color theory 101

color theory 101

Color Theory is a creative agency built by Max Himmelrich and Indigo Hansen. At its core, it was built to specialize in value-add social media: a form of content creation that focuses on how businesses and organizations can provide value to their audience, rather than the other way around.

Through trial and error, we learned that Color Theory is more than a social agency. We’ve had the chance to work in branding, packaging, product design, brand partnerships, and more...the best part for us is that each project exists together within a mission-aligned community.

Rather than following the traditional agency model, Max and Indigo have decided to keep the shop small: a tight-knit group of creatives who each bring their own sensibilities to the table. Our work is a direct result of putting those creatives in a shared space and letting them run wild. me, that’s all that matters. How can we put creatives in the same room and end up with something that’s greater than the sum of its parts?

When I started Color Theory, I was wandering through the sports world trying to find a place for myself. It became clear that the place for me wasn’t solely in connecting with athletes, it was working on a wider scale across different industries with a team of collaborators I love.

Indigo is really the fuel here. I’m not being deflective...without them, I’d likely still be floundering at a sports agency. We bring the best out of each other, and to me that connection defines the work and community we’ve built through Color Theory.

It’s that special alchemy when we get in the same room...when 1+1 suddenly equals 3.

“Above all else, we want to put creatives in a room and let them take over.”

“At its core, design is just applied problem solving.”

Up until a few years ago, I didn’t consider myself a designer. In my mind, designers went to design school, studied layout theories, wore cool hats and indie concert t-shirts. Frankly, I wasn’t far off from what most people envision. That perception shifted when Max and I started working together on some of the first Color Theory projects.

Design really is just applied problem solving. For us it’s mostly visual problems, but not always. Regardless of your discipline, design boils down to building the right system to create the right outcome. Max and I, have spent these last few years investing time and intention into our creative system.

How we communicate, collect inspiration, manage our energy and time, and decide who we work with is what it's all about. I feel deeply grateful to be a part of a team and partnership that puts intention first. That’s part of our secret sauce -- not shipping something because it looks good, but because doing it adds value within its ecosystem.

Why did we start Color Theory? Most importantly, because we truly, fully love doing this.

It isn’t about one specific part of what we do. It’s because we get to select a group of meaningful projects and work on them with people we truly care about.

That’s what this whole thing is about, right? Spending more time with the people we love.

Color Theory is a vessel for us to spend even more time collaborating with individuals who inspire us and help put more meaningful work out into the world.

There’s another angle here that feels like a good place to wrap this up:

Somewhere along the way, creatives fell down in the hierarchy. Design + marketing became the default for budget cuts and undercompensation. In truth, your creative (visual, written, and physical) is the only thing that can separate you from a crowded landscape.

And every landscape is crowded.

Max and Indigo firmly (almost foolishly) believe they’ve found a way to change those norms: by existing at the intersection of creativity, collaboration, and consistency.