Chaplin had such a simple cinematic style that it was almost like ‘I Love Lucy’, but you were always hypnotized by what was going on, unaware of the essentially non-cinematic style. He frequently used cheap sets, routine lighting and so forth, but he made great films. His films will probably last longer than anyone elses. You could say Chaplin has no style and all content.
Most design (great or otherwise) of printed ephemera, logos, advertisements, brochures, posters, and television commercials is so much a part of everyday experience that eventually it finds itself not on a pedestal but on a rubbish heap.
We had a thing going with Ivan Chermayeff, Bob Gill, myself and other guys, that would go like this. If the idea is good you should be able to tell it over the telephone. If it worked over the telephone, bingo.
The tradition in our field is, clients want to see not one, but many solutions, so they can pick. I think this is a terrible mistake. Not that I presume that what I do is so wonderful. I may do nine solutions or nineteen, but I take the solution that I honestly think, “that is the best,” and i go with that one solution. And then if the client says, “I’m sorry, I don’t like green” or whatever the reason is, I go away and I may do another nine, but again I only show one. I don’t ever want to apologize for saying, “Well, you should’ve seen what I really wanted to do”. Crazy. Nobody’s twisting our arm to show our second best or third best. It’s unfortunate that that’s the tradition. But I explain to them in the beginning, “I’m going to show you my best job. That’s not to say you should like it or that it’s good, but I’ll show you one at a time.” I’ve never had an experience where I show more than two or three, you know, and then they realize they have the wrong person. Which is fair enough. I’m not particularly right for every client.
i am often asked why i don’t do commercials or ad campaigns or music videos and why i’ve turned down small fortunes from the corporate universe in favor of just carrying on with my own things. i like to take walks. i like hiking in the woods around here and climbing the foothills and exploring the coast. it clears my head. i find new things. it’s something i’ll probably always enjoy doing. so somebody comes along and says hey, i hear you like to take walks. how about i pay you to walk? you just have to walk around my house in circles for eight hours a day wearing a sandwich board that has a picture of my product on it. no, i’d rather just walk through the woods and explore my own places out there, thanks. but what difference does it make? as long as you’re walking, why not make a lot of money from it at the same time? because money’s not the reason i take walks. it doesn’t really factor into it. i take walks because i enjoy doing it. it’s something i’d do if i was rich and it’s something i’d do if i were poor. i guess maybe someone might pay me to walk around in the woods someday but i’m gonna keep doing it anyway.
Find a way to remove that anxiety and pressure. Just do your best, the same way that you would try to do your best with anything, like making spaghetti. Basically, I think life is way more knuckleheaded than people make it out to be. It’s making spaghetti, and then it’s sitting with someone and having spaghetti. That’s basically all life is.