GO LLC, the international design unit headquartered in downtown Lancaster, has successfully incubated its first big idea. In collaboration with entrepreneur Michael C. DeCarlo, GO launched Proto, an innovative studio / apprenticeship program powered by young design students, in April 2007. Since then, GO and Mr. DeCarlo have worked to steadily grow the start-up into a self-sustaining, separate business that serves a variety of clients while giving young designers the chance to practice and develop their creative skills.
As a multidisciplinary design studio, GO has focused primarily on creating exciting brands but now sees the need to widen its mission and administer creative progress through the nurturing of future-forward ideas. “We started out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to conquer the world with our creativity and our newly minted degrees. The last four years have taught us that the world doesn't want to be conquered. It wants to be reimagined,” said Nick Setthachayanon, one of GO’s principals. “Proto is an idea that reimagines the way young designers get their start in this profession and envisions better options available to companies looking for fresh, innovative branding. It combines a need for opportunities for young designers to get professional experience and a [business’s] need for good design.”
“We’ve always believed in doing good work, and that isn’t limited solely to the realm of graphic design,” added Jeronimo Herrera, another member of GO. “‘Good work’ is also about doing right by others.” After receiving numerous inquiries from young designers who wanted to know how to get started or were frustrated in their entry-level jobs, the design unit realized that there were not many opportunities for recent design school graduates to cut their teeth in creative, supportive environments. “They teach you the ‘hows’ in school — how to use Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, how to sketch a logo — but they don't really teach the ‘whys’, that is, the abstract and creative thinking skills necessary to do good work,” Mr. Herrera said. “We had been looking to collaborate with Michael, a former client, for some time when eureka hit with the idea of formalizing our internship program into a separate business entity.” With GO managing the creative direction and a rolling class of proteges providing the manpower, Proto is able to offer clients the same high standards and high quality graphic design for which GO is known, while Mr. DeCarlo brings the bottom-line business experience necessary to drive sales and ensure timely, accountable client service.
With this new venture now fully formed, GO looks to fully transition to its next phase as a creative think tank, or imaginarium, and split its time between managing the day-to-day operations of Proto, producing a GO-branded line of lifestyle obsessions and goods, and concentrate on imagining the world of tomorrow. “The world needs ideas,” stated Mr. Setthachayanon, “and we want to bring those ideas to life.”