Dedicating 40+ hours a week to one office, one specialty, one computer, can be especially draining when we get sucked into the routine. That’s where a side hustle comes in—an outlet to create outside of the workplace and make some money while doing it. This year, over 44 million Americans reported having some sort of side hustle.

GSD&M employs a whole slew of crazy-talented folks, so you bet there are some side hustles around here. I dug a little deeper into the double lives of ad gurus by day and hustlers by night to see what passions they’re turning into profit.

Chelsey Korman, founder of Peach Electric: a real rad vintage shop for rad, real women

What took your side hustle beyond a hobby?

I’ve loved the art of fashion and the beauty of a thought-out outfit my entire life, and have wanted to explore it as a business for as long as I can remember. One day, I just figured I’d better start somewhere. This is just the beginning, I feel.

How has your side hustle made a difference in your day job?

It makes me appreciate all the departments in GSD&M. Reaching 100 Instagram followers was a huge achievement and honestly, some were sympathy followers. Ha. But seriously, social media experts are seriously smart and creative, and they understand what it means to “reach and connect” with an audience. We all have so much to learn from each other.


Laura Guardalabene, Cofounder of JUNK-O: creators of enamel pins inspired by pop culture and progressive political ideology

Where do you find inspiration to keep up the side hustle?

I follow a lot of other pin makers and small independent clothing brands. Companies like Lazy Oaf and Big Bud Press show me the growth potential JUNK-O has and how far hustling can get you.

How has your side hustle made a difference in your day job?

It has fueled my creativity tenfold. I no longer experience creative blocks or burnouts because I’m constantly challenging my mind and keeping it in shape.


Julia Elizondo, Cofounder of LA LO LA: a luxe resortwear line offering small batch collections

Where do you find inspiration to keep up the side hustle?

Through everyday things like a new issue of W Magazine or Condé Nast Traveler or just the simple dream of wanting to see women in our clothes. I want the chance to keep evolving the styles and collections into what I really want. 

What does this work outside of the office mean to you?

It means that I can pursue my dream while still being able to make a living working in a dynamic place like GSD&M. It’s an outlet for me too.


Jeffrey Butterworth, founder of ArterBarter: a website to auction off original art pieces one by one, for anything BUT cash

What took your side hustle beyond a hobby?

Bringing a concept to satisfy the question I have been asking myself, “What am I going to do with my art?”

How has your side hustle made a difference in your day job?

A big part of what I do at work is trying to put together things that people would be interested in and attach it to a brand that makes sense. This is no different, it’s just that I’m the brand I’m attaching the idea to.


Turning a passion into profit is hard, rewarding, meaningful work. Judging from the side hustlers above, work outside of the office creates a source of energy, drive and satisfaction that might otherwise go unused. Everyone needs an outlet, so might as well make some extra cash while you’re at it. Keeping your brain “in shape” isn’t a bad way to get your exercise, either. If you’ve got something in mind, why not give it a go and see what happens?

Instagram’s new rainbow sherbet vomit is currently causing a rift in the design community. Some people love it, while others absolutely abhor it. Personally, I kind of like it…kind of.instagram-old-new-logo_2

When Apple first launched iPhone, much of its interface followed skeuomorphic design principles. Skeuomorphic design pulls ornamental elements from real-life objects and brings them into the digital realm even though those elements are no longer necessary. For example, the top of Apple’s iCal App interface used to look like leather with stitching; the Notes App used to look like a real notepad with paper torn at the top; Apple’s Newsstand used to look like a miniature wooden book shelf…you get the idea.


The old Instagram logo was still stuck in this dated, literal representation of an object realm.

The new logo strips away all the unnecessary decorative elements and gives us the bare minimum of visual cues necessary for our brains to decipher that the logo is a representation of a camera. In my opinion, when it comes to app design, for the most part, cleaner and simpler equals better ease of usability.

Color doesn’t always equal tacky, and black doesn’t always equal elegant.

As for that rainbow gradient of colors in the background of the logo? The part of me that jumps for joy when seeing a rainbow—or even better, a double rainbow—loves it. I’ve never been one to shy away from color in anything in my life; from my wardrobe to design to my apartment decor.

Color doesn’t always equal tacky, and black doesn’t always equal elegant. Color, when used appropriately, can elevate a design to a whole new level, so don’t be afraid of it!

But another part of me worries that these colorful gradients are just a fleeting trend and five to 10 years from now, we’ll all be saying, “Oh, yeah, that was definitely made in 2016.”

