When You Wonder

On the night before the AIGA Student Portfolio Review, I was downtown in Harrisburg with my good friend Jadrian. We both were enjoying the spring evening, eating pizza, while people watching on Second Street. Second Street in Harrisburg is a prime location for people watching. It’s hard not watching folks walk by and wonder what their lives are filled with. Continue reading

Working and Living with Depression as a Designer

Disclaimer: This will probably be the most personal of all my blog posts. This post isn’t geared towards web design practices, branding, WordPress related topics, design thinking or professional development. Nothing in this post is for students, professional constituents, or clients to take away ideas that can help further business goals and acumen, rather it is meant to be a cathartic expression of some ongoing issues I’ve had in my life and I foresee many others in the industry also suffering from. It’s for my colleagues, friends and peers to hopefully understand the toll of Depression. My hopes are that we can have an honest discussion about depression and help build empathy and understanding in our industry and among our friends and family. Continue reading

Startups and Design

There is no denying it; we are in a time where to found a startup all you really need is an idea. Capital, both financial and human, is easy to come by. Facility space of all types can be attained and repurposed. The Internet has leveled all playing fields. For many founders, having a disruptive product or service that can change an industry is the dream. Continue reading

Leave Only Footprints

“Leave only footprints, take away memories” was the sign that hung above the doorway of the mess hall at Hidden Valley Camp Scout Reservation. I remember it well because one time, hopped up chocolate covered espresso beans at age 12, I flung the doors open the mess hall and the sign fell on my head. Needless to say, I wouldn’t forget it. Continue reading

Using Macaw to Build Responsive WordPress Themes

I was an early adopter of Macaw, the code savvy web design tool. During their Kickstarter campaign, I believed we were finally hitting a point in web design were an intuitive visual design tool finally could create a solid code base in which to build interactive websites and applications. No matter how you feel about auto-generated front end code, the plethora of options in the market to create for the web is great thing. Continue reading

A Day with Tracie Ching

 

War of the Worlds, Hellboy, Star Trek, Time Magazine Man of the Year, Red Bull, Adidas, The Walking Dead, Quentin Tarantino classics. What ties all of these together? Easy. Tracie Ching has created posters for all of these and then some. This past weekend, AIGA Central PA kicked off its 2015 programming scheduled by celebrating a day spent with Tracie Ching, freelance designer and alternative poster artist. Continue reading

Quality is your cornerstone: Art of Manliness

Back in March of 2014, I was reading a bunch of articles on running my own business, specifically launching my own physical products. My good pal Ed Fox (aka The Champ) of Media Boomtown turned me on to a blog post talking about what five things you need to consider before diving in. It was focused starting a business in general, but the information within was very well written, clear and concise. That post was on the blog Art of Manliness.

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Pro Design Conference

Did you ever have an experience that rocked you back on your heels and made you reevaluate things in your life? Short of life changing events, those kinds of experiences are hard to come by in the professional world. My recent trip to New York City though has me reevaluating aspects of my professional career. Continue reading

Slay Your Dragon: James Victore

Earlier in the evening, I was with my good friend and colleague Mike Zigmund in Highspire having a drink and talking about work, guitars and commenting on the slightly mortifying taxidermy hanging up all around the bar. I’m pretty sure that no raccoon should ever be the size of a yellow lab, but I digress. Continue reading

Continuing Education for Designers

Whenever I discuss education, I usually begin with a big sigh. It can be a very tough and complex issue to discuss. There are many proponents of the time honored approach of brick and mortar buildings synonymous with academia, while there are just as many who champion alternative but still viable routes such as online colleges. In between these camps are a myriad of options that are accessible and are of varying cost and quality. For designers, it’s important to find the fit to continue your education. Continue reading

The Changing Landscape of Advertising Agencies

I have probably read and re-read Bryan Zmijewski’s post “Silicon Valley Killed the Design Agency” over fifty times by now. I have found the post extremely interesting; hopeful and terrifying at the same time. Bryan’s post is a one of many that have cropped since October 2014 that has clued in more than a few agencies to sweeping changes in approach and perspective for any traditional agency operating in today’s industry. Continue reading

Dealing with Difficult Clients: Contracts

I work as a freelancer as well as full time digital art director. The biggest and most immediate difference between the two positions is that working as the art director; I have more layers of confusion added to client conversations. In any case, dealing with difficult clients requires poise, patience and transparency. Over the years, I have developed my own strategies for dealing with difficult client issues as well as adopting some preventative measures shared to me by colleagues and from various sites. In this first of a series of posts on dealing with difficult clients, I’m going to go over contracts. Continue reading

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