about us

What if we could just exist to bring clarity & connection to the world through design?

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The Brllnt Story

Brllnt is not just who we are now, but all the moments that brought us to where we are

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Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Melanie Charlton

Mel is the CEO and Founder of Brllnt with over a decade of experience leading business development and consulting on strategies for clients including the ACLU, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the George Washington University, and Asurity.

Mel founded Brllnt in 2014 on the belief that collaborative design has the power to build dreams and create solutions to our world’s biggest problems. Prior to leading Brllnt, Mel spent the early part of her career learning design and creative strategy from some of the world’s top creatives at Weber Shandwick and Erwin Pendland, where she served large brands including the Kellogg Foundation, BAE Systems, NATO, UN, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the US Army. Mel served on AIGA-DC’s Board of Directors as Mentoring Chair from 2018 - 2020.

For nearly a decade, she has been leading design teams, and she was recognized as a DC FemTech Powerful Woman Designer in 2016. In 2015, Mel co-founded Unleaded, a monthly design thinking MeetUp and passion project with the goal of connecting DC’s design community through creative problem-solving.

Director of Strategy

Zenia Simpson

Zenia believes culture and society are shaped daily by those who have the power to envision a new future and have a plan to drive the impact they want to create in the world. As Director of Strategy at Brllnt, Zenia empowers brands to own their story and maps a clear direction to connect with their target audience in meaningful ways that drive action and change. Zenia brings nearly a decade of experience in developing brand strategies and executing integrated marketing campaigns primarily for large government entities and nonprofit organizations, including The British Council, The New York Public Library, Arlington Economic Development, and Smithsonian Enterprises.

Why Brllnt Exists

01 /

Genuine
Human Connection

Behind all the jargon we use to describe what we do (“businesses,” “brands,” “customers,” followers,” and “target audiences”) are human beings with hopes, needs, and goals. We take a values-based approach to developing brand strategies that deepen the connection between the humans who make the business and the humans who need your products and services.

02 /

Building goodwill > growth-hacking

Two-thirds of customers buy based on beliefs and stop supporting a business that doesn’t align with their values. Over half believe brands can do more to solve social ills than the government. Brands are the new bands. The unique voice for what we collectively believe in. Algorithms don’t dictate that. People do.

03 /

Design For Good

We believe design can change the world and have built solutions that are already doing so.

04 /

Blockchain for Creativity

Our next big goal as an agency: implement smart contracts that add transparency to design scopes, and protect creatives and clients, equally.

Case Studies

01

Data Society

A Future where Mission-Driven meets Data-Driven

Brllnt partnered with Data Society for their comprehensive rebrand and new website design, propelling them to their next level of growth.

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01

Data Society

A Future where Mission-Driven meets Data-Driven

Brllnt partnered with Data Society for their comprehensive rebrand and new website design, propelling them to their next level of growth.

02

DMPED

#ObviouslyDC

Brllnt created Washington DC's innovative Amazon HQ2 bid marketing campaign and proposal that told the story of DC and resonated with key decision-makers at Amazon.

03

ACLU

The New Dawn & Mayor for St. Louis

Brllnt partnered with ACLU and ACLU MO on a 2021 St Louis Mayoral Race voter awareness campaign.

04

ArtJamz

Making the World a More Creative Place one ArtBox at a Time

To help navigate his business pivot to an e-commerce virtual events company, ArtJamz partnered with Brllnt.

05

ACLU

The Future We Dare to Create

In 2020, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) turned 100 years old. In recognition of its centennial, the historic organization wanted to drive a nationwide conversation around civil liberties and allow its members and supporters to engage with the issues in new and innovative ways.

06

Washington DC Economic Partnership

The Future Is Within Reach

Brllnt partnered with the Washington DC Economic Partnership to attract decision-makers at Fortune 100 companies to call DC their business home.

07

DMPED

InnoMAYtion Nation

Brllnt helped the Deputy Mayor’s office engage with the local community by highlighting the companies and people innovating in DC and the DMPED programs that support them.

08

George Washington University

Ideas #StartatGW

We partnered with GWU Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship to create an engaging campaign that diversified submissions and increased attendance to their New Venture Competition.

09

In Word & Witness

When the Digital Meets the Sacred

In Word and Witness collaborated with Brllnt to create their new brand identity primed for the 21st century digital-first audience.

10

Mine the Gap

Bridging Gender Gaps

Mine The Gap equips leaders with tools to create gender-inclusive environments for teams. They needed to create a strong, clear, and impactful brand identity, including logo, messaging, and website application.

11

Nashville Economic Partnership

The Heart of Nashville

Brllnt partnered with Geocentric to update the design and user experience of both Nashville Downtown and Park It Downtown sites.

12

Temerity Capital Partners

It Takes Temerity

For Temerity's rebrand, Brllnt created a confident, polished brand identity, including a new logo and website.

Let's Create
A Spark.