How Proof gets things done

Proof is a team of thinkers, designers, developers, and strategists based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Founded in 2010, Proof’s drive is to craft purposeful and passionate brands. They make creating and overhauling brands look easy, when it’s really some of the most challenging work designers can undertake.

We chatted with Matt Cheuvront, Proof’s Founder and CEO, about inspiration, Proof’s process, and how they use Dropmark to get things done.

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Tell us a little about Proof Branding, how did y’all get started?

I opened up the doors at Proof in 2010, shortly after the recession in ‘08. From the beginning, our focus has always been to approach the creative process comprehensively. We believe that any strong brand is greater than the sum of its parts, and is consistent in its delivery, both in how it communicates and aesthetically, across the board.

In the past 9 years, we’ve worked on developing the brand for hundreds of clients, from breweries to Fortune 500s, commercial properties to schools and nonprofits. We love the diversity of the work we do, and it keeps us motivated day to day.

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How does being in Nashville impact your work?

Nashville is a rapidly going, thriving community (and also happens to be my hometown). We’re actively involved with the local creative community, and about 50% of our overall work is here in town, with the rest of our clients in other parts of the country.

Nashville’s design community is collaborative and supportive - there’s very little animosity or direct competition with other firms in town. Everybody “plays nice” and we all understand that there is plenty of work to be had for all of us.

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How does design fit into your Proof’s culture?

Design is at the core of what we do, but most important to us is that the “what” has a clearly defined “why”. Defining the depth of meaning in what we do and what we create differentiates us as a branding firm from your traditional design shop.

Culture is essential being a smaller, more boutique agency, and we’re very transparent with our company’s culture, process, and systems. You can read more about who we are, what we do, how we do it, and why we do it, in our Playbook.

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What inspires your team?

We’re inspired by the world around us, and each other. We play off each other’s strengths, and our creative process is highly collaborative. The entire team participates in design reviews, and everyone has a voice (whether you’re a designer or not).

We’re always focused on being leaders, not followers, from a creative standpoint. We push our clients to think less about what everyone else is doing, and more about what they can be doing best.

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What does your team’s creative process look like?

Our creative process is outlined in detail in our Playbook. While it may not seem entirely unique, we are consistent in going through a regular process, especially in the early stages of a project, every time.

Our initial ‘Understand Your Brand Workshop’ (a 4-8 hour in-person intensive) allows us to clearly define things like brand identity, personality, aesthetic direction, target audience, competitors, and lays the groundwork for the design and development process.

Every team member touches every project we work on in some capacity - a perk of having a team of about 10 people. Plus, the design team has direct contact with the client through meetings, calls, and presentations. I feel it’s vital for the designers on a project to “sell their work” and to be present in client situations to hear things first-hand.

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How does Dropmark fit into your workflow?

Dropmark is an excellent (and super simple) way for our team to capture inspiration they see in the wild. We’re constantly inundated with beautiful, intuitive design - and Dropmark allows us to harness that inspiration and use it in mood-boarding, concepting, and inspiration throughout the projects we work on.

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What’s the most interesting thing you’ve Dropmarked recently?

We see design continuing to trend in a more straightforward and simpler direction. Less is more. Get to the point. Drive your user to do what you want them to do without obstacles. We’re always on the lookout for ways to deliver strong messages, display beautiful design, and drive users to act in a direct and impactful way. This is reflected in the kinds of things we add to Dropmark most often around here.

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See more of Proof’s work at proofbranding.com and follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Manage Your Home Renovation Using Dropmark

There are so many options when it comes to home renovation. Penny tiles, white subway tiles, marble hexagon tiles, mosaic tiles, or hand-painted tiles. And that’s just tiles.

If you’re anything like me, HGTV has a lot to answer for in your home. I am obsessed with shows like Fixer Upper and Good Bones, with their designs and can-do attitude. These shows give me illusions of grandeur, despite having never knocked through a wall or built a deck.


There is inspiration everywhere online. Using our browser extension, you can save images or blog posts online without breaking your stride. If you need more color in your life head to Old Brand New to see how color and vintage finds can create a design oasis. My favorite design blog is Design*Sponge, I particularly love their home tours featuring real homes. These features feel aspirational, but still achievable by mere mortals like myself.

Another of my favorite resources is Farrow & Ball, who make beautiful paints and wallpaper. Farrow & Ball’s site explores many different ways you can use color. Their explanations on how to create the illusion of more space and how color is affected by the direction of natural light are illuminating. Established in 1930, Farrow & Ball have a wealth of knowledge to share. If you’re considering a neutral palette, the way they identify different neutral tones will save you a lot of headaches.

