“What if …?”
That’s where my inspiration begins.
Those two simple words spark imagination and get our internal cogs moving. I’ve often heard people say, “I am just not the creative type.” But what they fail to realize is that creativity isn’t just art. It’s problem solving. “What if …” can build upon itself and spark others to join in to make things bigger, better and more efficient.
For example, when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, his original intention was to develop a device that would allow his deaf wife and the deaf children he worked with to hear sound. He built on that idea and discovered he could send sound waves to virtually anyone in the world. Fast-forward 140 years, we now have phones in our pockets. Phones that take photos, record video and play music.
All because someone asked himself, “What if …?”
As a designer, I enjoy working with type and imagery. I love creating compelling, beautiful things, but really my job is to solve problems. If you need someone to buy your product or raise money for a non-profit, you have to understand the problems in order to connect with your audience.
Graphic design, by definition, is the practice of communicating a message visually and contextually. You have to connect with people emotionally as well. When people can relate to your message, it makes your work feel genuine. The most inspiring designs to me are the simplest. The easier the message, the easier it is to understand.
Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it to a 6 year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
That’s what inspires me. And when I’m stuck, I simply ask myself, “What if …?” Sometimes I’ll keep it simple, sometimes I’ll go crazy. More often than not, those two simple words lead me down a path toward unexpected, positive results.
Brad Flaherty has officially been a designer for more than 13 years, but he has known that this is what he has wanted to do with his life since he was a kid. His career has taken him from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to Chicago and back home to Southern Maryland. His wife and two kids know him as the lovable goofball, but Brad knows when it’s time to get down to bid’ness. There is no issue with Brad connecting with people. His passion for design and his outlook on life allows him to relate to people in a genuine way.