What is…?


…Direct Mail

Direct mail is a slice of the “direct response” pie and literally consists of communication pieces that are mailed directly to people considered to be part of an advertiser’s target audience.

Direct mail concepts fall somewhere between print and broadcast in that they require concepts that work sequentially, almost like a slide-show that presents parts of the message in a linear or sequential progression. A good understanding of the 3-D nature of direct mail is vitally important.

…Book Design

Book and publishing design is the discipline that focuses on the development of covers and interior layouts for books and publications. This area of design requires an ability to create covers and layouts that do several things all at once, such as attract the right kind of reader while making it easy to read the content.

As with all of my layouts I always try to do something that is bold and legible. I don’t mean that they’re always loud layouts. As for legibility, I’m not referring to the most basic technicality of being able to read the copy as much as I’m referring to a phenomenon of being able to very quickly or instantly get what a book (or ad) may be trying to tell its audience.

I strive to not have a style so much as an approach. I believe that comes from my training and experience as an advertising art director, where you’re frequently called upon to design layouts for wildly divergent clients and products. Having a “style” would work against that requirement, putting the ego or the personality too far in front of the assignment.


Advertising fundamentally refers to any corporate communication made to the consumer or buying public. It can also include communications made to other businesses, as in “B to B” (business to business) communications or corporate advertising that tends to speak about the loftier and over-arching goals a company may have instead of the more specific product-oriented marketing communications frequently expected from ads.

Most people think advertising is synonymous with “selling,” and I think that’s incorrect. I think advertising is “communication” and moreover “persuasion”…at least, good advertising is.

…Graphic Design

“Graphic” refers to anything that is 2-dimensional. “Design” is the process of solving problems or overcoming challenges. Graphic Design is the process of solving problems that will result in printed material.

Art Direction combines graphic design with the process of figuring out what different elements communicate, making sure that an ad is on message. The kind of art direction one would use for a banking client is different than the kind one would use for a manufacturer of children’s clothing.

…Corporate Identity/Logo Design

Corporate Identity is a discipline that is more strictly considered graphic design and one of my favorites. Designing a logo is much more than picking a typeface and typing out the company’s name. The Key Message plays a critical part in the development of a good trademark or corporate identity.

Your logo, or corporate identity, is the public face of your business. It is like the suit you wear to an important meeting. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive suit on the market, but it shouldn’t necessarily be the cheapest either. You know the old adage of making first impressions? Well, your logo’s job is to make sure that you’re always making the correct first impression,…every single time you communicate with your consumers.