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If you use our iOS app, you have all your collections in your pocket. Our app can make sure you don’t find yourself wandering around Home Depot like a lost child. If you need to compare prices or colors, you can whip out your phone and snag a deal.

Renovation gets more ordered if you use Stacks, which are available to Pro or Team users. Stacks are like sub-folders within your Dropmark collection. You can have different stacks for different topics i.e., one for your guest room, another stack for the downstairs bathroom, or the kitchen. Stacks help you keep things ordered, but still centralized.

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When you save inspiration to Dropmark, you can start to see connections that you didn’t even realize were there. I when I redid our living room last year I saved a variety of furniture in a particular collection, which helped me distill the vibe I wanted to go for. By seeing everything on the screen at once, I noticed a color story that I was able to refine and keep in mind.

I also found that being able to view similar items side by side helped me to compare them and then decide on which things were worth splurging on, and where I could save money.


Not a DIY’er? Add your interior designer or even your contractor to your renovation collection. Collaborating on Dropmark cuts long email chains and you can share your inspiration instantly. See how to add collaborators to your collection. If you’re a Pro or Team user you can use comments to discuss paint colors on Dropmark in complete privacy.

I continue to save inspiration to Dropmark for future homes and rooms. I can’t currently fit a library in my small Brooklyn apartment, but a girl can dream. Whether you dream of a cabin in the woods, or a fun loft apartment, you can dream with Dropmark.

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How do you use Dropmark for your home? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram.

Our browser extension can save you time

Dropmark’s crown jewels are undoubtedly our browser and iOS apps, but our browser extension is an unsung hero.

If you’re anything like me, you have at least a few browser extensions littering your browser’s toolbar. How else could you possibly remember my passwords, or correct your grammar? Adding another extension to your line up can be a commitment, but here are three reasons that the Dropmark browser extension is going to change your workflow for the better.

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Don’t skip a beat

When you stumble upon a piece of art, blog post, or location that you know is interesting, but have no idea when it would be useful right now, you can save it to Dropmark with two clicks. Perhaps even add a few tags to the item directly in the browser extension. Tags can help you build links between items you’ve already added to Dropmark.

Dropmark is better with your stuff in it, whether that’s for you to move into other collections for future projects, or just as a personal inspiration resource whenever you need. By saving inspiration to a collection, you can always revisit your handpicked gems instead of trawling the vastness of the internet. Make it a place where you can get inspired, get focussed, and get stuff done.

Worried about storage space? Storage limits only apply to files uploaded to Dropmark, not bookmarks and web content which are unlimited. You can go as wild as you like with the browser extension.

If the website changes, your collection doesn’t have to

When it comes to bookmarked websites, so long as the website you link to is live, it’ll be viewable through Dropmark. But it’s not unusual for a blog you love to wind down, for an article to get lost, or for a killer design to become flabby. What if you want to create an archive that isn’t reliant on anyone else’s website? That’s where the Dropmark browser extension comes in.

Our browser extension allows you to take a screenshot of a whole website, from top to bottom. That way, no matter what happens, your screenshot will stay safely in your collection. See more about how you can use screenshots to create an archive on Dropmark.

Keep the receipts

Having receipts is cool, and citing your sources is relevant in academia, design, and pretty much any industry. When you add anything using to Dropmark using our browser extensions, you’ll be able to see the sources in whatever app you use for Dropmark.

By always having your sources on hand you never have to Google for the original artist or scour the internet trying to match images for the perfect location. Just one more way to make your life a little bit easier.

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What do you use our browser extension for? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram.

How Composite Co. gets things done

Composite Co. is a multidisciplinary creative studio founded by Jacob Weinzettel and Christian Dutilh in Washington DC.

Composite Co. was founded in 2014 and has been making waves ever since. Their risk-taking design aesthetic pays dividends. Together they create beautiful and functional visual identities for businesses in DC and beyond.

We chatted with Jacob Weinzettel about inspiration, Composite Co.’s process, and how they use Dropmark to get things done.

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Can you tell me a little bit about Composite Co. and how you got started?

Composite Co. is the creative studio of me, Jacob Weinzettel and my partner Christian Dutilh. We met in 2014, started seeing each other shortly after that, and starting working on a big project together about a year later. It was a pretty natural progression.

Composite began out of the desire to combine our skills, talents, and natural aesthetic proclivities. It’s also loosely based around the concept of “jugaad” the Hindi word which means to make something by piecing together what you have, to hack your current resources, which was our mantra when we were starting the studio.

