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Thank You Princeton University Design Nation 2020!

“I’m glad we are over time. At the 7 minute mark, I wondered how this was going to be sustainable for 40 minutes.” – Jason Schwartz

Design Is Super Easy

A big thank you to Princeton University’s Design Nation Conference 2020 for having BBG’s Creative Director, Partner Jason Schwartz as he presented “Design is Super Easy” workshop session. Additionally, a big thank you to Meg Lewis for being the Bawse and assisting with the session. The Catholic Church, Milk and Tiffany & Co. should be proud. (Or should I say Tiffany & Cow.)

Thank you again to everyone involved in making this conference happen. 🙌

 

Below are answers to the Q&A during the session but didn’t have time to answer.

When you have brainstorming/ideation sessions, how do you judge and make sure good ideas stand for themselves, not because they’re from people with reputation/authority?

The person who yells the loudest doesn’t make them more correct.

When we ideate with all levels of employees involved in research.

When we do offsite ideation digitally, we do it anonymously. When we share the results from ideation after our team has parsed it, we don’t share whose idea it was.

When we ideate in-person with a team, we accept every single ideas in the first pass. At the end of the day, we look for ideas that align with a company’s mission and their goals. Anything that can bring us closer to those 2 items are considered gems.

At what stage of your creative process do you introduce rapid ideation? At the very beginning or after some research?

Before starting. During the entire project. After finishing.

A company cannot be static, simply because the world around them is changing. Even if a company is internally static, the outside world will have an impact, changing story, outward voice, marketing, design, etc. In 20 years, we’ve never worked with a company that was static internally. That means business itself will be changing and new ideas, will arrive.

One thing that is important to note is that typically your clients are not Designers and have all of the creative tools at the start of a project. Good ideas from those who don’t typically think out of the box will come with the education. It’s ok to speak up. It’s ok to think about who we COULD BE. Not only WHO WE ARE TODAY.

Always be open to new (and better) ideas before, during and after a project.

What strategies do you use when dealing with a difficult client?

All Clients are different (especially when working at a consultancy), so you will be working with new people all the time (and pretty much on every project), which means you need to get to know them and they need to get to know you.

You MIGHT be taking things you learn throughout your career fore-granted. Your experience is not their experience. Something that seems obvious and simple to you, might be complex and difficult for them.

Always remember that you have been hired to be on their team and for your expertise. That said, you should be able to share your expertise to arrive at a solution you believe in.

Another perspective:

The Client has hired you for your expertise. At the end of the day, this is a job. If you struggle to connect with a Client and have the flexibility financially to walk away, walk away. It won’t matter how hard you work educating the Client, if they are unable to work with you and you them, it’s not a fit. Designers do not deserve to be berated, or psychologically poisonous environments. Ever. Period.

Fire them. It’s ok to walk away.

Firing a client doesn’t reflect poorly on you. It just goes to show that you understand your own limits, and are also doing the Client a favor by allowing them to work with someone who they may succeed with.

How are you able to ask clients questions so that they lead to more efficient answers?

This is a great question. Starting a project off in a non-efficient way will most likely screw up the rest of the project.

After doing something for 20 years there are 2 certainties:

You already know a lot of the answers. (This comes with experience and expertise.)

Some answers will totally surprise you.

One thing that I feel continuously gets lost in the design space is that conversations between certain groups of people happen that both parties take as fact, but are not shared with the rest of the team. I personally like using a shared Project Management tool for all communication, so the full team can be included and in the loop. It also acts as a record of decision making, very helpful for future reference. Creatively, sometimes I ask, “how did we get here as the answer?” It’s very helpful to look back in reflection.

At your position, how much of your skill set is people management versus creative work?

I am now 20 years into my career. I worked in the following roles, Designer, Senior Designer, Creative Director, Director of Marketing, Advisor, Director of Operations and Investor.

At the very beginning, when I was a Junior Designer interviewing, I was always surprised when a Creative Director said they barely designed anymore. At that time, I thought it was the wrong answer. My belief was that the full design team should be designing to stay relevant.

Then I realized that time is money. Experienced designers are more valuable helping to educate and guide decisions to ensure successful projects, not do all of the work themselves.

Good design will always be good design. If you were a good designer as a Junior, you might not have the business skills YET, but you will probably be a good designer as a Creative Director, without the time to do it.

