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Last year was historic in countless ways. As we welcomed and warmed up to a fresh year, we reflected on 2020 and what it meant to us, our clients, and our community. I’m happy to share our 2020 Year in Review with you. It’s filled with insights, launches, pretty plants, and a whole lot of heart.

Equipped with openness, resilience, and optimism, we look forward to applying our 2020 learnings as we co-create a more positive future with you.

Yours truly,

George Eid
CEO, Founder

Media attention and voter behavior in the 2020 US election

By George Eid, CEO and Founder

We’re entering what will be the climax of a charged election season in the United States. At AREA 17, we’re taking it as an opportunity to highlight the digital challenges and opportunities facing journalism and the role of a free and independent press in a democracy.

Polls for the 2016 US presidential election indicated Hillary Clinton was favored to win. Yet, Trump dominated media coverage and was the eventual winner. Were the polls wrong? Or has our vote become a reflection of the volume of information we consume, rather than its meaning?

The first…

Designing for human resilience in a digital-first world

By Alexandre Bommelaer, Managing Director, Paris
For the previous entry in this series, see our
Lens on arts & culture


The media industry is more than ever in danger. The economic and social consequences of the health crisis we are currently experiencing worldwide are impacting a sector already profoundly affected by the digital revolution of the past 20 years. While, in our current reality, everyone realizes the vital importance of having access to qualitative and verified information — which in the context of a health crisis can save lives — the very existence of journalism itself is under threat.


Designing for human resilience in a digital-first world

By Mark Jarecke, Managing Director, New York
For the previous entry in this series, see our
Lens on education.

A pivotal moment for cultural institutions

Museums and cultural institutions around the world are in crisis. Stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and the halting of global transportation and tourism as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a complete cessation of in-person attendance and visitation — a primary source of funding for many. In the US, the American Alliance of Museums estimated in March 2020 that museums are losing up to $33 million per day in revenue, with Network of European Museum Organisations in Europe reporting revenue…

Sharing our LGTBQ+ influences

In celebration of Pride, we have taken a moment to reflect on just a few of the writers, thinkers, artists, and creators in the LGTBQ+ community that influence our lives and work.

Celebrating International Museum Day

Connecting through art and culture is as important as ever, so for International Museum Day, we asked our colleagues to share their favorite institutions from around the world. If you’re dreaming of places to go and things to do, here is a collection of museums that have inspired us. While we wait for them to reopen, visit them virtually to learn, explore, share, and donate if you can.

Museum of the Moving Image
Long Island City, New York

The museum has a fascinating selection of props and artifacts, as well as interactive elements where you can learn about film-making…

Designing for human resilience in a digital-first world

By Mark Jarecke, Managing Director, New York

Our current lens

As we shelter in place during these strange times, our digital experiences have become our primary windows to the outside world. We rely on the utility of digital to keep us informed, entertained, safe and most of all connected. In other words, digital is doing what it has always done — only now with more urgency and purpose than ever.

The quality of our collective future will be determined by how we choose to move forward today: how to advance digital across entire industries, within institutions, and at both global and local scales…

A mere two years ago, we celebrated our 15th anniversary, so it seems a bit silly to make a big hoopla about this years’ yearly milestone. But after all, it is our golden anniversary, and it is serendipitous that it lands in the year 2020. Why, you may ask?

Our name AREA 17 refers to the visual cortex of the brain where sensory data is received, patterns recognized, and images formulated. While we’ve always exercised great restraint by not exploiting sight-related metaphors, our ‘clarity of vision’ has been the cornerstone of our practice since the beginning.

For instance, in the…

At AREA 17, we kicked off 2020 by looking back at 2019 — from the close partnerships we’ve enjoyed, the learnings we’ve gleaned from each other, and the lives we’ve enriched through our collective work.

Happy (belated) new year from ours to yours!

View the year in review

Originally published at Optical Cortex.

Rethinking content strategy and modularity, from the roots to the tree.
By Jesse Golomb

Our collaboration with the Aspen Ideas Festival on their newly launched website matched our agency’s expertise with our partner’s ambition to extend the impact of their mission. In doing so, it provided us the opportunity to reimagine a cultural experience for the digital context through a coordinated effort between content strategy, product design, and engineering.

Content strategy, in particular, was a critical component of our collaboration. This post provides a peek behind the curtain of our process. Why, for one, was content strategy so vital to…


A brand and digital product agency in Paris and New York. We solve problems to serve people with work designed to simplify and engineered to endure.

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