Oct 07/15
By Jes Lawrence

Introducing Grindstone

If you follow us on Facebook and Instagram, you may have seen or heard about Grindstone. On the last Friday of each month, the Traina Crew takes a break from client projects, puts their noses to the grindstone and works on a design project. The first Grindstone gave us a chance to flex our typography muscles, designing screen-print posters with our favorite movie quotes.

Last Grindstone, inspired by an article pointing out the flaws in our existing state flags, we embarked on a mission to redesign them. Talent from all over the world call Traina home, so our assortment of new flags included: Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, Georgia, New Hampshire, Virginia, Colorado, California, Arizona, England and Puerto Rico! These are the winning designs that tied even after a revote:

Grindstone - Texas Flag
John Laird

Grindstone - California Flag
Ed Garcia

Why would a busy design studio like Traina take a break and allocate a whole day to something like Grindstone? Here's why:

Creativity: Our designers get in a groove working for specific types of clients within their brand guidelines. These guidelines are vital for brands, but sometimes limit the design. Grindstone allows our talented designers to truly be as creative as they want with little to no parameters. This exercise improves both their design skills and creative problem solving, which in turn benefits future client work.

Morale: Grindstone is a FUN day that the whole crew looks forward to. We crank the music up, order lunch in and slow down a bit for the day. It's a field trip without leaving the office.

Team Building: The Traina Crew doesn't solely consist of brilliant designers. We have account management folks (like me) that aren't wiz kids when it comes to design programs, but that doesn't mean we can't participate. For the recent flag project, the account team went old school- building our flags with construction paper, glitter and a little elbow grease. Having a chance to chat in the conference room while we shared craft supplies and laughed at our work (timelines are more our speed) was a great bonding experience.

On previous Grindstone projects (like the movie posters) we worked in small groups, which gave team members that don't usually have many opportunities to collaborate, a chance to work together to create some seriously impressive designs. Go team!

The whole Traina Crew is involved from start to finish on these Grindstone projects. We even provide David (he's the mastermind behind Grindstone) with project ideas for consideration each month. Do you have any ideas for our next Grindstone?

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