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Splurge-worthy investment: We just bought the Epson SureColor P6000 printer so we can do test sizes for signage. It is as large as a workstation, so I am glad that our office, which is in a former warehouse, has plenty of space. It is a great printer, and with premium paper, we might just open a print shop.

Inspiring project: There’s a new prefab housing project in London called Cube Haus that our friend, architect David Adjaye, is involved with. The designs are beautiful, and it has led me to Faye Toogood, a multitalented designer who looks at things the same way we do at EBD. She tries out different materials, and her work has a lot of variety. 

Creative fuel: We do work for an organization called the Biennial of the Americas, which has introduced us to the culture and art coming out of Mexico, which is on fire right now. There’s colonial spirit with a modern sensibility.

Stress reliever: My two daschunds, Hermann and Gus. They remind me to wag my tail.

The design field’s challenges: The lack of representation of people of color and women in high-level positions pushes me to work harder, be twice as good as my peers and act as a voice for underrepresented people in the industry.

Astonishing design: Stage designer Es Devlin’s work continues to blow my mind. She worked on U2’s 2018 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour, which included an augmented reality experience via the U2 eXPERIENCE app. But Devlin’s work transcends concerts as she’s created mind-blowing experiences for various platforms ranging from theater to opera. 

Dream collaborators: I’m drawn to people who specialize in ideation and tend to work across multiple disciplines. My dream client is Rihanna—for obvious reasons—and I would also like to work with Willo Perron, Todd Tourso, Ciarra Pardo and Jessica Walsh. All of them have the ability to work continuously in various areas of design, from graphic design to interior design.

Handy tools: Type Sample is a really cool widget for testing webfonts. Onym is another cool website we discovered that helps ground us with great naming resources.

Trusty reminder: I read Tibor Kalman, Perverse Optimist, edited by Peter Hall and Michael Bierut, right after design school. I still keep it right beside my computer in case I ever need a little extra courage.

Background research: We joke that it feels like we have to read through the whole internet before each project starts. But, over the last couple of years, we’ve made it a priority to visit physical sites and meet clients face-to-face before beginning a project. A lot of our inspiration has come from people, buildings and the environment.

Guilty pleasure: Expensive fonts. I spend way too much money on type—especially when I work late. For the love of God, never leave me alone with a laptop, my wallet and a glass of wine after midnight.

Go-to planning tools: Since I’m involved in almost every project at Wieden+Kennedy, it would be impossible to keep track of projects and teams without some form of organization. Google Slides and Google Docs are must-haves for me, as well as the project management app Basecamp. I’m also a huge fan of Inbox by Gmail and Google calendar. 

Energy boosters: Noreen Morioka, my cohead of design. She keeps feeding me vitamins. Also, meditating every morning is keeping me pretty much afloat. I’m using the Headspace app for that.

Required reading: Kim Scott’s book Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity.

Unexpected influencers: Chief executive officers and chief marketing officers, particularly at companies in Silicon Valley. Design has to answer to business needs in order to be successful or even matter.

Creative exploration: We splurge on knowledge and inspiration. My partners and I organize and host the annual Cusp Conference at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. A conference about “the design of everything,” Cusp is a two-day gathering of thinkers, innovators, creators, visionaries and explorers from the arts, sciences, technology, business and design. It’s about getting people out of the world they know and immersing them in a flood of ideas that ultimately help break down barriers and connect unknown dots. 

Must-read book: Don Norman’s revised and expanded edition of The Design of Everyday Things

Commuting necessity: Podcasts. I have an eclectic roster on rotation during my weekly commute: American History Tellers, DH Unplugged, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, No Agenda, Radiolab, Waking Up and WTF with Marc Maron. I must mention that I have to spend roughly two hours in the car about five days a week. 


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