August 28, 2019

Beware the new idea that seems too familiar.

As a designer, when your intuition taps you on the shoulder and says "Can't put our finger on it yet, but there's something familiar here in what you're doing"... You've got to step back and listen. Work the problem. Make sure you're pursuing uniqueness that's relevant to the client/brief. Look how Peloton smartly evoked cycling though their mark, and Grip 6 is just lazily using a borrowed motif without trying much to incorporate what they do/sell. 

I'm not implying the Grip 6 designer was plagiarizing -- we've all got tens of thousands of pieces of visual flotsam and jetsam floating in our minds at any given time, and some things we think are brilliant and original are just re-interpretations of visual memories our subconscious is pushing on us. The key is to reinterpret and repurpose what we notice in the world through the lens of how it can additionally carry meaning for our clients. THIS is the key to borrowing what you see in the world without stealing it outright. You have to be able to re-express some portion of it with new or additional meaning/purpose.

August 24, 2019

None of this is about you, really.

"No one really cares how clever you are. They're too busy asking themselves why they should care about what you have to say".

Whether you're a creative selling yourself or your agency, or a client selling your product or service, it's easy to get ensnared in the trap of thinking "We already have a great product. All we need to do is tell people about it."


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August 24, 2019

Gestalt Theory and the Music of Design

Gestalt Theory as applied to graphic design is a kind of unified theory of what makes visuals “work". Essentially a set of principles about how every aesthetic and conceptual decision interrelates and influences each other, gestalt starts with some basic principles but is eventually about how the butterfly wings flap with the choice of a typeface and somehow result in the hurricane of a perfectly powerful layout. Or how ill-considered color choices can undermine whole compositions, or carefully styled typesetting specs can be the bedrock of a publication’s overall visual rhythm.  

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August 24, 2019

9 Keys to Creative Direction

A Creative Director:

1. Is a chameleon who understands the balance between concepts & strategy, between the message & the medium.
2. Frames problems in new ways and makes original solutions. Read more

August 24, 2019

Inspiration is for Amateurs

"Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’ " -- Chuck Close

Chuck Close On Creativity via Brainpickings

August 24, 2019

Why? That IS the question.

I'm convinced that a vast majority of being an effective designer, communicator or creative professional isn't about inspiration, perspiration, creativity, or having a gift. Read more

August 24, 2019

Emotion-Based Communications

Here’s the secret to attracting your audience’s attention and getting results:

When people are emotionally engaged by your messages and desire more information, they have a much higher – an exponentially higher — chance of actually making decisions based on it. If someone isn’t engaged by your messages, then it’s safe to say they’re only being bombarded by unsolicited communications you haven’t helped them care about. Read more




Every visual communicator has a responsibility to ask the question “Does my work add to this community in a meaningful, lasting way? Should it? Can it?” For almost 30 years I have worked to celebrate Gainesville and its thriving community with my work. Let's collaborate.

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