Usually, good design doesn’t rely on short-lived trends. Logos like Coca-Cola, GE and IBM have stood the test of time because each were designed using unwavering core design principles and with longevity in mind. But then again, Instagram exists in a fleeting, temporary digital realm, so maybe they’re allowed to design something that won’t make it to the year 2116.

Overall, I’d say it’s an upgrade and a step in the right direction, but this new logo might be so simplified and trend-based that Instagram has given its new brand a very short shelf life.

On June 4, the world lost one of its quintessential typographers with the passing of Hermann Zapf. A prolific letterer and trailblazer in his field, Zapf created around 200 typefaces, including classics like Optima and Palatino. We are truly impressed by his many additions to the designer’s toolbox. And though I personally don’t plan on using Zapf Chancery from said toolbox, I’m going to make a special effort to use Kompakt in an upcoming project, just in his honor. The world needs more people that share his dedication to making words beautiful.RIPFCredit to GSD&M’s kick-ass Design group: Marc Ferrino, Ben Harman, Greg Thomas and Dustin Coffey.

By Zinny Bonner, Communication Intern

GSD&M’s first ITMAD event concluded yesterday after a series of sessions focused on innovation, entrepreneurial thinking and experience design with presenters from GSD&M and guest speakers from Southwest Airlines and Silvercar. As part of the event, we were also able to tour the U.S. Air Force’s latest experiential tour.


Starting off with a bang, or rather a jaw-dropping hologram demo, Heather Hvidsten, senior director of product management and product innovation at Southwest Airlines, presented Honk If You Are Sick of Talking About Innovation! With a father who worked at NASA and mother who is an artist, Heather was raised to think outside of the box. She looks at innovation with the mindset that every single person is perfect exactly the way they are. She encourages, “If you are passionate and not in a group that feels the same way, it’s not you, it’s the group. So change the group.” Innovation is about making something great ever better. To do this, Heather organizes rapid innovation workshops that encourage participants to open their minds and think differently. She puts crossfunctional teams together to accelerate the idea process. Most importantly, however, she engaged every aspect of Southwest Airlines’ team, from finance to creative, by emphasizing the many different roles involved in innovation. “The role of the supporter is just as important, if not more important, than the role of the idea creator,” she said.


The second session of the day, Capturing Moments & Building Stories: Instagram for Business, by Janice Suter, director of social media, and Caitlin McDaniel, senior social media manager, began with a display of how great ideas can come from a platform. With Instagram’s 64 million followers, brands everywhere are starting to notice the influence of the visually pleasing and culturally dominant platform. With Instagram, influencers offer something unique in shaping the story behind a brand —the ability to tell a brand’s story from a personal and genuine perspective. Brands can use these influencers along with unique content their own photo streams to engage audiences and take them places they’ve never been.

Having just opening its ninth location, Silvercar’s Russ Lemmer, co-founder and VP marketing, and Allen Darnell, CTO, presented Silvercar: Better Experience, Better Brand. Car rental is an industry notorious for lack of customer satisfaction and consistency. Silvercar recognized the need for a consistent, mobile-first and modern solution to car rental. To create a meaningful solution, Silvercar focused on taking advantage of all of the amazing tools and current technology available to maximize user experience. Russ Lemmer reminded the audience that one of the most powerful tools for the future of marketing is something we all have: the smartphone. Recognizing the value of smartphone technology, Silvercar is a 100% mobile service. By doing this, Silvercar cuts out most of what makes car rental a painful process in pursuit of their ultimate goal: a seamless product experience and maximum customer satisfaction. The less friction their customers have to endure, the more valuable they consider the Silvercar product.


Rye Clifton, the agency’s director of experience design, discussed Connect the Dots, La La La La: Dissecting the Components of a Startup & Reassembling Them for Your Clients. In this session, Rye pinpointed a few agency clients and other brands that are really paving the way for other companies and across different industries. Rye also chatted about the pros of thinking like a startup and noted it’s best to start small then add on to a brand experience, the big takeaway being the solution to a business problem is sometimes not an ad at all.

At the last session, Amanda Parker, senior media planner, gave an overview on some of the conversations at the recent Ad Age Digital Conference that sparked the original ITMAD idea. In Integrity & Insight: Conversations Sparked at Ad Age Digital, the main points established were everyone’s role in consumer experience management, why it’s crucial to have the right people in the room and how agencies provide platforms for data, tech and progress. When it comes to the consumer experience, a team must remember that everything leads back to consumers. They are what keeps a brand going; however, it is hard to control every aspect that affects the consumer experience, so teams must work together to keep the consumer in mind at every step.