We started out of our homes, and favorite coffee shops (shout out to Colony Club in DC) then graduated to desks at a WeWork, and finally got our own studio this time last year.

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How does design fit into Composite Co.’s culture?

Literally everything produced in the world is designed in one way or another (whether good or bad), so we think about it on that micro of a scale in addition to the macro view.

Design is at the core of every decision we make—from the tools we use and the things we create, the environment we build around us, to the philosophical worldview we go out into the world with.

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How does being based in DC impact your work?

Being a designer in DC means continuously fighting back against the commonly-held belief that only government bureaucrats and politicians live here, which is a misconception. So our work is driven in large part by the desire to be seen and acknowledged by a city of people that aren’t very design savvy, which is often an uphill battle.

Pushing the limits of what people are comfortable with from a design perspective has become our own political act of rebellion, which is very DC of us when you think about it. There’s always that underlying sense that we have our studio here to shake things up.

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What inspires your team?

Our team is inspired by surprise. Things and images that surprise are the most interesting to us. We’re not necessarily interested in making something conventionally pretty. Anything that challenges our current ideas about aesthetics and the state of the world is inspiring to us.

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What does your creative process look like?

Our creative process is constantly in flux, and we’re always pivoting and trying new things. Evolution is definitely another of our core values.

Generally, it starts with a massive amount of input and research—reading, writing, critical discussion, and collecting images from the far dark corners of the internet. Image output is inevitably linked to the inputs, which we don’t think is a bad thing as long as the inputs are good.

We do our best not to look at things that most people are looking at, and there’s also a critical multidisciplinary approach here as well—visual art, industrial design, interiors, architecture, photography, typography, and traditional graphic design images can all be relevant.

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How does Dropmark fit into your workflow?

Dropmark helps us collect all these inputs from an unfathomable amount of sources. Whether it’s something a previous intern Airdropped to us one time three years ago or something from a more traditional visual inspiration source like Instagram or Pinterest. It’s great to have a tool that consolidates and organizes all of our visual image research.

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What’s the most interesting thing you Dropmarked lately?

Probably this font that includes no actual typographic characters but instead is comprised entirely of plant and leaf glyphs.

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See more of Composite Co.’s work at wearecomposite.co and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Trendspotting on Dropmark

Spotting trends and forecasting is an essential part of any business. Dropmark can help you track patterns, whether you’re watching tastes emerge as an interior designer, or changes in market trends as an entrepreneur.

There is no industry which places more stock in trends than fashion. Fashion Week encompasses frenetic energy that seeps into the city, even if you aren’t one of the beautiful people. You can’t help but notice the influx of ethereal models stomping across the Manhattan’s sidewalks, or the volume of bloggers staging candid style shots on street corners.

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Weaving narratives from hundreds of shows into clear trend stories is an enormous exercise. Brands and businesses use Dropmark to tackle these sorts of tasks. By using Dropmark, you can start to see the wood from the trees and plan accordingly.

One of the keys to helping you spot trends on Dropmark is tags. On our Pro and Team plans you get access to tags, which can help give your items more hierarchy. You can search individual collections using tags, or across everything on Dropmark with our global search.

To search your collection, click the magnifying button at the top of your collection, or locate the search bar in the side navigation. If you want to explore all your collections, you can click the tickbox next to ‘Search all collections’, or search from your dashboard.


Being able to view an assortment of imagery across your whole account can be useful, especially if you’re in a Dropmark Team. Tags can help you to make new connections between your items and see entire swaths of items all at once.

With Dropmark you can have a record that goes back years, making it easy to track a designer’s aesthetic maturing, or to notice trend cycles. You might use Dropmark as a way to spot trends in styling, fabrics and colors, even the models themselves.

All the content you upload is stored in the cloud, so you can use Dropmark as a historical archive. Having a database that is easy to use and full of beautiful designs makes research quicker, easier, and more inspiring.

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Dropmark’s also pretty handy as a tool to track your competitors. My favorite way to keep an eye on your competition is to save a screenshot of a company’s website as well as a live link. The screenshot will act as a historical point of reference, and the live link will enable you to check what their site looks like right now quickly. If something has changed that you want to keep, you can take another screenshot and make sure your records are as up to date as possible.

I do this frequently. It helps me to visualize the other companies, their roadmaps, and where we are headed too. You can try this technique if you need to track companies who change their design often, like fashion houses or tech companies.

