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An Immigrant Narrative

An Immigrant Narrative

Since Bright Side began, they’ve interviewed some of the most remarkable people, each one with an incredible story of perseverance that’s unique as it is inspiring. Every single one of their interviewees has had to find their way at some point, be it in the art world or in a new and unfamiliar country. That’s why they decided to send out 100 wooden panels, each with Matthew Hoffman’s trademark “You Are Beautiful” design inscribed in various languages, to immigrants and first generation artists living within the United States.

The Narrative’s Sofya Karash was invited to design a board that captured her culture and journey to America.

Sofya’s design employs the iconography of Russian embroidery transformed visually into what appears more like a pixelated dusty floor or the mosaic tiles of Soviet transit. The gridded linear path is disrupted by memory moments—moments during the journey when one remembers, dreams, and looks backwards. Sofya was born in the Ukraine soon after the Chernobyl disaster, fled the conflict in Azerbaijan with her family to settle in a Russian village, and immigrated to the U.S. as a refugee.

Sofya’s self initiated projects including her Travails series examine life in the former Soviet Union and related themes including migration, material culture, and memory.

Welcome to our new website!

Welcome to our new website!

We often advise our clients that a well executed brand will last 20-30 years if it is properly maintained and refreshed every 5 years. We have followed our own advice, and have spent the past year refreshing our own brand inside and out. The centerpiece of our brand refresh is this new website.

Another major change is that we are now The Narrative: Communication Design and no longer The Narrative: Branding and Design. We were founded as a branding studio by Daniel McManus in 2012, and this will always be an important part of our practice, but as our company, client base, and leadership expand (Sofya Karash joined the firm as partner in 2015) we have been transitioning into a more multidisciplinary direction and felt this should be reflected in our subname. A big part of our efforts is expanding our collaborations with other creatives, and working with cultural institutions and businesses in a wider range of industries. If you would like to work with us on a project, please reach out via email at

For the typography geeks out there: We decided early on to keep Clarendon as the primary typeface, along with our original logotype, but we changed the secondary typeface from Univers to Akzidenz Grotesk. Akzidenz’s x-height works particularly well with Clarendon, and the details of the typeface are much warmer than the Grotesque sans serifs which predate it. It is also a wonderful web font.

We are particularly excited about this page—n:otes. Moving beyond the “look at our new work, aren’t we great” industry standard for a design studio blog, we envision this as a place where we can share the things we love with you—books, happenings, thoughts, design news, and reflections on memorable experiences… you know, stuff you might enjoy reading. And of course, the obligatory new work and shameless self promotion sprinkled in.

The Narrative would like to thank our copy editor and writing coach Christine Thom, whose incredible eye for detail and patience helped make the writing for this website a much more pleasurable experience.

We would also like to thank the phenomenally talented Nathanael Filbert, our photographer for the brand refresh. It was a pleasure to collaborate with him on our featured project and profile photography.

Part of our photography process included creating custom backgrounds for the photoshoots, during which we visited the world famous Propabilities (and had way too much fun) and along the way answered important questions like “Can you iron cheesecloth?” (Yes, you can on very low heat).

Lastly, a big thank you to our wonderful clients, collaborators, colleagues, friends and families—you are the heart of The Narrative.

Thank you so much for visiting our site! We would love to hear your thoughts—connect with us at