How Thinking Left and Right Creates Better Design Results

I’ve been a graphic designer all my career. But that wasn’t the path I expected to take when growing up. 

My father was an automotive engineer at General Motors, working on projects like the monorail for the 1964 World’s Fair and with the team who developed an experimental electric car for Chevrolet in the sixties. Naturally, figuring out how things were put together and how they worked appealed to me greatly as a kid. 

I’ve always loved cars and wanted to emulate my dad, so I figured I’d also be an engineer one day. 

This changed when my high school art teacher introduced me to the practice of industrial design. My mother was a talented quilter, and later I would come to appreciate how logic and creativity had both influenced my childhood and defined my career path.

This foundation of the analytic abilities of my father and my mother’s creative expression has helped me develop throughout my working life. 

One of my first graphic design positions was at Lippincott in New York, working on large corporate identity projects. I had a knack for translating design briefs into winning solutions. 

A marketing agency later recruited me to be a ‘suit’ (an account manager) because of my aptitude for reasoning and creativity. I understood the client’s objectives, developed the brief for attaining them, and successfully translated it to a creative team for outstanding results. 

My skillset had grown from creating an individual product, like a logo or brochure, to understanding and translating people’s expectations. My design skills were bolstered by the ability to lead and inspire large teams and effectively and efficiently manage projects. 

Inevitably, this led to setting up my own agency where I could bring the big agency experience to everyone.

Rarely are our jobs so specialized that we don’t draw on other skills to support our work. You might picture me drawing and assessing color swatches all day. But that’s a small (delightfully significant) part of my world. I devote much of my time to listening and understanding the needs of my clients to ensure I exceed their expectations.

This is why I describe myself to clients as a left-brain/right-brain designer. It conjures a clear mental picture of a design project’s creative and strategic considerations. I believe this combination of analytical reasoning and creativity sparks inspiration. And, always, a possible dash of magic.


I Believe in Magic



#designsolutions #leftbrain #rightbrain


Howdy! I’m Rick, a brand expert and seasoned graphic designer in NY’s Hudson Valley. For more than 40 years I’ve been creating remarkable brand solutions for individuals, companies and nonprofits here and beyond.

I want people to understand why brand is essential to their business, share a few personal experiences, and explore what goes into a good (or bad) design.