Creating a collection of your competitors enables you to flit between your competitors without opening thirty different tabs. Plus your collections are always growing, so should you find a new competitor you can add that to the collection. Dropmark helps you to automate workflows and keep your eyes on the future.

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What do you track on Dropmark? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram.

How Larssen & Amaral gets things done

Larssen & Amaral is a Norwegian-American design consultancy.

In the last 6 months alone, Larssen & Amaral have won a number of awards from Gullsild, Visulet, the European Design Awards, and ADC. Looking through Larssen & Amaral’s portfolio of work, it’s not hard to see why the awards keep rolling in. At Dropmark HQ we are obsessed with their branding campaign for !Konferansen and the visual identity for MM Café & Bar.

We chatted with Cecilie Larssen Lønning, Founder & Creative Director of Larssen & Amaral, about inspiration, the team’s process, and how they use Dropmark to get things done.

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Can you tell me a little bit about Larssen & Amaral and how you got started?

We’re a strategic design agency located on the west coast of Norway. We develop visual identity systems, digital communication, and experiences for businesses, brands, and products. I co-founded the agency together with my American partner. We met in Bergen and after five years decided to take the leap and start our own business together.

We’re certainly looked at as a bit of an underdog (especially in Norway.) While we’re a small studio, located in a small city on the west coast, we’ve still managed to land clients like the British Museum and the Norwegian Maritime Authority, as well as other national and international clients in our first two years of running the agency.

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How does design fit into Larssen & Amaral’s culture?

Design lies at the heart of everything we do. Whether we’re working on a purely aesthetic solution, or a complex process or customer experience, design always allows us to find new ideas and solutions for our clients.

Design creates a feeling, but also serves as a great (and often underrated) tool for solving the diverse challenges that life throws at us. It creates a holistic approach to branding, which ensures our client’s businesses, services and products are well designed—from how they look and feel in the real and digital world, down to how they communicate and speak to their customers.

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You describe approaching design with a global perspective partnered with Scandinavian principles, how does being based on the west coast of Norway impact your work?

Our studio is a diverse group of designers. Even though we’re based in Norway, we’ve all lived, worked and studied across the globe, from Washington, DC, to Paris and Australia. So our studio has definitely acquired a global perspective in a literal sense—where we pick up cultural and global influences in the way we design.

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In a more figurative way, being based in Norway (which can also be considered an underdog in a global sense), we work hard together with our clients to show that great ideas, products, and design can come from anywhere in the world. While Scandinavian design has been a global export for decades, there’s a lot of new and exciting things happening in various Norwegian design disciplines that have really started to put us on the map as a country. It’s exciting to be part of that wave and momentum.

What role do you think storytelling has in design?

I think design IS storytelling. You see that clients and other traditionally “non-designers” have finally started to see the value in design as a powerful tool for communicating. Visual storytelling these days allows us to simplify complex thought and information into simple and relatable ideas. Whether through illustration and infographics, or photography, animation and film, design drives the story.

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What does your creative process look like?

We’re a collaborative studio, and we’ve all got an individual aesthetic, but we always try to make sure our design work doesn’t just look nice, but also serves a purpose. You could draw a comparison to Scandinavian furniture and architecture—clean and minimal, but always functional. A lot of research and strategy allows us to design with purpose in mind. That’s always great because with a strong concept and clear message, the form of each project can really take it’s own path. From loud and crazy, to clean and subtle.

Over the years we’ve worked at different agencies and with many different clients. But since we’ve started Larssen & Amaral, we see that we’re constantly trying to improve and innovate our creative process and workflows—working quicker and smarter, not harder.

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How does Dropmark fit into your workflow?

Dropmark is part of every project we do. Whether gathering visual inspiration for internal brainstorms, or as a tool to moodboard ideas quickly to clients, it allows us to work collaboratively across the whole studio. We also love that we can organise and structure different ideas into stacks within the same collection.

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The ability to download whole collections at the click of a button is key. This comes in handy when sketching on a concept level—where we’ve gathered massive amounts of placeholder photography or illustration than we need to use in design mock-ups for client presentations.

A lot of things can get lost in bookmark folders, or on Pinterest boards. But we feel Dropmark is just easier to manage and organise, especially as a team. We have a lot of project in Dropmark, so the recent project and alphabetical list feature is essential.

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What’s the most interesting thing you Dropmarked lately?

We’re always thinking about how identities can live and interact on digital surfaces. We collect smart, fun, quirky, and sometimes straight-up weird animations in a shared collection for future inspiration. A lot of mesmerising loops!

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See more of Larssen & Amaral’s work at larssenamaral.no & follow them on Facebook, and Instagram.