2020: A Year in Review With a Whole Lot of Heart

Brand and digital product agency AREA 17 shares 10 lessons from 2020.

Last year was historic in countless ways. As AREA 17 welcomed and warmed up to a fresh year, they reflected on what 2020 meant to them, their clients, and their community. Bringing together their reflections, they released their 2020 Year in Review filled with insights, launches, pretty plants, and a whole lot of heart.

The last year allowed AREA 17 to think differently about the world, their interactions, and what’s essential. It allowed them to push the boundaries of their craft, broaden the horizons of their impact, and expand the breadth of their soul.

In no particular order, here are 10 things they learned in 2020:

1. Do more through craft

Teams and leaders were forced to do more with less, respond with agility to the new context, and even rethink entire industries. Their ability to move quickly was paramount to their capacity to innovate more together.

2. Create space for collective wonder

Clients are looking for a genuine collaboration to question, affirm, fortify, and give perspective. A welcome trend for several years, the line between their team and their client’s team blurred even further.

3. Care for quality

As craftspeople, AREA 17 wants people to use their products to the fullest extent. Their signature of quality in terms of performance, security, SEO, accessibility, uptime, and code practices meant their clients could go full-throttle.

4. Realize digital potential

While 2020 accelerated the speed of transformation, their focus must remain the same – the ongoing journey an organization has with its users, its function in users’ lives, and its perceived character.

5. Build for the unknown

Last year AREA 17 heard from clients, past and present, that the flexible infrastructures the agency had implemented enabled their impact. It allowed their clients to quickly adapt, evolve, or scale their operations and offering.

6. Engage with accessibility

For most organizations, digital became the primary way of connecting with people. With roughly 25% of the world having access difficulties because of age or disability, the subject of accessibility came sharply into focus.

7. Contribute to society

Just as AREA 17 helps help organizations achieve digital potential, they must achieve theirs too. They are defined by the company they keep, the outcomes they achieve, and the contributions they make to their clients, the industry, and the world.

8. True grit

AREA 17 cherished life milestones the coronavirus couldn’t stop. They shared, laughed, learned, and enjoyed as they remained connected to and inspired by one another. They further reveal their originality, or as they like to say, their je ne sais quoi.

9. Sense of shared space

The pandemic acted as a colossal reminder that nature and human interaction is essential to physical, emotional, and mental health. Digital can enhance life, it cannot distract them from living life.

10. Focus on what truly matters

AREA 17’s success as an agency is measured by their ability to be creative, innovative, and effective for their clients. They believe that inclusivity inspires creativity, diversity reveals innovation, and equity drives results.

Equipped with openness, resilience, and optimism, AREA 17 looks forward to applying their 2020 learnings as they co-create a more positive future with their clients and the industry they’ve dedicated themselves to.


About AREA 17

AREA 17 is a brand and digital product agency in Paris and New York. They solve problems to serve people with work designed to simplify and engineered to endure.

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