Cultured Magazine

Summer 2014

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82 CULTURED The Talented Mr. Hoffman From niche brands to those with household names, Eric Hoffman helps brands find their voice. BY HENRY URBACH PORTRAIT BY FRANÇOIS DISCHINGER PRODUCED BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS sked to describe his approach to develop- ing brand identities, Eric Hoffman of New York-based Hoffman Creative describes his work as anthropological. "We dig deep into the culture of the company," he says. "To me it's always about getting at the true emotional expression of why people do what they do. I use anthropology as a filter, a way of closely observing brands that weave together psychology, culture, environmental at- tributes and aesthetics, in order to deliver an original, au- thentic narrative." Among the brands that have gone through Hoffman's filter are Calvin Klein, Johnson & Johnson, Tai Ping Carpets, David Yurman and Judith Leiber. Eric, 41, got his start with the Arnell Group before join- ing the Peace Corps and working at a zoo for endangered animals in Belize. After two years, he returned to the U.S. and pursued a diverse set of professional experiences—in- cluding in-house art director for Steven Meisel and a stint with Target—that fostered broad expertise and a distinctive point of view. He launched Hoffman Creative in 2007. More recently the studio has expanded its reach toward the arts and design, with clients including Aero Studios, the Haas Brothers and Art Agency Partners. "What makes working with Eric so essential is that he understands and connects deeply to the designed modern world," says Thomas O'Brien, president of Aero Studios. "To work with him is to build something real and beautiful." The company is also committed to charitable work. Among his proudest contributions is the work he's done for a monastery in Bhutan, which includes building a dormitory and developing a source for year-round drinking water. "We involve our clients in these endeavors and it's something they deeply value." Eric Hoffman in his New York office. A

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