When I first started I was 100% design.

At this point in my career, I am probably 20% design and 80% operations, however it is my company and that isn’t something that I’ve felt has been able to be “handed off” completely to someone else. My passion is design, which is why I am still involved. I guide checkpoints and act as a sounding board for ideas.

At this point I hire people whose design inspires and instills confidence in me.

Never forget:

About Design Nation:

An all-expenses-paid exploration of the versatility of a career in design, how design is applied differently across industries, and what it looks like to be a design leader facing the business and social challenges of our world.

We’re not just looking for designers; entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and makers are all welcome—anyone with a love for design wishing to learn more are welcome. all applications are considered on a need-blind basis, and all costs are covered for accepted attendees by Princeton University.

Design Nation is presented by Business Today.

Tiffany & Cowe

I'm a MOOd

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Jason Schwartz

Creative Director Jason Schwartz to Speak at Princeton University’s Design Nation Conference 2020

“This is an exciting opportunity to connect with some of the world’s brightest minds to talk design, business and very likely the Kool-Aid Man.”

Jason Schwartz, Creative Director

BBG is excited to share that our founder and Creative Director, Jason Schwartz will be speaking May 16th, 2020 at Princeton University’s annual Design Nation Conference 2020,  an exploration of the versatility of a career in design, how design is applied differently across industries, and what it looks like to be a design leader facing the business and social challenges of our world.

This conference will be attended by designers; entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and makers are all welcome—anyone with a love for design wishing to learn more are welcome with all costs covered by Princeton University and Business Today.

About Princeton University

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

About Business Today

Business Today is an undergraduate-focused business organization based out of Princeton University. Business Today’s team of Princeton undergraduates and board of alumni trustees are singularly focused on expanding the opportunities for communication for today’s undergraduate leaders.

Currently, Business Today achieves this mission through two multi-day conferences, an on-campus seminar series, a bi-annual magazine, an online multimedia platform, and many other assorted programs. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Business Today is committed to creating the best experience and most value for all conference attendees, content consumers, and organization members.

About Jason Schwartz

Jason Schwartz is an enabler crafting engaging experiences that intersect human interaction with technology.

Over the past 20 years, Jason has worked with Clients from start-ups to global leaders in various capacities from Interactive Designer, Digital Strategist, Advisor, Director of Marketing, Creative Director & Investor.

Currently, he acts as the Creative Director at Bright Bright Great, the agency he founded in 2007.

Bright Bright Great is home to the Avondale Type Co., BBG in-house type foundry and MLMTR photography studio.

Jason is a minority investor is Wholesome Goodness and Riceworks, a better for you foods company, that holds multiple patents in rice processing.

Jason has 2 degrees in Industrial Design, including an MFA from the University of Kansas having written the thesis Design Education for Elementary Education, and a BFA from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

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Jason Schwartz

BBG Creative Director Amy Schwartz and Managing Director Jason Schwartz Profiled by the American Marketing Association

A Life, Redesigned: How Married Designers Balance Life, Work and a Rebrand

Originally posted by the American Marketing Association on 1/31/2019
Article by Hal Conick, Photos by Alyssa Schukar

Amy and Jason Schwartz have a new baby and run their own agency, Bright Bright Great, which they’re rebranding. As life has changed, so has their work.​

Amy and Jason Schwartz

​​Amy Schwartz sits on a couch next to Lucas Nelson, a young designer on her team at Bright Bright Great, a design and branding firm in Chicago. A cold, bright November day shines through BBG’s frosted windows as Amy, creative director of BBG, taps her fingernails on a coffee cup and sings aloud to herself. “OK!” Amy says, focusing on Lucas’s laptop screen; he’s pulled up illustrated icons he designed for Health Champion, a startup client whose website and brand BBG is building from scratch. Health Champion will be an app that collects patients’ health data, making medical records portable—Amy and her husband Jason Schwartz, founder and managing director of BBG, are fresh from the belly of the healthcare system, having given birth to a child three months prior. They felt a personal connection to the startup’s mission of easy access to medical records. Part of their work philosophy is to collaborate with people who are innovative and passionate, another is to put good work out into the world. If you’re creating something that’s bad, Amy says, you’re a jerk; if it’s neutral or mediocre, what’s the point?

