Thanks, Pap

Thankful
The day after I send out an enewsletter featuring my recent projects is always encouraging. The next morning I usually have about a dozen emails from friends and colleagues responding positively to the work I’ve shown. As a designer you never get tired of receiving affirmation in relation to the work you create, and I always appreciate when someone takes the time to respond to something I’ve done.
This last week I got an email from my former art director at the first creative agency I worked for. It was just a short, simple note complimenting my work and congratulating my success. But it meant the world to me, because as an intern at Perich + Partners in Ann Arbor, Michigan — John Pappas was the person I looked up to the most. His work was distinct, compelling and smart. Unlike many of my instructors up until that point, he was actually practicing professionally – creating relevant work for real clients. And the amazing thing about the summer I spent working there is that he gave me the time of day at all.
In between my junior and senior year in college at U of M, I was completely unqualified and totally inexperienced. But Pappas gave me a shot. As he was designing ads and annual reports and brand campaigns he went out of his way to include me. Not a man of many words – all he’d say was, “Hey Ty, I think I’ve got something for ya.” These tasks were small, and I am 100% sure that nothing I did was ever seen by a client, but I approached each one like it was the most significant project I had ever worked on (which was true at that point). More important than the work I was given, was that I was on the team at all. That summer I gained the priceless experience of having worked alongside talented, creative professionals. And it shaped the rest of my career.
So this weekend I am thankful. Thankful for John Pappas, and for all of the people that helped me become a designer. As much as I’d like to think that I create work as an individual, the reality is that there are hundreds of contributors to everything I will ever design. And I am thankful for each of them.
Thankful for my parents who encouraged and supported me.
Thankful for my teachers and instructors who invested in me.
Thankful for my former employers who created the space and the environments where I worked and learned.
Thankful for my co-workers and colleagues who inspired me and raised the bar on excellence.
Thankful to all of the other designers and creatives who produce inspiring work that challenges me to make mine better.
Thankful for my clients who have trusted me with their brands and given me opportunity to collaborate and create with them.
Thankful to my incredible wife who tolerates the consistently-chaotic schedule of a spouse in a creative field of work.
In many ways this has been a challenging year – but it has also been one of the most incredible. In the last 12 months, I feel like I’ve done some of the best work in my career. But I never could have done it alone.

The day after I send out an enewsletter featuring my recent projects is always encouraging. The next morning I usually have about a dozen emails from friends and colleagues responding positively to the work I’ve shown. As a designer you never get tired of receiving affirmation in relation to the work you create, and I always appreciate when someone takes the time to respond to something I’ve done.

This last week I got an email from my former art director at the first creative agency I worked for. It was just a short, simple note complimenting my work and congratulating my success. But it meant the world to me, because as an intern at Perich + Partners in Ann Arbor, Michigan — John Pappas was the person I looked up to the most. His work was distinct, compelling and smart. Unlike many of my instructors up until that point, he was actually practicing professionally – creating relevant work for real clients. And the amazing thing about the summer I spent working there is that he gave me the time of day at all.

In between my junior and senior year in college at U of M, I was completely unqualified and totally inexperienced. But Pappas gave me a shot. As he was designing ads and annual reports and brand campaigns he went out of his way to include me. Not a man of many words – all he’d say was, “Hey Ty, I think I’ve got something for ya.” They were small tasks and I am 100% sure that nothing I did was ever seen by a client, but I approached each one like it was the most significant project I had ever worked on (which was true at that point). Looking back, I don’t even remember what the projects were, only that I was on the team. That summer I gained the priceless experience of having worked alongside talented, creative professionals. And it shaped the rest of my career.

So this weekend I am thankful. Thankful for John Pappas, and for all of the people that helped me become a designer. As much as I’d like to think that I create work as an individual, the reality is that there are hundreds of contributors to everything I will ever design. And I am thankful for each of them.

Thankful for

… my parents who encouraged and supported me.

… my teachers and instructors who invested in me.

… my former employers who created the space and the environments where I worked and learned.

… my co-workers and colleagues who inspired me and raised the bar on excellence.

… all of the other designers and creatives who produce inspiring work that challenges me to make mine better.

