Start with the worst-case scenario

When looking to solve a problem or design a line of products, I suggest you start with the most challenging scenario.

Many design firms WOW you with the amazing creative at Phase one. I think it is great to see that amazing work – the problem is that most of that amazing work doesn’t print, and if it does print, it certainly won’t print the way you saw it or print within your budget. I am a bit more practical. I get a lot of flack from my staff because it was my biggest pet peeve back when I was working for large retailers and buying services, to be shown something that I couldn’t have. It’s a tease, and in my opinion, just wrong. So we design to the budget, to the most challenging substrate and the hardest SKU with the longest name.

It’s hard and it’s challenging, and often times, it doesn’t lead to the biggest WOW, but it does lead to items that are designed to print on the press they are specked for and at the budget that the client can afford. Novel, I say!