Never design Down

Toy Man: Don’t Design DOWN!

Toy Man: Don’t Design DOWN! The Art of fighting for your Art!

3 ways I settled for less and it hurt!

“Don’t Design Down”

Was a statement my friend Alanzo Dale said to me recently and it stopped me in my tracks. He was explaining his frustrations with clients as a graphic designer. BUT ME… as an over thinker, I thought of a bunch of ways I “design down” and how it hurts me. I’ll be creating a longer video on this topic but for now here are 3 ways in which I “designed down” and it didn’t help…

My Work as a Marketer 

Those in the marketing business will understand, when you are developing ideas and creative for brands you often try and use your full artistic scope until your client (The Brand), usually led by a person with a masters degree and no real cultural connection asks you for a much more watered down version of what you submitted. Usually bills are due and you fold to the less creative side but doing this too often will permanently numb your imagination.  

My Fashion as a Professional 

When I entered the marketing and advertising industry I had no experience. I watched Mad Men and Entourage for inspiration and I always knew I wanted to be a well dressed, dapper man with edge. The higher I’ve climbed in the business the lower the dress code became. I was often looked at like I was grandstanding or boasting if I wore a sharp suit. If I wear loafers with no socks, it seemed shocking to my khaki and polo wearing colleagues. What I expected to be the standard was offensive to those I aspired to work with. 

My Home & Lifestyle

As an experiential marketing expert, hosting is near and dear to my heart! My home is creatively furnished to my liking. I also might be found zipping around town on a Vespa in a well tailored suit. I’ve often dated women that would make sly remarks about how my place was more fancy than theirs or how I have more of an “eye for fashion and decor” than they do (It wasn’t a compliment). I found myself hiding my decorative pillows or changing things around to “Fit in” to whatever mold these women were used to. Then I realized that many of those women weren’t comfortable enough to give a compliment without a stab! I heard through the grapevine that many of these people would consider me “The Bar” and held my taste in high regards… they just didn’t want to tell me. Meanwhile… I was at home trying to design down…smh!

Never Design Down!