Issue No. 39
— January 2018



Digital trend publication
blending a mix of culture,
insights and data.

A trend product by





Last year was the first year I actually kept a New Year's Resolution: to learn more about wine. Good one, right? No detox necessary.


This makes me think about the concept of goal setting in general. How do we balance creating goals that are both far reaching and incredibly attainable, so that we feel satisfaction at every achievement? How do we treat resolution as a reflection, rather than just a forecast? 


In this issue, we focused on the sense of reflection as our basis for resolution, talking with varied creative types and entrepreneurs about the challenges, learnings and big wins that will guide their direction into the new year.





Chelsea Matthews





Editor's Letter


"Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something. "

—Thomas A. Edison




Dig into the issue by clicking on the links below.



The Female Gaze, Book Clubs, and Experiments in Storytelling: Things I’m looking forward to in 2018

"What you say as a brand and how you say it will matter in 2018. Which should make for some exciting, brilliant advertising. To that end, here are some things that I’m watching for."


 — Erna Adelson, Copywriter




Back in July, we spoke with Vicky Simmons, the designer-turned entrepreneur + founder of the London-based greeting card brand Mean Mail. As a fairly new company in July, Mean Mail has now had the type of success most small business owners can only hope for. We spoke with Vicky about her learnings as an newly creative entrepreneur and what Mean Mail has in store for 2018.


— Vicky Simmons, Founder of Mean Mail








Photographer Minh T @thismintymoment

See work by Minh T, the talented Los Angeles based photographer and art director.



Carina Chaz, Founder of DedCool

We sat down with Carina Chaz, a young pioneer in the green beauty industry and founder of the uni-sex fragrance brand, DedCool








The Riff 012: Let's Get Candid

Since it's uprising a few years ago, the state of influencer marketing is constantly shifting. Tune in as Chelsea and Micah chat about the biggest changes, how we've adapted to these shifts, and how Matte Black is leveraging influencer in a new and exciting way via our Candid Network.





"Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast." 



See what the Shape Shift Report team dug up this month!




Time's First Guest editor

TIME Magazine is kicking off the New Year with a fresh-faced issue featuring  their first-ever guest editor. Whom might that special someone be? None other than billionaire, creative and philanthropist Bill Gates


Gates’ piece is centered around a mindset that he’s endorsed for years: optimism. On their website, Gates explains his thought process behind editing an issue of TIME and concisely reflects, "To some extent, it is good that bad news gets attention. If you want to improve the world, you need some- thing to be mad about. But it has to be balanced by upsides. When you see good things happening, you can channel your energy into driving even more progress.” 


Give the article a read and pick up an issue when you see it at your local magazine stand. With Gates’ POV in mind? The little wins are out there. Everywhere. They're happening more than we realize. Heroes exist. We can change the world for the better -- in many cases, we already are. With these outlooks in mind? 2018 is looking pretty damn great already. 



— Gaelan Simpson, Marketing Coordinator at Matte Black

Photo courtesy of  HypeBeast

Photo courtesy of HypeBeast




Lyft Continues to Kill With KindnesS


Two years ago, I felt bad for Lyft. I always wondered what it would feel like to run and work for a brand that had such a tough competitor to go up against. Uber was slicker, cooler, and it was used as a verb with ease.


Now, I no longer feel bad for them. Uber continues to trip over their own feet, moving from PR disaster to PR disaster, and to Lyft's credit, they're responding well. They're by playing the opposite of their screw up sibling. 


No mean ads, no hit pieces. Instead, they've focused an entire campaign on thanking their drivers -- in doing, so they're killing their competition with kindness. You may have seen the billboard love letters popping up across Los Angeles, and now they've followed up with these beauties. Follow the link to see how Lyft is continuing the campaign of kindness with their employees.


— Micah Heykoop, Dir. of Operations at Matte Black + Contributing Editor of the Shape Shift Report




OkCupid Redefines ‘DTF’ In New Ads


Those of us familiar with dating apps and websites are probably familiar with the stereotype of them being "hook up apps." Gone are the days of compatibility and courting, the norm of online dating now begins with a single pick up line, "DTF?" Go Urban Dictionary that if need be.


OkCupid is breaking this stereotype in their new ad campaign by redefining the term DTF, bringing the human level back to online dating and urging users to forge real connections instead of coitus, a dig at apps like Tinder and Bumble. The best part? The creative is on point.


Read more about the campaign and see the bright and beautiful images here.


— Delanie Billman, Managing Editor

Photo courtesy of AdWeek

Photo courtesy of AdWeek


“The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.”  

—George Will




Chelsea Matthews


Managing Editor
Delanie Billman


Contributing Editor
Micah Heykoop


Aria Davis


Creative Director

Nolan Goff




Minh T







Minh T

Minh T is a photographer and art director based in Los Angeles. Trained in architecture and graphic design, his photographic style conjures up a world of timelessness, simplicity, nature, architecture, escapism that has earned him a large following on social media. 

His work has been published in various publications and sites including Cereal, Luxe, Adobe and West Elm. His Instagram @thismintymoment was recently awarded “Best Individual Instagram” by Surface Magazine


Something to check off your bucket list: Attending a Chanel fashion show

Favorite throwback song:  Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order

Last item purchased: Labo Another 13 fragrance that smells like magazine paper

Go-to drink order: Taro milk tea boba

Celebrity crush: Marie Kondo


Vicky Simmons

Vicky Simmons is an art director who’s worked in London, New York and Los Angeles. In November 2016, she left Apple’s ad agency Media Arts Lab to go freelance and set up Mean Mail, a snarky greeting card brand based in London. Vicky is a bibliophile and lover of great nails. Follow her on Instagram for a mix of both @vickysimmons


City to escape to: Los Angeles 

Childhood comfort: Tea (I started young)

How do you take your coffee? See above but with oat milk 

Someone to follow on Instagram? @ripostemagazine @thepinkerprint @thewwclub 

Celebrity (girl) crush: Phoebe Waller-Bridge


Carina Chazanas

Carina Chaz is the 23 year old founder and creative director of DedCool, a uni-sex, vegan, and non-toxic fragrance brand made in LA. 


Go-to pizza topping: Mushrooms

Next vacation: Japan

Secret talent: It’s a secret ;) 

Author to read: Tara Mackey

Something to check off your bucket list: Live in Europe


Erna Adelson

Erna Adelson is a Los Angeles-based copywriter and filmmaker. She is originally from New Jersey. 


Book to read: I've read Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine at least once every year since I was twelve. I'm excited to read Our Lady of the Prairie by Thisbe Nissen, which will be available this year. I'll read anything by Roxane Gay, Stephanie Danler, and Junot Diaz.

Brand to shop: Patagonia, Numi Tea 

Comfort food: Grilled cheese

Most used app: Instagram and At Bat