I have always strived to create visual solutions that are complex versus complicated, to simplify rather than to “dumb down” and to represent the story versus “a good story.” In my eyes, the practice of design is exactly that: an undertaking executed with intent and purpose. The opposite being “design by default.”
It seems that we live in an age where we are constantly being asked to “just get something done” within the time constraints (that are a given). The result has been a proliferation of lot’s of meaningless “something’s”. I much prefer to spend that time creating “something great” versus “just-something”.
My primary influences are eclectic but grounded in, and not limited to, the European Avant Garde up to the development of the International Style and ultimately to the Swiss school. The Bahaus artists (particularly Walter Gropius) espoused the idea of “gesamtkunstwerk” to embody the total designer; one that has a generalist approach to problem solving across all mediums. I am a generalist.
Equally important are my cultural influences, that being; the heterogeneous local Hawaiian culture. I have a natural affinity for Chinese and Japanese design principals. I find a similar holistic design approach (to European modernity) in these methods. Zen (or Ch’an) and the Tao are integral to the inner workings of this “way”. There is a Gestalt to employing the Zen or Taoist mindset in visual problem solving.
Wherever it is possible, I advise my clients to apply their brand as a single vision, applied differently. The optimum situation being through a single source that acts as the conduit between experts. Employing independent multiple experts is fraught with danger and often results in the brand’s fracture. The vision and voice are the driving factors that keep the brand on its intended trajectory.