We do our best to scour the City of OK to find the best creative work out there. But we know there are literally thousands of artists, musicians, boutique agencies and others who fly under our radar - but not under yours.
So who are we missing? Do you know an awesome, unknown local agency we should highlight? Or maybe you're friends with a screen printer who does incredible posters. Hell, even if you did a portfolio-worthy print ad we haven't seen and want to show it off. You tell us. Click on the Submit tab and let us know.
Kool-Aid Man, who has been the embodiment of the brand since he first appeared in an advertisement in 1954, has undergone a serious makeover with a brand new look and distinctive voice — courtesy of Saatchi & Saatchi NY and MassMarket. This is probably how you remember him. Just isn't the same, if he's not yelling "oh yeah!." What do you think of the update?
Just had to mention that local advertising studio, Ghost, made it into the latest issue of How, which we think it quite awesome. Great job guys, representing our city on a national medium. Everyone go pick up a copy.
After graduating from Putnam City North in OKC, I received a major degree in Visual Communication and minor degrees in Pre-Colombian Meso American Art History and Printmaking from the University of Oklahoma. After applying for internships with almost every OKC agency after my Sophomore year (and hearing back from none of them) I took a part-time job at a cemetery weedwacking grave stones and a part-time job auditing media buys. And to be honest, I preferred the grave stones… So I decided to focus a bit more on design and a bit less on extra curricular activities. After a year of hard work, I scored an internship at Visual Image, got hired a year later, and spent 8 great years at the firm. The last five years at VI was primarily dedicated to the Oklahoman anti-tobacco movement with Greta Puckett and Lindsey Funk. I believed in it thoroughly. And for the first time in state history, we have less than 25% of the population using tobacco. That’s a lot of fathers who will live to walk their daughters down the aisle and people that will live longer, healthier lives. That feels pretty good.
Last October I decided to take the plunge and open my own small creative shop. I am almost six months in and it has been an absolute blast. I hope to grow RadFive in to a creative force to be reckoned with.
1. How did you come to Oklahoma City? And more importantly, why do you stay?
Even though I say “directional” instead of “blinker” and “you guys” instead of “y’all,” I am still an Okie born and bred. My parents fled the frozen northlands of Chicago to move to OKC back in the late 70’s. My dad is a geologist and Oklahoma was (and is) the place to be for that industry.
When taking Dr. Jim Watson’s “History of Visual Communication,” I asked him why he thought Oklahoma didn’t have a stronger design community. He said that we have the talent but people move away because they think they can be good designers in Oklahoma.” I’m so happy that 13 years later, I can look around Oklahoma City and see such righteous talent and so many young designers staying. Between that subliminal challenge from Dr. Watson and my niece being born, I decided that I wanted to stay in OKC to try and help to make Oklahoma City a design hub and so my kids could grow up with close cousins.
2. Who was your greatest mentor?
Jennifer Blevins, a master of typography, really refined my approach to typesetting. Jennifer’s eagle eye helped make me in to the font fascist and typesetting whiz that I am today.
And Jesse Owen. That guy is not only one of the best designers I’ve ever met, but also one of the nicest people you could ever work with. My work was painfully flat and vector before Jesse started getting me to “style it up” & “texture it up.”
3. Which project are you most proud of? Please explain why?
If I had to narrow it down…
Creating packaging that worked for 25+ coffee varieties, through illustration, really pushed my style in the direction it is now. I would imagine the PARKS & Co.FFEE line will most likely be in my portfolio several decades from now.
The VI rebranding Grim Reaper guerrilla tactics were so much fun. To conceptualize, execute, participate, monitor social media, and edit the videos made it one of the most well-rounded projects of my career. Obviously this was a massive team effort, but I’m very proud of my part in it.
Creating a gig poster for the Rhode Island band Brown Bird, one of my absolute favorites, was a particular highlight for me. Especially when they commented on how much they liked the poster during their show.
4. What is one thing other creatives can learn from your biggest success and/or failure?
Fail by thinking first of appeasing someone, be it your boss, client, or Dribbble followers, instead of solving the problem at hand.
Succeed by believing in what you do. Passionately. If you don’t care about the product you’re selling, or the thing you’re working for, how can you possibly hope to convince anyone else to?
5. If you could play a game with any creative in the community, what would it be and whom would you play against?
I love the long term strategy of RISK. I’m also a huge fan of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, the series Game of Thrones is from. So... recently, I started creating a massive Westeros game board that will be laser cut on planks of wood. It will be a collaboration with a good buddy and amazing artist, Vince Conn, who is making 3D printed pieces.
So, I would throw down a gauntlet to challenge individuals from other branches of our creative industry at a game of nerdy Game of Thrones RISK. I’d hit up a 3D artist, Vince Conn, of VC Creative. A writer, Brian Winkeler from Robot House Creative. A developer, James Harber from Studio FJ. An illustrator, Dusty Gilpen, from Tree and Leaf. A social media guy, Casey Cornett from VI. And a photographer, Chris Nguyen, a new guy to the community with some of the quirkiest portraits I’ve seen in our market. I’d love to see which creative background would come out on top. Also, I’d assume the cursing and conversation would be immaculate.
6. What is one thing you would change about your job or profession?
I would increase collaboration amongst creatives. Especially across company lines. Marc Bostian, Tim Watson, and I started a little lunch meet up called @DesignLunchOKC for local creatives almost a year ago. I’ve loved meeting people from competitive offices in a non-competitive environment. One of these days, I hope to put together a design show we can all collaborate on.
7. What is your best source of inspiration?
I have obsessively collected and cataloged inspiring images from ffffound, dribbble, designspiration, and numerous other blogs my entire career. When I need to brainstorm, I’ll pull out my sketch pad, crank up the volume with some old school ska music, and have my screensaver run with all the best images I’ve collected to really get my brain jellies a jigglin’.