Surprised customer

What is your customers favorite color?

Blue, Red, Pink, Purple? This is an oversimplification of a question that every business owner should be asking themselves, but often lose sight of. When was the last time you really talked to your customer and asked them specific questions about their experience?

When we sit down with new clients to learn about their business we usually find the answers to our questions about their clientele to be rather generic. Business owners get comfortable assuming that their customers like what they like. But it is crucial that you (to steal from the not so popular band The Stylistics) Stop, Look & Listen. Read More

Posted on: by

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Robert Fisher

As an art director, Robert Fisher has created some of the most iconic album covers in music history, including the seminal and iconic “Nevermind” by Nirvana. While that may be what he is most known for, he has a long career of design work, including campaigns for Narcos on Netflix, the 50th Anniversary of Night of the Living Dead, Disney, and Playstation.

After graduating from Parsons, Robert began his career at his dream job Geffen Records. As an art director at Geffen, he created many iconic and award-winning album campaigns. In 2002, he joined forces with Diana, who had worked many years in advertising, and together they spawned Flying Fish Studio, a creative design agency based in Los Angeles that specializes in visual identities and thought-provoking design.

It was a selfish pleasure to ask Robert some seriously dumb questions and get to know the man behind the design of an album that shaped the soundtrack of our lives. Aside from that, he is extremely humble and affecting. A true artist, no matter how silly these questions may be you get a sense of the human behind the design and the day-to-day hard work. Read More

Posted on: by

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Beat Baudenbacher

Join us in welcoming Beat (pronounced Bay-Ott) Baudenbacher to the DQSD family. We admit that the publishing of this interview was very delayed, but good things take time, so we are thrilled to share this with all of you.

This Switzerland-born, NYC-living design master is killing it for loyalkaspar, an agency in Brooklyn that has done work for ESPN, Hewlett Packard, CNN, Hulu, and many more. Beat cultivated his love of art and innate sense of design Stateside and, in 2003, he and David Herbruck co-founded loyalkaspar with a vision of a hub to create, reinvent, and amplify brands through strategy, design, production, and experiential.

Beat likens his creative work to the core human impulses to hunt and to gather. Just as humans had to craft the right hunting tools, study the right climate patterns, and exhibit an openness to explore new territories, Beat argues that the creative process is no different: hunting for big ideas, gathering the smaller ones, and coming at it all with a fearless embrace of failure.

Read More

Posted on: by

AR Designs Year Ahead

Looking Back to Move Forward

It’s the perfect time of year for me to sit down at the keyboard and share with you all the fun things AR Design got to tackle this year, and what we look forward to next.


If you asked anyone in the office, I think that the agreed upon highlight of the year was having craft beer that we designed the packaging for show up on the shelves of Publix grocery stores (the largest grocery chain in Florida). As a designer, having something you made become so accessible is overwhelmingly gratifying. Plus, we got to sit back and enjoy it with a beer!

In 2018, we took on more social media management than we ever have. And I am proud to share that we have a developed a really great strategy for using it to help businesses expand their reach and tell their story (rather than just sharing cat gifs). It will be a difference maker for so many. The modern age of marketing has shifted so profoundly in the past few years, and we have welcomed that change, putting into place a framework to provide the leadership our clients need to make the most of it. Bye-bye SEO and digital magic tricks, long live quality content!

Within the span of a mere 365 days, AR Design defined and designed new brands, launched excitingly clean and modern websites, helped lead a CreativeMornings chapter in Palm Beach, partnered with more craft beer companies than we could have imagined, and hosted another successful Create Day, and this is just scratching the surface.

Perhaps what I am most proud of is the team that we built. We are all so uniquely skilled and adept at learning that there is nothing we have not been able to accomplish. We may be small, but we are mighty.

Our Pledge for 2019

  • Bring a new vision and hope to our clients, helping them see opportunities and ways to grow that they would not have.
  • Help business owners remember why they first started their business, and allow them to re-focus on their internal growth rather than external marketing pressures.
  • Treat our clients like family, embracing what makes them unique (here’s looking at you Uncle Dave), learning to manage their needs, and making them smile when they see us.
  • Prove the difference we make by having us on their team. We ultimately know that our value hinges on their success.

We wish everyone a most joyous holiday and a happy new year. Kisses and hugs from the team at AR Design.


Posted on: by

The Art of Outreach

Finding, Pitching (and Keeping) New Clients

Operating a small to medium-sized business is tough, especially in the design and marketing world. It goes without saying that all businesses want to grow, so it is vastly important to reach out organically to other local businesses in order to offer services and provide insights, as well as build community leadership. Read More

Posted on: by

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Paul Woods of Edenspiekerman

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Paul Woods

Like a sweet dream, Paul Woods came to us via a recommendation of the PR firm, Double E Communications. They were right and Paul was super fun to interview. As the CCO of Edenspiekermann, the European design company with a difficult-to-pronounce name, the sensibility is to lean toward a penchant for out-of-the-box design-thinking methodologies, which fits perfect into the mold of Dumb Questions. Paul, a former punk rock artist, who is obsessed with user-centric design and an outspoken promoter of digital innovation, leads the firm’s Los Angeles team, and uses his punk rock background, irreverence, and sense of humor to “excite, provoke a reaction and, sometimes, even offend,” through his work, particularly with Adloids, a satirical publication he co-created, almost like ‘The Onion’ for design and advertising. At Edenspiekermann, he advocates for asshole-free agencies, working on a number of social-based/community design projects to tell stories to a wider audience. Paul’s playfulness was a perfect fit for our series, and we did not want to hang up the phone. Read More
Posted on: by

The Perfect: Beverage

Walking down the aisles of a grocery store you are reminded of how food manufacturers have found clever ways to insert sugars, carbohydrates and processed chemicals into nearly everything. Items labeled ‘Diet’ simply contain chemical based sugar replacements, and low-fat items are more processed than their full fat counterparts. This is especially evident in the beverage aisle. With thirst-quenchers of every color, flavor and additive, any calorie conscious consumer would assume that their only viable option is water. And while water is without argument one of nature’s finest miracles, it is boring. Enter waters power-punching cousin: seltzer. Read More
Posted on: by

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with James Olstein

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – James Olstein

We’ve experienced time and again that it’s all about timing (see what we did there?), especially with Dumb Questions. James Olstein has been on our list for a while, but when we saw that he illustrated the theme graphic for August’s CreativeMornings, we knew it was kismet.

Aside from being a lauded illustrator, designer and all around good dude, James and his wife are also expecting their first child (probably when this interview comes out). That kid has big shoes to fill, because James has done incredible for work for a wide range of clients, including BBC, Boston Globe, Scientific American, and much more. Speaking of timing, James has a kids book coming out on September 6th from his Odd Science series, called Amazing Inventions.

We wish James and his growing family all the luck and blessings in the world. We hope one day his kid reads this silly article and laughs. Read More

Posted on: by

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Victor Melendez

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Victor Melendez

A graphic designer and illustrator based in Seattle, Victor Melendez is originally from Mexico City, but after studying electrical engineering for two years he realized it wasn’t his calling. Victor relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and got a BFA in graphic design from Cornish College of the Arts.

With the spirit of an art director and the eye of a muralist, Victor focuses on work that draws you in and makes you think. He has produced work for SubPop, Starbucks, and more than we can name here.

Victor loves baseball, beer, and thai food. He also loves producing amazing work. We found Victor through our West Coast beer contacts and we couldn’t be more thrilled that he agreed to do our dumb interview. Read More

Posted on: by