Part Four: The Lessons Learned & Going With Your Gut
Create Day was such a wild whirlwind of hard work, stress, exuberance and delight, and that is why we felt obligated to write about it in this series of articles. We had to reflect on it, for ourselves, those who attended, and for anyone who might ever consider doing something like this.
We have had a few weeks to stew upon and look back at Create Day. It provided us with lessons concerning the event, as well as our daily business of design and marketing. Designing an experience is tough and you can’t please every single person, but you can get better and please one more person the next time around. Read More
Stefan Sagmeister is a rock star in the field of design. The man has designed for the Rolling Stones, The Talking Heads, Lou Reed, HBO, Levi’s, The New York Times and The Guggenheim Museum, and many other clients you wish you had. He combines seriousness and a sense of humor in his work, and continually pushes the boundary of what is classic and what is of-the-moment.
Stefan is the co-founder of the famous design firm, Sagmeister & Walsh, which he established first then expanded in partnership with Jessica Walsh. His intriguing and provocative designs have captivated most, angered some, and redefined the status of graphic designers with intrigue rarely seen before.
Exhibitions of his work have been mounted in New York, Philadelphia, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Paris, Lausanne, Zurich, Vienna, Prague, Cologne and Berlin. He teaches in the graduate department at SVA, and lectures extensively.
The art director, originally from Austria with a home base in New York City, recently co-directed a documentary, The Happy Film, which premiered this spring at Tribeca Film Festival. He probably won’t like this introduction, but we are hoping he prints it and burns the piece of paper, then uses those ashes in his next design campaign. Read More
The night before Create Day, after setting up, toasting a beer and then going home, none of us could sleep. When we met the next morning to hit the ground running, the team all expressed their nervous excitement, combined with lack of sleep, but agreed that it was all overshadowed with pulsing adrenalin. We were here, on the edge of Create Day. In the words of famous creative, Kevin McCallister, from Home Alone, “This is it, don’t get scared now.” Read More
From boot camp to burritos, Christopher Ayres thinks about designing in terms of pop culture, and who he would want to eat and talk with, using references to comedians like Aziz Ansari, or the films of Johnny Depp. He has become a go-to champion of rebranding major identities.
Christopher has dedicated 13 years to the publishing, design and advertising industries. He has worked with some of the most iconic brands in the world, including Visa, Nike, Coca-Cola, JetBlue and Crayola. He was the Creative Director at MRY, then went on to oversee a complete overhaul of design and brand strategy for celeb-favorite Barry’s Bootcamp, transitioning them from a niche boutique fitness company to a full-fledged lifestyle brand.
From New Yorker to Californian, he says he still feels like that gawky, small town kid from Kansas at heart. Christopher has come a long way. He now serves as Creative Director for Taco Bell, and his reasoning behind the leap is simple, “Because tacos.” Read More
We all suffer from the kind of head-down, get it done routine that enables us to operate in a fast-paced, growing business. It is both an inevitability and consequence of getting through your slog of emails and daily to-dos. And while it is easy to recognize the pattern, it is a challenge to change it. Then, a friend (Jenni Schwartz) tells you about a little thing called the Front-End Design Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the clouds seemed to clear a little.
In full disclosure, this conference was happening in a place very convenient to our office, only a three hour drive away, and in a city that I had never visited, but was high on my list of places to check out in Florida. So, it did not require much arm twisting to get me to say yes when asked if I was going to attend. The convenience of the event was outdone by the hair-raising, eye-opening, fresh air buzz that the conference was to deliver.
Unbeknownst to me, the Front-End Design Conference was going into its ninth year in the town of St. Pete and presented its fortunate attendees with two days of speakers who expounded about the design industry, usability, prototyping, programming, dealing with clients and semantics. The variety of speakers kept the conference from, at any, point going stale, deftly switching from general discussions about industry trends to accessible HTML to prototyping your work. Read More
You may have never heard of Chris Costello, but you definitely know his work. He is a graphic designer, illustrator, typographer and he just so happens to be the guy that created the font Papyrus. Yep, that’s right, the typeface used on billions of computers worldwide was created by this man and sold for today’s equivalent of $2,500 when he was 23 years old.
However, Chris Costello is so much more than a sometimes celebrated, often times insulted font. Chris is also an Artistic Infusion Program Artist for The United States Mint. Since 2010, Chris has contributed drawings to over 30 United States Mint coin and medal design programs and is credited with the designs on 14 U.S. coins and one Congressional Gold Medal.
Chris has created several other original font designs, as well as logo, illustrations and custom lettering for clients including Random House, Simon and Schuster, Oxford University Press and HarperCollins. As a fine artist, he enjoys drawing and painting historic architecture, landscapes, and portraits, as well as sculpting in clay and plaster. He also used to do Tae Kwon Do and can probably beat you up, so watch what you say about Papyrus. Read More
Imagine planning an event that has never been done before. Where do you start? Add to that the fact that we had never planned an event. Create Day is not the presidential inauguration, but for us it seemed like a sizable undertaking. If you know us, then you know we like a good challenge. Read More
Create Day came to us last year. We were writing an article about the design of holidays, especially made-up holidays, taking into account the superficiality of Valentine’s Day and the wackiness of Groundhog’s Day. This led to everyone in the office brainstorming new holidays we could invent, and we came to one mystifying conclusion. There is no holiday solely dedicated to art and creativity. Read More
Joshua Taylor is a prolific digital product designer and startup advisor who helps companies launch new creations. He works across user testing, high level UX and UI design, interactive and motion prototyping to design products that are incredibly easy and delightful to use. More than desirable products, he helps design successful and sustainable companies.
Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, he has evolved into the go-to design guy for massive brands such as Evernote and Airbnb. At Evernote, he was a Design Director, and at Airbnb he worked on major new features across their web app, as well as Android and iOS. He really knows when the sweet details amount to something spectacular.
Joshua’s design philosophy is to move fast, make and finish things. He revels in getting to know users and talking to leadership in order to figure out what a product should be. In short, he builds products for the people that actually use them, making their experiences more rich and engaging. Read More
Jared Erondu is a young man of many talents. First and foremost, he is a designer, but he is also a startup advisor, a prolific writer and a talented photographer.
He has managed to uniquely set himself apart in the design and tech industries, starting with his role as creative director during the early days of Teespring. He has worked with companies like MIT, Sparrow Mail, Omada Health, Treehouse and Y Combinator, just to name a few.
Jared has served as a mentor to some of the most prestigious venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners. He is wrapping up the building of a design community tool called Playbook. The one place for all the best design thinking, Playbook organizes meaningful questions from the design community, also giving designers a simple way to respond.