brooklyn Brownstone.
In the 2001 horror movie Bones starring Snoop Dogg as a murdered gangster turned vengeful spirit, his character resided in a gothic style brownstone that became a haunted decayed ruin and the main setting of the film.
Perhaps two of the most famous fictional New York Brownstones are the one lived in by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City which was located on the Upper East Side and of course, who can forget 123 Sesame Street – the Brownstone owned by Gordon and Susan Robinson and the home of Bert and Ernie?
Seeing as there’s often a negative perception out there about people who work in advertising and illegal substances, we’re going to gloss over other Brownstone connotations such as the ‘Mr. Brownstone’ song from Guns n’ Roses! What we’re saying here is that the Brownstones we’ve mentioned that provide the setting for all these films and TV shows are supporting the main characters and story. Which is exactly what we like to think we do for our clients. You can see we’re there in the background in a supporting role – but our clients, their stories, their products and services are the stars.
In our opinion, it’s a good foundation on which to design any campaign across any media.