Design Army Puts Visual Storytelling Above All Else

Picking clients carefully is key

Jake Lefebure, co-founder, CEO; Pum Lefebure, co-founder, CCO Courtesy of Design Army

Arresting imagery with a playful sensibility runs through much of the work from Design Army. The Washington, D.C., creative firm was co-founded by wife-and-husband team Pum and Jake Lefebure, who met at another agency in the ’90s and embarked on their own shop adventure eight years later.

Pum Lefebure, who serves as CCO, said their army of 25 staffers is very much an image-oriented team. “Everything that we do is storyboarded,” she said. “We sketch out an idea and really work through the visual language that will speak to a particular audience.”

Among Design Army’s more riveting work is a campaign for Thailand’s Jaspal fashion retailer and Karl Lagerfeld, which featured a filmed search for Lagerfield’s lost cat, Choupette. “Three days after launch, the product was 90 percent sold out,” Pum Lefebure said. “People went crazy.”

The shop, which is currently working on a global campaign for The Ritz-Carlton and packaging systems for PepsiCo, is picky about choosing clients with projects that get the team excited. “I don’t want to work on something that’s not going to get us to the next level,” she said. “The work we are doing now will set the tone for the work we’re going to be doing tomorrow.”

This story first appeared in the October 1, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Janet Stilson is a freelance writer for Adweek.