Meet the Team | Nimbler. Dallas Ford
While we typically introduce ourselves as a multi-disciplinary design studio dedicated to Branding for The Built Environment™, Nimble. is also known as the home base for a growing crew of remarkable creatives from all walks of life.
Brand designers and strategists, interior consultants and project managers — we work together on diverse career paths, encouraging both personal and professional development so we can all grow our own way.
Today, we’re excited to introduce Nimble.’s newest Brand Designer, Dallas Ford — a Cincinnati native destined to do big things in the design world. Get to know Dallas through this 4 min. interview below, and follow his 100 day project entries on Instagram to catch some of his personal work.
So, tell us about your new role at Nimble.
DF: Everyday in the studio I strive to combine my identity design experience with the new fundamentals I am learning in environmental design. The fundamentals are similar, but I’ve quickly realized there’s a lot to consider when branding for the built environment. One of my favorite aspects of graphic design and branding is the problem solving that goes into tying together functionality and beauty. Designing for the built environment aims to promote that on a larger scale.
First monumental memory you have of design?
DF: When I first started taking design classes, I thought about switching over to printing because my dad used to run a press at US Playing Card. At the time I felt I would be sort of following in his footsteps, if you will. When I told my biggest mentor in school, Professor Joel Knueven, he firmly said ‘NO. You’re just starting out. While your past couple projects might have sucked, your most recent project tells me you absolutely have potential if you quit screwing around and do what it takes — immerse yourself in design, and more importantly DO A LOT OF WORK.
Do more than what is required here in school.’ He then showed me the following pull quote, which I kept at my desk at home and read almost every single day while in school. It always seemed to motivate me no matter how many times I read it and no matter how discouraged I felt.
Here it is 👇:
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one piece. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Walk us through your typical weekday routine.
DF: Routine is the enemy of creativity — in all seriousness, my routine really does change daily. And I welcome that.
How do you think people in the future will feel about design trends happening right now?
DF: I think a lot of brand refreshes we’re seeing now look great but tend to incorporate really clean, simplistic sans-serifs. I recently read an article that refers to this very point as ‘blanding’— where we’re seeing a lot of companies rebrand to simplistic sans-serf logotypes and ditch the logomark altogether. In the future, I think we’ll start moving back to serifs or watching companies like Mastercard drop the name from their identity and only maintain the mark after building better brand recognition — like Apple, Nike, etc.
What’s the easiest way to get a better idea?
DF: Step away, take a lap. Even for five minutes. Pretty much helps every time.
How do you face your fears?
DF: Analyze the hard parts and the easy parts first, and then start with the thing that’s most challenging or time consuming.
Biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself as a creative that’s helped progress your career?
DF: The importance of personal work. You have to exercise creativity outside of client work to build your skillsets even further — whether it be designing posters, painting, etc. Renowned designers are never quick to put the pencil down at 5 p.m.
What's one thing the Nimble. community should know about you?
DF: I greatly value the idea of having a mentor. In fact, I would not be where I am now without so many amazing people guiding and pushing me along the way. I am forever grateful for all of the people who have mentored me in the past few years, and I hope to step up and do the same for fellow young designers as I gain more experience.