Serendipity can be defined as the occurrence of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Additionally it is an interesting phenomenon of finding valuable things not sought for.

In the world of design we should embrace the power of serendipity–sometimes it’s better to explore ideas outside your main goal so you can see bigger ideas waiting to be discovered. We should always be open to any opportunity of cross-fertilization of game-changing ideas, products, services and organizations.

We are often so staunch in our embedded processes that these become rules that should never be broken. As any designer worth their weight in talent knows that, “…there are rules of good design, but good design does not always follow the rules…”.

Always try to see the absurdities in life and how that can create new paths of thinking. Be open to chance events. Chance occurrences in life can be the antidote for your design dilemmas. We’ve forgotten how to think “wrong.”

P.S. It is July of 2018 and the state of graphic design is pretty blasé. I hope we get out of this brutalistic look soon.


Adopt, Adapt, Improve

Don’t be scared to adopt new ideas, new ways of thinking, and working. Adapt them or yourself to get the best results, then improve these techniques until they become new tools and methodologies unique to yourself.

Far too often designers rest on their laurels assuming their skills will carry them through their respective design career. Some have even attained celebrity status in the design world. The truth of the matter is we have to adopt new ideas, processes, and skills. The world is in constant flux and the skills needed years ago are no longer needed today (e.g. Flash, Quark, Director, etc…).

The design community is often forced to adapt to new tools given to us by the digital world. As an educator, I find myself being a student at almost every software and hardware cycle. Is it frustrating?… YES. Are the results faster and better?… an astounding YES!!!

Every year we find ourselves kicking and screaming into the newer world of digital tools and skills and mourning the loss of some of the skills and tools we spent hours perfecting. That seems to be the new normal.

Nevertheless, I still keep a trusty pen (Muji pens) and notebook (Field Notes) in my bag of digital tools. I still love thinking on paper. This is part of what makes me unique and foolish.


Lightning Storms


Driving to the desert this evening, we encountered a beautiful display of lightning. It was one after another of beautiful and deadly light, we knew it was dangerous but we had to stand outside of our car and enjoy nature’s fury.

Whenever I find a path of thought that seems conducive to a design solution. It’s akin to a lightning storm. It’s one idea after another and my thoughts are so fast, my note taking and sketching abilities just can’t keep up. It’s dangerous and enlightening.

In the process of this lightning storm of ideas, the thoughts inevitably go to dark thoughts and absurd possibilities. But, ultimately, a beautiful concept emerges.

As designers, we have to be willing to stand in the lightning storms of our thoughts and allow ourselves to go to those dangerous places — the dark and absurd.

Possibilities always exist in those deep recesses of our thoughts. You just have to go there.