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Back to basics

As web designers we work in very technology centric industry that likes to question how everything is done and the only constant is change. Our ever evolving technology forces us to find better and newer ways of doing everything. But as designers how can we separate the constantly changing technology from the un-changing need to have great ideas and created great designs?

I was lucky enough to grow up in an extremely creative family and my father was the executive creatice director at an ad agency in Pittsburgh. When most kids where earning their allowance from chores and paper routes, I was starting my advertising career. This was back in the dark ages before computers when you had to do paste-up keys, cut rubylith and set rub-down type all by hand. I am going to assume 90%+ have no idea what I just said I think that is a problem. For me, when it comes to my creative process and concepting I think that the old ways are the best ways. We seems to have lost our way and gotten too wrapped up in the shiny new technology we have to play with. We have forgotten that any advertising or design needs to start with a strategy and an idea. This never needed to be re-inevnted and we have become more concenred with production techniques and browser plug-ins than great ideas that create brands and shape culture.

All of that being said, I have decided to start writing a series of articles to help us all go back to basics. To look at what goes into a great ad, great typography, strategy and more. I also want to spend some time looking at the one thing no one ever seems to teach you – the tools and techniques that will help you have a great idea.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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 @baitme did an incredible job on the Mr Dob by @takashipom - details are fantastic. #takashimurakami #takashimurakamiart #mrdob #complexcon #bait #arttoy #designertoys #contemporaryart #popart #vinyltoys #urbanvinyl  Love coming home after a long week to find Mr Dob by @takashipom and @baitme waiting for me. #takashimurakami #takashimurakamiart #mrdob #complexcon #bait #arttoy #designertoys #contemporaryart #popart #vinyltoys #urbanvinyl  More in love with our @obeygiant from @galerie_itinerrance more every day. #streerart #shepardfairey #shepardfaireyart #shepardfaireyobey #streetartist #globe #earthcrisis  Feels a bit like Xmas today as our Earth Chrisis @obeygiant pieces and more showed up from @galerie_itinerrance in Paris. #obeygiant #obey #shepardfairey #streetartist #streetart #streetartparis #galerieitinerrance  Briefcase 2.0 thanks to @louisvuitton Avenue champ de Elysees #apolloalldaybag #louisvuitton #louisvuittonmonogram #monogrameclipse #lv #design #creativedirector
 Hello my name is Steve Gates and I have a Mr Dob by @takashipom problem. #takashimurakami #takashimurakamiart #mrdob #complexcon #bait #arttoy #designertoys #contemporaryart #popart #vinyltoys #urbanvinyl  Spending a lot of time away from home lately so looking forward to getting home tomorrow to see these two crazy ones. #NationalPuppyDay #pugs #pugsofinstagram #pug #puglife  Brunch with @thechiclibrary before I hit the road again #chic #tomford @blackscale #blackscale @tomford #brunch #fashion  I always love the unwritten rule in Barcelona where you can create street art on doors and shutters but not the actual buildings. #streetartbarcelona #barcelona #streetartofficial #streetart #streetartist  Another preview of our commission from @tristaneaton and based on the 'crazy' in letterpress type and archery target you should know this is my side of the piece. #tristaneaton #tristaneatonart #tristaneatonmural #streetart #streetartist #streetartofficial
 Everything is better on pairs so we got the crazy limited edition Gold Mr Dob by @takashipom and @baitme too. #takashimurakami #takashimurakamiart #mrdob #complexcon #bait #arttoy #designertoys #contemporaryart #popart #vinyltoys #urbanvinyl  Another preview of our @tristaneaton commission. Full photos coming soon #tristaneaton #tristaneatonart #tristaneatonmural #streetart #streetartist #streetartofficial  The @obeygiant globe is a limited edition replica of the one which hung from the Eiffel Tower last year and was made by the worlds oldest globe maker. #galerieitinerrance #streetartparis #streetart #streetartist #shepardfairey #obeygiant #obey @galerie_itinerrance  My kind of street art from the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona #streetart #streetartist #streetartofficial #barcelona #streetartbarcelona #hola #skull  Our abdominal snow Pug loves the weather and the 16" of snow at our house north of NYC which feels more like north of the wall today. #pug #pugs #pugsofinstagram #nyc #westchester #snow #northofthewall

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