Social Media Risk × Strategic Design = Oxbow

As social media has become pervasive in society, so have the risks inherent in its use. When a group of young parents set out to create a system that might help avoid some of the pitfalls of digital interaction, they turned to us to help shape, define, articulate, realize and communicate their concept.

The distance between safety and disaster is a few pixels

There have been countless documented cases of kids who use social media — Instagram, or Twitter for example — finding themselves caught up in bad situations. Communication between friends can quickly spiral out of control, creating nightmare situations for anyone even peripherally involved, and while social media monitoring systems exist, they provide only after-the-fact evidence. Our clients were out to create a preventive buffer between potentially dangerous pieces of communication and the damage they might do, and to enable parents to teach their children about smart social media use without denying them use.

← swipe →



← swipe →


Articulation and Execution

Because the concept was unique, we first gave it a unique name. Named for the u-shaped bends that form in rivers when the flow of water is diverted, Oxbow allows parents to divert a child’s inbound and outbound social media interactions into a ‘holding area’ for approval or denial.

We next developed an identity and brand framework that was applied to everything from business cards and website to the app interface itself, created video assets to help communicate the concept, and worked with their app developers to design features and functionality to help users quickly and easily integrate Oxbow into family social media interactions. Advertising at events such as the 2015 Southwest Showcase in Dallas Texas helped introduce the app to parents and teachers.

← swipe →



← swipe →



After securing a significant investment, Oxbow is currently helping thousands of parents sleep a little more soundly at night, secure in the knowledge that many of the social media messages their children might create, be the subject of, or receive are not making their way around the webosphere without passing through their hands.



This visualization illustrates the full extent of our engagement with this particular client, broken down by the percentage of specific capabilities we provided during the relationship.

Learn more about our capabilities »


  • General
  • Individual
  1. I Understanding / strategy
    1. A Research
    2. B Data visualization
    3. C Brand strategy
  2. II Conceptualization / articulation
    1. D Naming / nomenclature
    2. E Positioning / message development
    3. F Copywriting / content development
  3. III Communication design / execution
    1. G Corporate identity
    2. H Video / motion graphics
    3. I Web design / development
    4. J Physical spaces
    5. K Collateral / publications
    6. L Events / experiences
    7. M Digital media / marketing
    8. N Social media
    9. O Packaging
  4. IV Measurement / consulting
    1. P Search engine marketing
    2. Q Creative consultation
    3. R Innovation workshops