SUPERHERO CHEESECAKE
NET|May 2020
Designers at award-winning Amsterdam studio tell Tom May how they go about creating “unforgettable interactive experiences”

INFO

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Established: 2008 Team size: 34 Expertise: Campaign and experience, product and platforms, innovation

Clients: Heineken, Uber, Puma, Scotch & Soda

Awards: 139

Founded in 2008, Superhero Cheesecake doesn’t just have a brilliant name, it has done some quite brilliant work too. Teaming up with global brands and creative studios across the planet, it’s won more than 130 awards for its projects, which range from experiential websites to AR installations, data visualisations to online games. And through passion, pride and plenty of elbow grease, it continues to dazzle clients and the community.

We chatted to design director Massimo Meijer and senior visual designers Alicia Goodmanson and Joao de Almeida about some of their latest work, how seriously we should take AR, and where the studio is heading in the 2020s.

Your mission statement says you aim to create “unforgettable digital experiences”. But what makes an experience unforgettable and how do you achieve that in practice?

AG: For me, an unforgettable experience is something that surprises me; a little detail I wasn’t expecting. Something simple, yet clever. At Superhero Cheesecake, we try to create moments like this in almost everything we do.

This means every project has a core team working together to find new, innovative ways to delight the user.

Having a strong team from a variety of disciplines allows us to ideate and collaborate, to create something that’s beyond the expected. Bringing our combined skill sets and knowledge together, we’re able to create those ‘unforgettable’ moments.

JA: As with any other human-human or human-machine interaction, everything boils down to triggers and emotions. If an experience doesn’t cultivate a deep emotion, a ‘wow’, or simply pure delight, it will probably be forgotten. In practice, we have to make sure people discover those moments every single time.

What kind of tools and technologies do you work with?

AG: There are no rules when it comes to choosing what tools or technologies we use. It gives us the flexibility to experiment, find new ways to tackle problems and improve work processes.

Generally, if it’s a good fit for a project, we’ll give it a go. I’m constantly experimenting with new tools, whether it’s a prototyping tool or a platform to collate inspiration. I tend to share my findings with the team and if it’s interesting for people we’ll integrate it into our toolkit.

Typically, I’ll use Sketch and more recently Figma, as a core design tool. But I will also usually have Photoshop, Illustrator and Principle open, working across all tools at once.

JA: It depends on the project we are facing. By default, tools do not dictate our work. We use technology to enhance our desired outcome. So for example, you might see us working with 3D models, Lens Studio and After Effects one day, then Sketch and Craft CMS the next.

What are some of the key projects you’ve worked on recently?

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