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Scott Pridgen is an art director and designer at McKinney in Durham, North Carolina. Before joining McKinney, he was a co-founder of The Republik and had spent his early career at West & Vaughan and FGI Advertising. He has worked with Amnesty International, Above the Influence, Bald Head Island, Baseball America, Big Boss Brewing, Finlandia, Nasdaq, Nike, Polaris, Southern Comfort, Virgin Atlantic and Weiler, among others. Scott's work has been recognized by Communcation Arts, Graphis, The One Show, Print, D&AD and many other books on advertising and design.

05.12.09

Moments of Heavy Silence

If you have a degree in what field is it? A BFA in graphic design with a minor in marketing from Western Carolina University.

Which designer (or design studio), other than yours, do you most admire? Right now, I’m digging Charles Wilkin.

What’s the strangest request you've received from a client? Maybe I’m jaded, but I have never ever received a strange request from a client at any point in my career.

If you weren't working as a designer what would you be doing? I did some freelance storyboarding early on as secondary income. So, I would probably say I’d be an illustrator of some sort.

What well-known identity is most desperately in need of a redesign? Probably the new Pepsi redesign. The globe really should have been left alone. There was so much legacy in that mark and manipulating it into a system of smiley faces for each of the different products just unhinges the identity. Now what they have is set of logos that are just too aesthetically awkward to look at.

From where do your best ideas originate? They pop up at the most random times. Most of the time I get them in the morning during hot showers or moments of heavy silence.

How do you overcome a creative block? I usually switch up my projects to reset my view on things. Or I go through some magazines, award show books or watch a movie.

What’s your dream project (not client, but project)? I’d love to do a movie poster. I’m a big movie fan and it just seems to be something that I should do at least once in my lifetime.

Do you have creative outlets other than graphic design? I find myself drawing quite a bit for my two-year-old son (I’m trying to give him the heads-up on the Gestalt Theory). If I’m not doing that, I get thrills from photographing decayed typography and roadside signage.

What’s your approach to balancing work and life? The perfect balance greatly depends on compromise. It’s never easy, but both work and life are fully aware that one cannot exist without the other. In the end, somehow, it all magically works itself out.

What product/gadget can you not live without? The computer. It’s fully integrated into my work and personal life, so to do without it can be very inconveniencing for me. I will always have the need to update my que on Netflix.

What’s your favorite quote? “We live in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” —Alfred E.Neuman

Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? To really grow as a designer or art director, a solid foundation is an absolute necessity. So, work from the bottom up. Work in the studio. See how stuff is actually done and produced. Details and craft matter. They will either make or break the work. Don’t come into the business thinking you know it all. Confidence is great; arrogance is not. And most importantly... have some fun.

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? I think being naive as I started out was probably the best thing for me. I actually enjoyed the process of discovery as I went along in my career. That’s what makes it interesting.