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Cognition

Creative Direction

Hire good people and help them be great.

We’ve written 7 blog posts about Creative Direction. View all topics »

  1. Before You Hit Send: A Few Honest Tips for Job Seeking Designers

    Hiring a new designer is exciting. The hiring process is not. As someone who has recently been on the receving end of hundreds of applications, I’m noticing a few alarming trends. New graduate or seasoned veteran, it doesn’t seem to matter.

  2. Dear Branding Agencies,

    You’ve crafted the “big picture” view. The client loves the new branding direction; they can practically smell the future you’ve unveiled for them. Now it’s time to get to work. That means you likely have a bazillion different projects in play to bring this new brand to life: identity packages, brochures of all shapes and sizes, tickets, annual reports, bus wraps, on-site signage, and, yes, the website.

  3. Escape the Fear Factory

    With my Pittsburgh roots comes a 30+ year fandom of the NHL hockey team the Pittsburgh Penguins. But one of my favorite Pens memories didn’t happen during a game; it was actually a text message. A message sent by owner and legendary player, Mario Lemieux, to the team and coaches before decisive game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup finals.

  4. The Secret Ingredient

    Variety is a blessing. Here at Happy Cog, each and every design project is radically different. Show me the day when any two client design challenges are exactly the same and I’ll turn in my font library, ergonomic chair, and scribble-filled Field Notes. Retirement at 34? Sounds good. Now, where’s my fishing pole…

  5. Isle of Creative Direction Illustration

    But What I Really Want to Do is Direct

    In my apprentice days, I worked for Marvin Honig, a Hall of Fame copywriter who created indelible commercials for Alka-Seltzer, Cracker Jack, and Volkswagen during the 1960s and 1970s, and who assumed creative leadership of Doyle Dane Bernbach upon legendary founder Bill Bernbach’s death. It was not one of those bloody successions that stain the pages of history and advertising. Bill chose Marvin to carry on in his place.

  6. One Man’s Ceiling

    Any mint can mask lunch breath, but only Certs has a golden drop of Retsyn. That drop and its golden hue, which no one but a copywriter has ever seen (the actual visual end-product is a trail of green flecks), may have made a powerful differentiator back when Tang was a breakfast drink, but it’s not enough to sway a modern consumer.

  7. The Mind of DeRuchie

    The Magic Number

    At the age of three I decided that three was the best number. This was based on sound science: my toddler-brain resolved that being 3 was the best age. This infatuation has stuck around for years, and now taken root in my design methodology. Ever since my first creative director demanded three different concepts, I’ve always subscribed to the Rule of Three (3): it’s my de facto way to structure process and unveil work to clients. Want Happy Cog to design your website? You’ll probably get three different solutions to choose from.