Bright Bright Great Ideation

“If we add multicolor icons, do you think it’ll be all over the place?” Lucas asks Amy.

“I don’t think that it’ll be good for these,” says Amy, 28. She has a cherubic face and wears a hoodie with torn jeans. “Keep it single color.”

The heart of Bright Bright Great—ceilings covered in copper and aluminum pipes, walls decorated with murals, awards, wacky toys and bizarre photos of women pouring mustard into a high-heel hot dog—is a rectangular group of 10 white desks bunched into the middle of the room, including Amy’s desk, which is filled with half-sheets of paper, a purposefully misspelled pennant that says “problmes” and a note to herself posted to her monitor that says “green is not a creative color.” Jason’s wooden desk sits just 15 feet east, a sparse arrangement highlighted by a bright-pink Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Jason’s slightly graying beard rests in his left hand as his right hand scrolls his calendar, which looks like a disastrous game of Tetris. At 39, Jason is the BBG patriarch, a veteran compared to his young staff. He wears a black hoodie and cuffed jeans, his legs pumping like pistons underneath his desk. Amy turns around and asks Jason if he has time to take another call today.

“I’m booked at 10, 11, 1, 2, 3…”

Bright Bright Great Morning Meeting

BBG Team Work Session

Read the full article on the American Marketing Association website.

About The American Marketing Association:

The AMA leads an unparalleled discussion on marketing excellence. Continuing in the tradition of Borden and so many others, the AMA offers differentiated content that focuses on the tension between Best Versus Next Practices™.

With content coming from unrivaled scholarly journals, like the Journal of Marketing, and award-winning publications, like Marketing News, the AMA offers a robust perspective that understands marketer are expected to provide both solutions for today and solutions for tomorrow.

No other organization provides more ways for marketers and academics to connect with the people and resources they need to be successful.

About The Dracula Family

The Dracula Family is the Creative Output from Amy Schwartz, Jason Schwartz and Hype Schwartz. This includes speaking engagements, creative works and more. More about The Dracula Family.

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Dockers & WeWork Present: Always On Sessions (Recap)

“This was a fantastic night with Dockers, WeWork and the amazing speaker panel. BBG thanks all involved for putting this together. Furthermore, free pants!”

— Jason Schwartz, Managing Director

Recap Photography:

Dockers WeWork Always On Session ChicagoDockers WeWork Always On Sessions IntroductionsDockers WeWork Always On Sessions IntroductionsDockers WeWork Always On Sessions Speakers Dockers WeWork Always On Sessions Q&ADockers WeWork Always On Sessions Antonio GarciaDockers WeWork Always On Sessions Jason SchwartzDockers WeWork Always On Sessions Crowd Participation Q&ADockers WeWork Always On Sessions Antonio Garcia and Dockers Representative

About Dockers Always On Sessions:

Dockers Always On Sessions is a speaker series designed for you. Docker’s has teamed up with WeWork on a series of happy hours featuring up-and-coming entrepreneurs and influencers, covering everything from technology to travel.

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Jason Schwartz

Dockers & WeWork Present: Always On Sessions

“Lucky for everyone I’ve been “always on” since 1979.”

— Jason Schwartz

Dockers and WeWork Always On Sessions

Our Creative Director Jason Schwartz will be speaking with an amazing panel at WeWork Wednesday Oct 10 with Dockers discussing Digital Marketing, Empathy, Authenticity and Change.

Tickets are free: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dockers-always-on-sessions-digital-marketing-tickets-48663186902

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Jason Schwartz

JLL Adobe Creative Jam Chicago

“It was fantastic to see the JLL go so deep in 2.5 hours. The ideas were golden. Thanks to JLL for an amazing event.”

-Jason Schwartz, Bright Bright Great Managing Director

The Adobe Creative Jam at JLL was an awesome celebration of community partnership, embodied learning and amazing talent! JLL’s teams produced some truly exceptional work in Client Experience Design with Adobe XD, Adobe Dimension, Spark, Typekit, Stock, CC Libraries and more.

Our fantastic speakers Tereasa Surratt, Jason Schwartz & Rob Generette for inspiring, entertaining and educating us all!

