Five Rules for Life and Design

“In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it as much as we please, it is still alive, and as will now and then peek out and show itself.”
–Ben Frankllin

Tomorrow my amazing daughter will graduate from high school. The ceremony will be held at my Alma Mater.  I thought I would write her a letter filled with admiration and advice, so I compiled some rules to live by and wrote them down for her. As I was writing them down, I felt I needed to share them.

  1. Always respect and treat people as you would want to be respected.
  2. Be mindful and keep integrity front and center. It defines you and where you come from.
  3. As you go forth on your life’s journey, choose a career that you love. Do what you love to do.
  4. Exceed expectations. Go forth thinking only of possibilities not limitations.
  5. Maintain balance in your life, as it will allow your creativity to flourish.

These are rules taught to me and now passed onto Francesca. The best advice I can pass on is to go about her life with all the best intentions and follow her dreams.

With a big day ahead, I went out to find a special gift. On my way, I passed by a building with a giant new sign. Realizing that it was a logo I had made for the company a few years ago, it was a thrill to see it come alive in the world. I remembered the grueling hours spent getting it just right. A sense of pride came over me and it was at that moment that I realized the correlation between the satisfaction what I do for a living in my professional life, and bringing life into the world in my personal life and watching it grow through different stages and blossom. Wow.

I realized as a relentless designer, not only do I have the power to create tangible things, but actually create life. The correlation was profound. Creating and seeing an idea go from sketch to a successful and functional identity, or molding my children into beautiful, well-rounded human beings empowers me, gives me a purpose and a sense of complete catharsis. There is pride in creating a solution for something that never existed. A solution that significantly impacts a brand or a bottom line. With proper tools like a good sense of design, typography, color, collaboration and words, design can convey a message that stimulates peoples minds, connects emotionally and stirs change for good. Just like a child raised with endless moments of love and direction can inspire them to make positive change in the world. My greatest fulfillment, in design, is the opportunity to visually tell stories, solve problems and to inspire others. Satisfaction comes from seeing them come alive.

I am proud of my daughter because of the driven young woman she has become, and her passion and commitment to her future. I know Francesca will live by the 5 family rules, carry on the tradition instilled in me years ago and take hold of all that a good life has to offer. And now, I can sit back and enjoy watching her stand tall among her peers with a confident eye on the future, while I continue to do what I love to do – create and allow pride to peek out and show itself every once in a while.