… my clients who have trusted me with their brands and given me the opportunity to collaborate and create.

… my amazing wife who tolerates the consistently-chaotic schedule of a spouse in a creative field of work.

In many ways this has been a challenging year – but it has also been one of the most incredible. In the last 12 months, I feel like I’ve done some of the best work in my career. But I never could have done it alone.

- Ty + 11.29.09 | 1:19 pm

50 Comments

Hi Ty. You don’t know me, but we share a Pappas experience in common. I also went to UM and eventually came to spend time at Perich. John has been more than a mentor to me, and his influence has been a game changer on all levels. Its great to see this is such a habit for him, and I thank you for thanking him and for motivating me to do the same. Would love to talk more, dont want to clog up the ol’ comment factory however. Drop me a line anytime.

Jason

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Speaking Engagement at CBU

cbu_poster

Later this month I will be speaking on design at CalBaptist University. I was honored to be asked to share and I’m looking forward to meeting the students in the program. Hopefully I won’t be too boring. The plan is to keep it short, show lots of work and get to the Q & A. Should be fun. Go CBU! (What is the CBU mascot? I’m writing this on a plane so I can’t check. It’s a Christian school so I’m going to guess it’s an Eagle.)

- Ty + 9.10.09 | 10:46 pm

5 Comments

It’s the CBU lancers.
Eagle was a good guess..

- Jess + 9.11.09 | 12:40 pm

Nice. Thanks. Go Lancers!

- Ty + 9.11.09 | 1:12 pm

You’re kind of a big deal.

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Good luck.

- Aaron Martin + 9.16.09 | 6:12 am

May the force be with you

- Justin Bernard + 9.16.09 | 3:45 pm
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Touring Daybreak

IMG_0913

I had the opportunity to spend the most of the day yesterday in Utah, at Daybreak. We’ve been working with Daybreak, developing their online brand, for the last few years, so I’ve seen photos and renderings of all of their new developments, but to actually see them in person was really incredible. They’ve integrated several new modern residential products that are very progressive…and an amazing mixed-use retail and commercial area. If you’re anywhere near South Jordan, Utah…you should definitely check it out. Here are several photos from yesterday’s tour.

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These are some of the new modern products.

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This is the North Shore Cottage which serves as the Village information center.

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The community topographical map is in the floor, which is cool.

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This striking environmental art piece — “High Wind Advisor” — presides over the SoDa Row area.

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SoDa Row Village Center is defined by an eclectic mix of architecture that fuses traditional forms with modern materials to create a vibrant streetscape. Each of the 5 buildings in the 68,000 sq. ft center is built to the LEED® Gold standard.

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Looking down Daybreak Parkway toward the Daybreak Corporate Center building. The center was awarded LEED® Platinum Certification by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) and is the first LEED Platinum building in Utah.

- Ty + 8.22.09 | 5:47 pm

11 Comments

Okay, it’s official. I’m moving there.

- Aaron Martin + 8.23.09 | 11:05 am

Ty-great pics, wish we could have seen more while you were here. We’ll have to get you back out soon.

- Cameron + 8.23.09 | 1:02 pm

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The iPhone vs. The Business Card?

mc_biz_card

Last week I read an article on the FastCompany blog, wherein the author decries his eschewal of the business card in the name of efficiency and the environment. As a designer, I couldn’t disagree more.

You can read the post here. Basically, the writer describes an exchange where he is asked for a business card. In lieu of  presenting one, he instead requests to collect his prospect’s contact information and writes it in his iPhone in order to follow up later via email. He then accepts praise for being cutting-edge and environmentally conscious.

But he’s missed the point.

If you see your business card as nothing more than a means to convey your employment data and contact information then it makes perfect sense to go without a card. Technology will continue to improve information exchange and make data transfer easier and more seamless. Right now you can download Bump, an app that allows users to trade their email, addresses and phone numbers simply by tapping their iPhones together. It’s remarkable. But a business card has the potential to convey so much more than your contact information. When creativity and design are employed, your business card becomes an unique, tangible expression of your brand. And every time you hand one out is an opportunity to make an inspiring impression on behalf of your product, service or organization.

Here are 100 examples of business cards that are creative, unique and completely unexpected.

