Blue Deer Design


blog with latest design news and thoughts from the graphic community and studio of blue deer

graphic design & life advice from aaron draplin, gavin strange, bill gardner, anthony burial and more top designers


creative waffle hit 55 episodes last week, this means over one year of consistent podcasts. honestly, i didn't think it would be that consistent. i am really looking forward to the next year. i've learned so much talking to so many fantastic creatives. here are a few of my favorite pieces of advice form the show...

- gavin strange:

"the most important thing is just to make stuff, it's just to continually do stuff. my boss once taught me that you're only as good as your last piece of work, and I love that. i don't mean it in a sense that you've got to keep slogging. it is more just keep creating, just keep making because you're always gonna get better.

the same as creativity is a muscle, so is your skill set. you need to keep training to get bigger, stronger, better, and just constantly make stuff to improve"


- aaron draplin:

"what fugazi taught me was about being frugal. not only with noise and music but with the way you thought and the way you acted... they used to only charge $5 a show, back in the 90s. they were a big band but it wasn't about that... they would police people from the stage, 'hey don't beat each other up'. ' don't jump around too much'. 'be careful'. there was this awareness of how you dealt with each other.

what i really loved about it was you would see them in real life they were wearing sweatshirts and jean jackets, little beanies, and shit. really basic stuff. when you saw them in photos for their band, they were wearing the same stuff, and then when you saw them a year later they those jeans had a hole in them. and it was about this idea of how much stuff you need in your life?... 

you don't need 10 hats, you need one hat! then wear the shit out of that stuff."


- bill gardner:

"you just you just nail it! you said 'i want to be remembered'. think about it there's a bunch of human beings on this earth that roll through it, that ultimately end up in the grave. outside of some relatives, nobody knows that they ever existed.

there's there's something about leaving that mark, leaving something here. if you go back into logo design history, some people leaving marks and people doing excavations and Rome find bricks that have a thumbprint. a little mark on them the brick maker marked each of their bricks so that you know who did it. they're uncovering that maybe 2,000 years later that's their mark that they left on the earth and they're gonna be remembered in some way."


- brendan goodcuff:

"just do cool stuff... if i don't have anyone to design something cool for, I'll just make something cool anyway. make cool stuff."


- anthony burrill:

"make work that you are connected to and believe in. stuff that isn't necessarily instantly commercial but it's got a bit of you in it, it's got your view of the world in it."


- chris rogge:

"do projects that you're passionate about. do these side projects that you do because you want to do and you're always excited to do."

do work that reflects the work you want to do. if you want to work for vans then create something for vans, maybe fan art or just something cool.

"always set deadlines for the side projects... if you don't ever set deadlines for those passion projects and those projects they're just gonna fall and you're never gonna finish them and you're not gonna get to grow."


- becky margraf:

"don't ever go into any project or make anything with the intention or with the hope that it will be a thing that people like and follow you for. find the seed of that thing that you're doing that is so valuable to you, that is related to how you want to improve yourself or what you want to research or get better at. find whatever it is that connects you to the work that you're doing and then fully focus on that every time you make it."


- nicholas huggins:

"hard work! nothing beats hard work."


- chris logsdon:

"we make logos sometimes to satisfy our own creative needs and we sometimes put the artist first, well it's a paying job or when a client has come to you and asked specifically for a logo to represent their company, I think a lot of times we can easily get caught up on making a mark that just looks nice and it's something that we just want to do. as opposed to really thinking and getting in and kind of digging in more from a conceptual angle, and what's going to work best for this client. i think always keeping that in mind, at the end of the day it is a mark that is going to live everywhere for them as a business. we need to make sure that we do it justice and do right by them first while bringing our talent in our knowledge of creating logos and design."


- rich hinds:

"sketch, just do a lot of sketching. the world is moving a lot more into the computer, in terms of going straight to the computer, but don't lose the ability to sketch and draw and illustrate. you only get there by practicing... also listen to good music."


- ben howes

"I would encourage everybody to go out there and find your own snow! find your freshly fallen snow that nobody else has walked in. it's super easy to go on there and rip off draplin, nick slater or jay fletcher or any of any hotshot designer. but, at the end of the day, that's not gonna make you better designer it's just gonna make you a good counterfeit artist.

at the end of the day your goal, my goal, everyone's goal is to find snow that nobody else has had a chance to pee in yet and in order to do that you got to be bold enough to walk up that mountain take the backpack full of your tools, take your compass which is your philosophy, the way that you see the world and your intuition and the drive that keeps you going that passion that keeps you moving and find your own path!"


thank you so much for reading this blog post and supporting blue deer. thanks to all of the amazing guests that have been on the podcast. really looking forward to the next year!