John Sayles (of J. Sayles Design in Des Moines, Iowa) stopped by the Eleven19 studio to talk about being in the design industry for over three decades.
But first things first – pork chops and vodka! For those who have never been, the Iowa State Fair is huge – HUUUUGE – and one of the top attractions is the Pork Tent J. Sayles Design worked on. That, and Jalapeno Pete’s just down the fair grounds (which is also a Sayles design). So, how big is the fair? Pete’s will go through 130 kegs in one night, and 5-6,000 pork chops are served up per day. Like I said, it is HUGE. Speaking of which, I missed it again this year, and really should not have. Next year. Let’s go with that. I need to visit the butter cow before 2019 ends (I remember seeing the Butter Superman, as well as Butter Harry Potter, so 2006 and 2007 must have been the years I attended, oh 2019 Fair, you cannot come soon enough).
Now, for the vodka, and it is SWELL. After years of doing design work for others in the beverage industry (which he still does for places like Peace Tree Brewing), John decided to take the advice he gives out to clients, and put it into his own vodka company – and thus, SWELL Vodka was born. We talk about the first three years of running a second business, and what is involved, and regulations, so many regulations.
We also talk about how design can lead to changes in housing for the homeless, doing work for hundreds of clients over the years (including a 5-times platinum Lynyrd Skynyrd album), some student advice, and more.
We recorded this a day or two after Apple’s announcements of a new phone line – and a big advancement in their watch technology. I know I’ll eventually end up with a new iPhone at sometime…but who knows when that’ll be, as I’m pretty set on just riding my phone out until it decides it’s time. I do look forward to Steve sending me hourly memos from his watch – just to let me know he got the new one though…
We also cover trends (note: you NEED a #HVYCRWN fanny pack – make this happen).
And a large chunk of time is of us trying to remember if the Apple IIE had an optional color monitor. I WAS RIGHT! Steve check this – someone playing Oregon Trail on a color monitor. And the IIE was nothing, if not a way to play Oregon Trail. I can feel the dysentery coming on now, and it’s not good.
Elizabeth was the luncheon keynote speaker, and gave a great presentation about the intersections between human behavior, science, and communication. How can we use behavioral science and psychology to make communication more effective? And also, how can we test the results of these things? Elizabeth is working to make public relations and psychology work together as a form of communication science.
This is the last of the podcasts recorded at OnBrand 2018. What a great event – and I look forward to seeing how it evolves in the years to come. In the world of design, we don’t all do public relations, marketing, and advertising as well, but there is an overlap. And at one point or another, we seem to all work on something that involves parts of the other, or with someone who specializes in one of these fields. It was a lot of fun spending the day in Omaha at an event focusing on all of these professions, and how they work together in branding. Thanks again to the four organizations that put this event on.
We talk about working in a super-creative (in this case, music) field, working with Annie Lennox, and how to stay current while dealing with the magic of music.
Once again, recorded in the hallway (and obviously between sessions at the event, as you can hear the many people walking by us) at the OnBrand Conference in Omaha – a collaboration of the local AAF, AIGA, AMA, and PRSA chapters. Nicole was the closing keynote speaker, talking about “What freaks you out?” In this case – public speaking – and what you can do about your own fears.
We meet up in the hallway (I love recording at conferences (the energy, the people, the fun), but the drawback is less than ideal background noises also coming through on the recording from said activities (or, maybe that just adds to it? Yeah, let’s just go with that.)) at the OnBrand Conference in Omaha. What a great event – a collaboration of the local AAF, AIGA, AMA, and PRSA chapters to create what can only be described as a pretty amazing success – really looking forward to where this conference goes from here.
John Henry and I discuss a bit of the OnBrand conference (he was on a creative panel that afternoon), and his work at Hudl (and what it’s like working with a 30-person in-house product design team).
We also discuss the 10th (and final, about to be rebranded) Big Omaha, as well as the 10th MAHA Music Festival (both events occurred over this past weekend). We then rehash a bit of his past life running Pack and, before that, What Cheer, and some of the work What Cheer did around Big Omaha (like the Selective Perspective Detective Objective, HOT or COLD, and the coloring contest).
Finally, what’s next? How do you stay current? and what is even staying current in the web? We’ll be back in a week or two with the 2nd (of 3) shows recorded at OnBrand.