New job, new post, same old blog...

Hey everyone.
Long story short:
I worked at LPK when I started this blog.
I was let go from there and started my own branding studio.
Did that for 7 years.
Now I work for P&G (coming up on a year for that anniversary).
My old company website is now gone. The url now points to this blog, so I guess I should start posting here again.
At some point I'll migrate the older JohnsonMcNair blog posts here (I know some of you liked them), but for now please stay tuned!


Long time no see!

It's been a while since I've posted here! For those of you who've been DYING to read my brain droppings, please go to my Company Blog. Otherwise, I promise to post something here soon.
Mmm 'kay? Dave

Generation X Is Getting Old…

"Well You Say I'm Twenty Something And Should Be SlackingBut I'm Working Harder Than Ever And You Could Call It Macking"Sure Shot – The Beastie Boys
That lyric meant a lot to me way back in the late '90's when that Beastie Boys album came out. I remember hearing it and thinking; "Yeah, I work hard as hell!" I was 26. I just graduated college, I got married, and I was working full-time at kinko's while I self-published my comic books. Everyone I knew was getting married, working hard full-time jobs, finishing college and/or going to grad school, having kids and turning into responsible adults; all while pursuing their own dreams… one of my buddies is a filmmaker, one performs in a punk band, another was a store manager by the time he turned 25. I never knew a lot of "slackers" and I found the term insulting. My generation (Generation X) were very mislabeled as a bunch of do-nothings; when in fact the opposite was true; we learned that we…

Samsung Galaxy Tab Review

I bought a Galaxy Tab about 3 weeks ago. I've had the chance to use it "in the wild" for a while. The main question I get asked about it is "why buy this device and not an ipad"? The 1st answer is that I travel a lot. Having a device that's small enough to fit into my pocket is optimal. I carry this thing with me everywhere. I'm writing this blog post on it thanks to the Blogger app for Android. The device is more like a big phone than a "small ipad". The main attribute I've noticed is that I get a lot of stares using this thing. I take it with me when I go to the store with my wife or to meetings at work. People are definitely curious about it. I'm writing this from a hospital waiting room; people are kinda craning their necks to get a look at the thing I'm pecking away on.

It ships with Android 2.2 and did a quick sys update when I powered it on. This is my first Android device and I have to say its a bit of a weird change fro…

The Why of it All

At our 3rd Quarter Meeting last week, our Chief Creative Officer asked all of us at LPK to figure out individually "Why we do what we do". I didn't take long to figure out my reason: I do what I do because I'm intensely curious and I love a challenge. I never planned to get into what I do for a living; life just kinda' took me in that direction. However, in many ways, I've been doing the same thing since I was 12 years old. The only difference between now and then is that I've added skills and have gotten better at what I do along the way. And my client list has grown along the way too.

So far in my pro career I've done a combination of all of these jobs:
• Comic Book Artist
• Comic Book Publisher
• Photographer's Assistant/Darkroom Tech
• Graphic Designer
• Storyboard Artist
• Commercial Illustrator
• Photo Retouching
• Consumer Product Concepts
• Consumer Product Designer
• Motion Graphics
• Instructor
• Who the hell knows next…

I love waking up the next morn…

Design Scams!

"Trust built on nothing is a con."–David Johnson
I am a professional designer of 20 or so years by now. Many of those years were spent grinding away in the Chicago market as a freelancer. In that time I dealt with ALOT of companies. Some were very large, some very small, most were in the middle. Most were legitimate; and a few were a bit iffy. Like many talent-related businesses, there are many war stories about gullible professionals who have been taken advantage of by scammers, dreamers, incompetents, and just plain dirty people.When it comes to scoping out new clients, here are a few rules I've developed over the years:
1) NEVER apply to a "blind box" ad. I've heard that some companies use blind box replies to "keep prospects from calling them all day about the job". These are the classified ads that do not mention the name of the company, a phone number, or even a contact name.
Blind Box Ads are BULLSHIT!
A legit company will let you know who th…

A Decade in the Top Tier… The End?

LPK arranged for a relocation expert to find suitable apartment candidates, we made a trip a few weeks earlier to look at them. We picked one, started packing and I gave notice to my clients that I will no longer be a freelancer. I got a lot of "good bye and good luck" e-mails and I also said good bye to my friends in South Bend. The change would be welcome. I spent 7 years in Northern Indiana; add another 1 1/2 for my wife. She finished college in 4 years, she went straight to grad school that summer. It took me a bit longer to finish undergrad and move to Indiana to be with her. Although I have many friends there, I don't miss that place. Too small, too cold, nothing to do except go to Chicago. I was on my way from living in a small town to moving to a "Weather Map City"; which are the ones that are shown on TV when the weather guy goes to a map of the country.
June 9th 2003; Estelle and I threw all of our crap into a 14 ft. U-haul truck and made th…