(Pictured above Rob and Jason discuss Marvel Contest of Champions and Pokemon.)

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Jason Schwartz

We All Have A Choice

This has been a great PR week for large companies who have been called out on social media to ditch discounts for NRA members, turning a petition into something good.

It’s important to remember that all companies large and small–and employees within companies–have opportunities to do business with companies who do good, help people, and push humanity forward. This also means choosing not to work with companies who do bad things.

It has always been a policy of Bright Bright Great to work with companies who have a positive impact and avoid supporting dangerous products and avoid looking to trick users. (You would actually be surprised by how many people contact BBG to create dark pattern experiences, or simplified dangerous experiences.) BBG isn’t a large corporation where pulling our support gets us a nice press release, we just want to be clear with those who want to partner with us.

We will never use good design to sell bad things to people.

Companies large and small have opportunities like this as part of every single business development meeting, and it shouldn’t take being called out online after a tragedy to make these decisions.

Congratulations to MetLife, Symantec, LifeLock, Best Western, Wyndam, Alamo, National, Enterprise Rent A Car, First National Bank of Omaha, Hertz, Budget, Avis, Norton Online, North American VL, Allied, Simplisafe, Chubb, United, Delta & TrueCar.

As of time of this post, Amazon, FedEx and Google are still working with the NRA, which is unfortunate and should be reconsidered.

Let’s all be real with ourselves for a minute and recognize that it’s all of us, not only large companies being thrown into the social media fire that can make an impact in other’s lives.

Jason Schwartz, Managing Director

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Jason Schwartz

New Work: Celebrating 100 Years of Color with Rit Dye

For over 100 years, Rit Dye has been on a mission to deliver enduringly beautiful color to our most loved fabrics. Introduced in 1918, 2018 marks Rit’s 100 year anniversary and also marks the launch of their new digital experience and digital tools for every dyeing process.

Rit Dye Logo Rit Dye Website Rit Dye IconographyRit Dye Website Mobile Rit Dye Website MobileRit Dye Website

The BBG team also had the amazing opportunity to shoot with Barbie Roadkill for the Rit Site in her home studio.

Rit Dye Photography Rit Dye PhotographyRit Dye Barbie Roadkill Rit Dye Barbie Roadkill Rit Dye Barbie Roadkill Rit Dye Barbie Roadkill Rit Dye Rit Dye Photography Rit Dye Photography

Learn more about Rit Dye and their 100 years of dyeing https://www.ritdye.com/

(Before shot for posterity)

Rit Dye 2017

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Jason Schwartz

Cabin Fever – BBG Retreat 2017

The BBG team headed to Saugatauk, in Eastern MI for a lock-in to explore where BBG is headed in 2018 and beyond as well as prepare for our BBG X website launching early next year.

Notes:

  1. This was a cabin in the middle of nowhere.
  2. Every restaurant in Saugatauk advised us “not to get the special”
  3. We spent many hours by a fireplace.
  4. The back of our cabin lead to a trail bringing up thoughts from Creepshow 2’s “The Raft.”
  5. We watched Riverdale and drank wine.
  6. Less vomit than our retreat to Cedar Point.
  7. Avondale Shrimp Co. was born.

Some of our favorites from our cabin adventure.

Amy Schwartz Creative Director Ken Barrios Developer Amy Schwartz Bright Bright Great Kara ShimMack Freemire and Kara Shim Designer Tiffany Stoik and Kara Shim Mackenzie Freemire Amy Schwartz Jeanne Henry Jason Schwartz Ken Barrios Jason SchwartzFireside with Jason Schwartz Jeanne Henry Project Manager

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Jason Schwartz

BBG Creative Director Amy Schwartz & Managing Director, Founder Jason Schwartz Announced as TopCon 2017 Speakers

TopCon is is an annual, one-day conference celebrating all things creative. Every year hundreds of incredible minds come together to share stories and ideas, failures and successes, and a whole lotta love.

Hear and learn from some of today’s emerging, influential, and downright nicest people in the creative industry.

TopCon TN Speakers

Bright Bright Great Creative Director Amy Schwartz and Managing Director, Founder Jason Schwartz (collective known as The Dracula Family) have been announced to speak at TopCon 2017 in Chatanooga, TN.

https://www.topcontn.com

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Jason Schwartz