There are far more creative and compelling ways to demonstrate your environmental consciousness than forgoing your business card all together. Alternative substrates, inks and environmentally-friendly printing techniques are all readily available. My business card is printed on recycled aluminum and it makes an incredible impact when I pass it out. I regularly get requests for extra cards because people want to share them with friends and colleagues.


cereal_cards

Another example of business cards that exemplify eco-conscientious creativity are Breakfast Cereal Box Cards. These are randomly cut from recycled cereal boxes, then letterpressed on the opposite side.


sprout_cards

Or this business card that is embedded with seeds and actually sprouts into a small house-plant when dipped in water.


werbach card

Last month I met sustainability expert, Adam Werbach. I love how his business card communicates his mission and values simply by its size.

The author of the blog post describes the difficulty of graphic design and identifies hours spent agonizing over typefaces and paper stock. Here we would agree. The process of creating an inspiring and original identity system is not easy. It’s a challenging, time-consuming process that often requires a considerable amount of resources. However, this is exactly what talented, professional brand identity designers do. They will explore, experiment, refine and define a unique visual language, so that your brand (and your business cards) make an indelible impression with your audience.

So, although you may feel that ditching your business card is an impressive demonstration of your technological proficiency or your environmental consciousness, more than anything it communicates a lack of creative vision.

- Ty + 7.28.09 | 10:38 am

18 Comments

I think Mattson Creative needs a meat card. Nothing says ‘talented logo designer’ like a piece of beef jerky etched with lasers.

- luke + 7.28.09 | 11:09 am

Even though I’m a designer, I don’t think I’m biased when I say that I agree with you that screaming for the death of all business cards because of the challenge they are to create is short sighted. It’s an illogical and unsustainable argument.

Because something is difficult to attain a level of quality on does not mean that the pursuit of it should be abandoned. I think that Greg Ferenstein is just throwing the baby out with the bath water here. Books are difficult to design as well, let’s stop writing them. News is hard to cover affectively so everyone stop reading it.

This comes down to the old argument of whether or not design is a worthwhile pursuit and whether or not it creates and adds value to that which it is applied to. I’d have been much happier with Greg’s blog if he had been more intellectually honest and just admitted that as his premise and underlying bias.

- Aaron Martin + 7.28.09 | 11:42 am

From what I can conclude from history and personal experience, a business card can be compared to paper. Paper has been around for centuries! Yet there are groups of people trying to limit the usage of paper because it’s not “eco friendly” and are hiding behind their environmentalist agenda to stop the “killing” of trees. Despite the efforts from environmentalists, paper has still and is still being used for multiple different mediums. It’s inescapable.

A business card is similar. It’s been used for decades and despite the best efforts and intentions of emerging fundamental environmentalists, the business card will continue to be used not only to sell the consumer, but also speak volumes of the company’s capabilities.

I would have to agree that the business card is a representation of the company at a glance. In conjunction, the website is the same.

Maybe I’m speaking to the air.

Thanks for the article,
Sky

- Skylar Hartman + 7.28.09 | 3:30 pm

I agree with the person who wrote this article, but he has not seen iBCard, the new application that is to be in the Apple Store by the end of this month. According to the developer the application will give you the ability to still create your own custom card and still be able to send it electronically.

The best of two worlds. Great image and still don’t have to carry it with you. and According to him it is only going to get better in part of Graphics Designs.

- MIKE DONALD + 8.20.09 | 10:17 am

Mike,

That’s assuming everyone has iBCard, which will take awhile to catch on. Even then it will most likely only be on iPhone and probably Android devices. Even then it most likely will only be attractive to a small group of people. To others it would be more of a hassle to download the app, get it setup, and then get the iBCard from someone.

Besides, there is something about being handed a business card and holding it that is powerful. It can be an intimate thing that fosters trust and security between two people.

- Jeremy Bentham + 6.3.10 | 8:05 am

Wow, that plant business card takes the cake. I think that as a designer, designing my own business card was one of the most funnest fun design tasks could have ever taken on. You need to go a little wild, and create something that stands out, especially if you are a working creative.

- Todd @ ArenaCreative + 2.14.12 | 7:33 pm

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