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Waves of Impact: Four Fin on What Impact Means to Us

Four Fin Waves of Impact
One branding agency’s take on how your company can make waves

Our creative agency has adopted quarterly themes to guide our own internal learning and development. As professional branding folks, we hold a lot of considerations in our work, so bringing focus to a topic each quarter allows us to go deeper and look at it from a number of angles. 

One recent theme was a broad one: impact. We looked at what impact meant to us, our work, and our clients. Find out what the Fins said here: 

Macoe – Associate Creative Director
To me, impact is about the choices we make. It’s easy to feel a bit helpless when faced with our climate crisis, but there is something we can do as individuals. Choosing a plant-based diet is the single biggest way to decrease our environmental impact, reducing our carbon footprint by up to 73%. Not only does it reduce greenhouse gasses, global acidification, and water use but also frees up land to counteract mass extinction. When I first became vegan 20 years ago, it was much less common, and I would often get the question, “Why are you vegan?” Recently as awareness grows, I’m asked that less and less. I hope one day the script is flipped, and the majority of us will choose to be vegan and the question will be “Why aren’t you vegan?”

Jess – Director of Operations + Talent
When we hear the word impact, often we think large. When I consider impact however, I think smaller. To me, impact happens on the individual level, where someone is moved to act, change their thinking, or have a shift in feelings. It’s often the smallest interactions, like an apology, a compliment, an acknowledgment—one person doing something for another—that has a profound impact. One of my favorite pieces of wisdom: if you have a compliment in your head, share it! It could change someone’s entire world, and it costs you nothing.

Carly – Content Strategist + Copywriter
We make the most impact when we communicate the good work we’re doing. For impact-driven organizations, I often notice a gap between how companies describe themselves and the incredible work they’re actually doing. Sometimes, when you’re trying to figure out who you are or how you’ve grown as a company, it helps to have someone outside the organization reflect back what they see. My favorite part of writing for impactful companies is that moment when passion, personality, and quality of work begins to shine through in the written world. When the world understands what you are doing, you can make the most impact. 

Beibei – Digital Designer
I consider impact from the angle of the services we provide:

  • Building credibility for startups.
  • Invigorating clients by giving them confidence in what they do.
  • Helping companies hone in on their positioning and get their message out into the world. Better messaging saves money because it helps people find the services they’re looking for more easily.
  • Spreading the values we believe through the work we do. The images, shapes, and words we choose for our brand reflect the values we believe.

Katie – Account Manager
I believe impact is the way living things feel after we interact with them. This goes beyond people’s feelings. This is the way a plant feels after we trim it, how an animal feels when we groom it, how the ocean feels when we remove garbage from the beach. It’s the way we influence the living world around us. 

Morgan – Senior Account Manager
To me, impact is how someone affects the people, situations, and environments around them. In a perfect world, someone’s positive impact on another person/place will empower others to have a positive influence in their own world. At Four Fin, the Fins each bring their own talents which collectively allows us to do great work and give our clients the brand support they need to go out and make their impact on the world!

Evan – Brand Strategist
Impact is where the Ideal meets the Real. If we stay too much in either one, we don’t really “make an impact.” Too heady and imaginary? It’s a dream and a story: nice to hear and think about, and it can make an impression, but it stays out of tangible reach (for now). Too grounded in the practical and realistic? It’s tangible and implementable: nice to see something actually manifest, and it can give real hope for progress, but it stifles bigger, transformational possibilities for the better (for now). I often think about how “change is the only constant” so for me, impact isn’t change itself, but how we interact and converse with change to use the realities of our present moments, to craft ever better and more ideal future present moments. 

Jen – CEO 
Impact is the point at which change takes place. We focus most on emotional impact as a branding studio. Some impact is positive and some impact is negative, but either way, we should all carry out our lives thinking about the impact of our actions, behaviors, and decisions. The best thing about doing that is realizing that you can then direct your life in ways that make the kind of impact that you want to see.

Emma – Contractor Fin – Designer
When I think about impact, I think about it on a small scale and in regards to human interaction. In our busy lives, it’s easy to get lost in yourself and forget you are part of the bigger collective. The simple interactions we have with each other can be so beneficial and rewarding. Just being present in the moment with one another (taking away distractions like phones) can leave us feeling more connected. These small positive interactions we have with each other can have a ripple effect and spread out to others.

Chiao – Contractor Fin – Designer
Impact is power! I consider it a power that’s able to alter someone’s mind or behavior. That said, it comes with a negative side as well—which also carries the heavy weight of responsibility. The more impact someone makes, the more responsibility he or she needs to carry. We, as branders, are helping people make triple or quadruple the impact. We are walking in front of many people, and I appreciate that we have the opportunity to think about what impact means more holistically. With this power, I take action. I choose the environment, and surround myself with good people like Fins.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our impact series where Four Fin CEO Jen Derks chats about using storytelling and data for maximum impact. 

Not sure if your brand is well-defined? Book a brand assessment with a Fin.. 

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We care deeply about sustainability branding, graphic design, industry trends, company culture, and more. Dive into the minds of our team on the Four Fin blog, The Deep End.

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Carly DeMento

Carly DeMento

Content Strategist + Copywriter

Wordsmith, strategist, and overall language ninja.



Curious & Inventive
Theme song:


Janelle Monae
  • Give her a snack and she’ll love you forever. This is one extremely food motivated human. Tacos, cheese n crackers, and dark chocolate are all accepted forms of currency.
  • She once traveled around the world by herself in less than three months. Her favorite places on the planet (so far) are Chiapas and Sicily. 
  • Her first word was moon.


Evan Shulman

Evan Shulman

Brand Strategist

In order to make big waves (and have fun riding them!), helps craft a solid, substantive, (super bad) soul of a brand.



Fun-loving & versatile
Theme song:
Rüfüs du Sol (Lane 8 Remix)
  • Proud 90’s U.S. Space Camp Graduate where I got as close as I was gonna get to my kid aspirations of being an astronaut. Now super happy to be an Earthonaut (like you).
  • For fun I read wikipedia articles, watch youtube explainers, and look up the etymology of words, often leading to waaayyyy too many tabs open in my browser.
  • I’ve DJed on an art car at Burning Man. My “theme song” is what got the vibe going.