How to be the Paris Hilton of Design

Hi, I have a huge head

For years, I’ve heard people say, “Oh, them. AdamsMorioka. Yeah, they’re media whores.” At the last AIGA Conference someone told me they heard we had a full-time PR person on staff with a $100,000 salary. “Sign me up, if that’s true,” I said. And I’m sure many of you have already heard of the well-known designer who once said, “They’re the Paris Hiltons of design.” I responded to her, “I’ll take that as a thinness compliment.”

Now I could have grown bitter and defensive, but I decided it was better to talk about this during my speaking engagements.  Unfortunately, this tended to sound like a remarkable amount of self-aggrandizement. “And, then I did this poster because I was loved by millions around the world,” is what I’m sure people heard when I talked about a lecture poster. So I’ve dropped this subject as a topic.

But before I leave it behind, I wanted to give everyone my biggest piece of advice. Have good images ready to go. Documentation is job1. Typically I’ll ask someone for a project for a magazine article or book, and then I never get anything. I’m promised repeatedly, “We’re shooting it today, I promise.” Now, for the first and only time, I will give you the step-by-step instructions we follow for documentation.

  1. A dedicated archive holds all images
  2. The archive is set up by client
  3. Each client folder has project folders
  4. Each project folder has a 300dpi folder for print applications and a 72dpi folder for web applications.


Archive 2

Archive 3

This is how images get there:

  1. At the finish of every job, a high-rez pdf file is created
  2. The file is opened in Adobe Photoshop and saved
  3. One image is saved as a 300 dpi, 8x10, CMYK file
  4. It is also saved as a 72 dpi, 5x7, RGB file

Three-dimensional images are handled the same way.

  1. The digital image is opened in Adobe Photoshop and saved
  2. One image is saved as a 300 dpi, 8x10, CMYK file
  3. It is also saved as a 72 dpi, 5x7, RGB file

In Design document

Export as a high-rez pdf

Import into Photoshop

Save as 300dpi and 72dpi images

This identity guide cover image is the end product

It’s an easy and painless process that works if you do it consistently. Otherwise, it’s like those people’s houses on Hoarders. So much documentation is undone, that you just sit in the corner and feel ashamed.