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Moderne Day Entrepreneur

JASON LANKOW, ROSS CROOKS AND JOSH RITCHIE OF COLUMN FIVE MEDIA

By Roxana Vosough

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​​​​​​​​​​​​Image Credit: Maicol Chavez for Mode-Moderne Journal

Sitting in a space-themed conference room with a large window looking out into the office, Jason Lankow,

Co-founder and CEO of creative agency Column Five, appears to be in the mission control center of the office. Indeed, the company he and fellow co-founders Ross Crooks and Josh Ritchie lead is its own rising star.



These three entrepreneurs, a team of smart, creative and focused individuals, and a pretty cool office compose Column Five, which specializes in infographic design, data visualization, social media and content strategy. Translation: they take complicated content and present it in a visually stimulating manner. The visualizations it creates run the gamut from static graphics, to interactive interfaces that display data, to motion graphics.

Column Five's very cool staff.

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Column Five's very cool staff.

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​​​​​​​​​​​​Image Credit: Maicol Chavez for Mode-Moderne Journal

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From its early work with Bay-area startups to being published in Forbes, TIME, and the Wall Street Journal, the agency has established itself as a major player in the data-visualization world. The founders teach a course in Visualization of Information at Columbia University and have recently published the book, Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling, in which they provide insight into the practical applications of visual communication in the enterprise space.



“We wrote this book primarily for a broad, business audience in order to help brands identify more opportunities to make their communication more visually appealing. For example, infographics can be used in applications such as sharing research findings, describing complicated business processes, or presentations to investors.”

Creating stellar content is the foundation of Column Five’s success, and its word-of-mouth buzz has only raised its profile. The founders know, however, that such work can only be produced in a creative environment. Therefore, the company culture is carefully crafted to reinforce this idea.



“Our company culture is reflective of the unique individuals we are blessed to work with. Column Five is not about any individual, but the shaping of an idea as a team. Every person involved makes a mark on what we create - from the first conversation with a new client; the crafting of a narrative; the design and development of a project; and finally, our PR team ensuring that the client’s intended audience sees the content.”

​​​​​​​​​​​​Image Credit: Maicol Chavez for Mode-Moderne Journal

As the company continues to grow, along with the industry, it plans to continue to push the boundaries of creativity and the visualization medium, as well as expand its own capabilities.



“We are constantly looking for opportunities to mature and improve, and to put our most original ideas and innovative thinking to meet a client’s unique goals and create something together that we are truly proud to publish,” says Lankow.



This seems to be the driving force pushing these entrepreneurs to the rise of greater success, and further empowering their team to make quite the dent in the industry.

THE MODERNE DAY SERIES

Roxana Vosough, 25 is the founder and publisher of MMJ.

JOHN LENNON - JACQUELINE O. KENNEDY - PATRICK CARNEY-NIKI ROBERTON

INTERNATIONAL LIFE SAVING ASSOCIATION-NATALIA OLENECOFF-OSTENSON

RYAN FRANK-JOHN NUNN

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