Emily Chohen was at the HOW Design Live design conference in Boston to speak about “The Power of Saying No.” I said yes to a podcast though, and we speak a lot about no. Well, the power of saying no. And when to say no. And how to say no. And how not to say no. Also, when to say no. And probably other things about no.
We also speak about her new book, Brutally Honest. I am looking forward to getting my copy, as every time I speak Emily, I end up quoting one or two things she told me for the next few months… sometimes much longer.
We also talk about how Emily helps her clients (who are basically other creatives). And most creatives, starting with myself, always need help with the non-creative things – maybe how to write a proposal, how to price graphic design work, what work is appropriate for a graphic designer to do, what work should a graphic designer go after, how and when should a graphic designer hire someone, and why you should fire at least one client a year.
Just re-listening to our conversation while editing this podcast helped me to confirm that I made a decent decision earlier today. What is with being in design and second-guessing everything? Not all clients are perfect fits, and not getting a project is not the worst outcome – in fact, it’s probably more common than actually getting a project – and chasing anything that doesn’t make sense, well, just doesn’t make much sense at all.
Bill Gardner was presenting the 2018 Logo Trend Report (not quite online yet, but it will be soon) at the HOW Design Live design conference in Boston. We ended up taking a bit of time to discuss logos, the difference between trendy and trend, amazing orange jackets at conference parties, LogoLounge and their now 15(!) books, and more.
At last year’s LogoLounge party (my short post about the event here) at HOW Design Live, I saw Bill do an amazing magic trick. This year, I wrote about him doing another magic trick in the exhibit hall. So, we spend the first part of this episode talking about magic, and what it was like performing a trick for Muhammed Ali.
I guess I have been an actual member of LogoLounge for almost eight years. I probably should have signed-up earlier, as I really do believe it’s beneficial to me, and more importantly, to the profession of design. When I review student portfolios, I always ask something like, “What type of work do you like doing the best?” and I would say at least half of the students respond with something like, “Logo design.” There is just something about the initial look of a company / cause / event – about distilling meaning and mission into something that still works at a fourth of an inch. Having a website dedicated to nothing but logo designs, presenting them well (and easily searchable), as well as putting the best of the group on the front page, well, I guess it reminds me of what we should be doing, the quality we should be doing it at, and the constant reminder that even in a format that we speak of wanting something ‘timeless’, that change is always needed. Take risks in logos. Make a logo look like it was created a long time ago, and yet also created in the future.
A lot has happened since we last had Stefan on the show. Well, I would hope so, it’s been a full decade – I’m not even sure how that’s possible – but Stefan was actually on episode 2 talking about his just released Daily Monsters book, and a monster mural he was working on.
This time we talk about 3rd-hand information I am trying to recall about the mural, his Letterheads book, rotoscoping a video, time travel, a yeti, a Jupiter poster, non-disclosures, non-competes, and more.
Justin Dauer met with me just before the HOW Design Live Conference got kicked into full-gear in Chicago two weeks ago. In 2015, Justin wrote an article on “Resetting Agency Culture” for A List Apart. Like a lot of great creative things, something about it struck a nerve with people. And then the thoughts outlined in the article felt they needed a bit more room to breathe, so Justin started writing a book – Cultivating a Creative Culture.
In an effort to find a different way to give back to the graphic design community (as well as giving back to the public relations and marketing communities as well), they created a free program for the college students in the area. Over the past five years, I have spoke at a FORGE panel, attended most (if not all) of the final class panels / portfolio reviews, and spoken with many of the students about their experience. It was only a matter of time before we had a podcast talking about this great program.
Lynn Schneider (who came up with the idea of FORGE), and Sarah Bergeron (a former FORGEr, and now on the other side of the FORGE) join us to talk all things FORGE, and where it’s headed next. Cody Fenske (a former FORGEr himself) joins me to co-host. Enjoy.