One Fast Buffalo – Ben Jenkins


Ben, where did the name OneFastBuffalo come from?
Haha well I thought of the name while pondering my time spent in my early twenties doing some work on Sioux Indian Land in South Dakota. The actual name I derived from a story about how all the Bison living today survived from one herd. OneFastBuffalo is simply a metaphor for our work. A long time ago we learned how truly fast a buffalo can run. The reason Buffalo are dangerous is the impact that is created when you combine their pure speed, massive weight and efficiency of direction with their unpredictable nature. So we like our work to have that same effect. Extreme impact created by focused creative efforts. “One” represents Focus.  Focus creates clarity and progress. “Fast” represents our creative intensity.  All the work and results you see in our portfolio are the result of intense creative focus.
From a symbol standpoint what was inspiring about the American bison was how close it came to extinction yet how it survived and now flourishes. As the tale goes, all of today’s American buffalo can be traced back to one surviving herd. The buffalo is a symbol of survival, strength, hope, sacrifice and endurance. We like all of those qualities. We are here to help our clients survive in an ever-changing world. That is where our tagline comes from.

Change perception. Live on.

I see you’re originally from Texas. What was it like growing up there?
Well lets see, it’s usually very hot, but then damn cold in the winter. We don’t all ride horses but you can surely find one if you need. It’s a good place though, and pretty. We spend alot of time outdoors, playing sports and BBQ’n.

 

Nomadism seems to be a running theme throughout your brand. How does this lifestyle come through in the work you create at OFB?
It’s not so much nomadism, it’s more about exploration. I hate to sit in an office and expect to get great ideas. It’s about seeing things and processing it in order to make new things. And also, I do love the freedom to be anywhere and not stuck or pressured into a specific location. But at the same time, I love my home and home studio and small local bubble.

 

What do you think is your single greatest marketing tool?
Our website; it’s the only marketing tool we have other than some light social networking. We do keep some biz cards around too.

 

Were any of your friends or family of a creative mind or background while growing up? If so, did they help contribute to your understanding of the arts?
My Mother was just very encouraging of my creative projects growing up from the first drawing I did until today; always providing praise and throwing down more art supplies, legos, whatever. I do the same with my kids now. My Father is a lawyer and I learned to really be professional about my work, and how to talk about it, make a case, etc. Put those together and I do okay.

 

Does your history with baseball and professional sports factor into how you work at all? As far as discipline and a structured way of going about finishing what you start…
Haha well it’s pretty worthless except for one thing: being ultra-competitive. Also, I guess that I learned in baseball to fail, so that means I’m not really afraid to fail or try something. After all, in baseball you hit only .300 and that is great.  I also had many years of just trying to make it in baseball, so I have alot of patience for the longhaul with things.

 

Who would you say is your biggest influence?
Nature, probably all the people that made things in the past; especially from the 60′s and 70′s, even though I don’t know their names. And I don’t really mean graphic design, specifically, just objects, things, cars, etc… anything that I see design in.  I enjoy all kinds of work that other firms do. But I really don’t have like a famous graphic designer who inspires me. I can’t even name one. Everyone says Saul Bass though right? Haha.

 

There are so many talented people in this world, especially in creative design. How do you plan to continue creating work that stands out against what they’re making for years to come?
Hmmm… I don’t know, I just plan on getting good at it. I think I’m finally starting to, so I feel like I have a lot left in the tank. At 37, I finally kinda realized I ama designer and that is what I should be. So I actually take it pretty seriously now, whereas over the last 15 years it was kinda just what I happen to be getting paid to do and I did it. I have done good work for people but I’m hoping I get alot better.

 

Any tricks you use to approach new work or clients?
Only that you have to know the strategy and purpose before you design.

 

Are there any particular clients you look to attract? Or clients that seem to float to you more than others?
I mean we don’t do ANY outward sales or marketing; people find us, we don’t find them. But we do enjoy projects where brand image really makes a difference. Such as the beverage industry.

 

What are your favorite things to do outside of OneFastBuffalo?
Hahaha well honestly I kind of consider almost everything I do to be INSIDE OFB. It’s all a connected creative mobile lifestlyle for me. And like I said, everything I see and do is eventually processed and I think comes out in the work somehow. I do still play baseball in a wood-bat league, snowboard, surf, coach little league, camp and play them guitars and banjos.

 

How has running your own business affected your perception of those with small businesses and startups?
Haha no comment on this one

 

Can you give some advice to the readers that might be looking to build their own agency or embark on a freelance design path?
I could probably give about 1000 pieces of advice but there is only one that I think really matters:

Don’t wait for people to choose you or validate you. Validate yourself and decide you will make it work.

Are you currently reading anything?
Nah. I’ve read every marketing/branding book on the planet though… too many to name. They all overthink it. I at least schooled myself on the basic principles, haha. Oh, but I did see Terrance Mallick’s Tree of Lifetwo times last week. I love his work, most people walk out of the theatre.

 

Any interesting or exciting projects you are working on?
I am naming and branding a line of Vodka and Tequila products for a distillery I won part of now here in Texas. And that is mostly on my mind right now.

 

Any last comments about your work or what you’re doing?
Nope, just thanks for being interested… stay tuned for the good stuff!

Brian Beavers

Hi, I'm Brian Beavers, a ui designer and creative writer from the nation's capital. I spend my free-time drawing, reading comic books, playing soccer, and at the park with Gia, Project Galvanize's mascot. I am always looking to get involved in creative projects or to just chat about design and other fun stuff. You can follow me on twitter, view our work at Galvanize Creative LLC, or reach me at brian@galvanizecreative.com

One Comment;

  1. jamie lewis said:

    your designs,if they r yours,are very impressive! sharp & fresh,my opinion!

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