Blackbeltmonkey, a design studio in Hamburg, Germany, has won a Gold at the Epica Awards for their web site. The boutique agency, established in 2007 by Mike John Otto and Oliver Bentz, launched the site in 2008 to promote its work on digital branding.
The site opens with a black belt karateka appearing as the site loads. Ignore the bravado and click on the guy to enter the site. “Be Prepared. We are prepared too.”
The site lists the five rules the studio work by. Wait around for each one and you’ll be treated to further antics from the Blackbelt Karetaka.
- Share ideas to get ideas. No exception
- Follow the white rabbit. Or even better, be the white rabbit.
- Don’t regret what you’ve done. Regret what you haven’t done. As long as you stay out of prison.
- Have an idea and stick to it. Unless you have a better idea.
- Don’t give the client what he wants. Give him what he needs. Unless he’s paying you enough to retire.
Cases include an online campaign for the five biggest Adidas football clubs of Europe: Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Real Madrid, in collaboration with Neue Digitale, Frankfurt.
Profiles are provided for Oliver and Mike along with Marcellus Gau, Nikolai Bockholt, and Birgit Ardnt. The Open Vacancies includes a call for a junior designer and freelance Flash developers and interns.
The Blackbeltmonkey blog shows the behind-the-scenes life of the studio.
Oliver and Mike are interviewed at 49 Sparks, in a series of 1 minute video podcasts hosted by Chris Ritke. In the first interview they explain that Blackbelt, the highest achievement in karate, indicates seriousness in their work. Monkey, is a reference to the ‘crazy stuff’.
49Sparks interviews: The name, Integrated Brand Communication, Idea and Design, Social Networking, Design in Germany, Internet Feedback and Design, and Blogging.