Platforms are the new service that agencies bring to their clients, and the data they house and the innovation they allow are what move business and make good partners. Amanda Parker emphasized the importance of utilizing technology that has already been established, similar to Silvercar’s idea, in order to create a foundation for problem solving through calculated risks. We learned that innovation should be thought of as “70-20-10”: 70% are the things you know for sure work for your business, 20% are tested strategies that are still evolving and the final 10% is the room you have left to take a leap of faith in true innovation. In closing, Amanda said, “There was a lot to be gleaned from the best and the brightest in our industry, but at the end of the day it was really affirmed that we’re in the same progressive track here at GSD&M.”

Our first ITMAD (Ideas that Make a Difference) event started yesterday leaving the audience eager to hear today’s four sessions. Across the two-day mini conference, the conversation focuses on a range of topics including innovation, entrepreneurial thinking, experience design, disruption and creativity with GSD&M presenters as well as guest speakers Heather Hvidsten from Southwest Airlines and Russ Lemmer from Silvercar.

With a packed room so early in the morning, GSD&M’s Director of Experience Design Derek Dollahite kicked off ITMAD with Experience Design: No Best Practices When Designing for Happiness. Design invades our lives now more than ever, and Derek noted the power technology has in determining the future of design. “Experimental Design uses technology to emphasize user experience and create culturally relevant solutions” – his advice for incorporating experience design into your work? Takeaway: “ENKS” – Embrace Not Knowing Shit.DerekJonathan Hart, VP/Decision Sciences at the agency also wowed the attendees with his exploration of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Digital’s Place in the Origin and Development of the Universe, But Didn’t Know to Ask. In this, he walked through the evolution of digital in concert with the origin and organization of the universe, starting with the Big Bang and ending with positing that perhaps we are all just participants in a giant simulation of life as we know it. Understanding how the universe organizes itself gives us insight into the future of computational power as well, and a peek into a future in which we may cross the threshold of evolution with the introduction of conscious machines. In the words of visiting filmmaker Alex Johnson, “I didn’t know this was going to get spiritual!”

Alex R. Johnson brought his film, Two Step as part of a discussion of nurturing ideas, creative collaboration and sources of inspiration for storytelling. Alex also discussed his move from Brooklyn to Austin, and how the creative culture of Austin helped move a project along to fruition. In addition to being filmed entirely in Austin, Two Step features a cast that includes guest appearances by local music artists Dale Watson and Jesse Dayton, The film was scored by a local musician, Andrew Kenny, who Alex had originally met doing commercial production and music videos in New York City. The film was a riveting thriller that kept the audience on edge. Let’s just say after watching you might think twice about using drive-up ATMs.

As the last session, Digital Producer Amanda Traversi and Account Manager Adrienne Strange presented “WTF? We Do This S**t?” Launching the Air Force Performance Lab. In this, they gave an in-depth look at the creative, production processes, technologies and partnerships involved in creating the latest U.S. Air Force experiential tour now crossing the country. As noted, “unlike most brands, you can’t try on or test the Air Force. In turn, our team sets out to create the most engaging and inspiring experience possible.” They proved that if there is a will, there is a way, especially working with a set of partners all focused on the success of the project and a deep understanding of the project goals. After exploring countless new technologies and options, they made the trailer a completely physical experience by providing visual, competitive, and informative games. The team also mentioned they looked beyond the experiential aspect of the project as well, by measuring and recording data, which is involved in reengaging potential recruits and serves as valuable data for the future.


Leaving the office for a few days and focusing on the future is never a bad thing. Just getting out of the weekly onslaught of meetings gives your brain a chance to process thoughts and make room for new ones. Pair that with a few good case studies and conversations around innovation and end-to-end experience and you have yourself a nice little party for the brain. If anything, I’ve got more clarity on what is possible and a few ideas on how we can actually make those things happen.

One of the biggest themes from this year’s Ad Age Digital Conference was the importance of experience…not just from a digital perspective, but as an end-to-end awareness of how and when people interact with a brand. We saw examples of brands that have embraced simple insights and changed the course of how they market. A couple of my favorites include Visa and HBO.

Visa realized that most people are multitasking when they use their phones, so they decided to focus on a one-handed experience. Everything they do in mobile, from app development to advertising, is now put through a one-handed filter. The thought is reinforced in television and PR…but it is all derived from an insight around how people interact with the brand.



HBO spent a lot of time working on their second screen experience…then completely shuttered the program when they realized that people didn’t want to look away from Game of Thrones because they might miss someone die or another plot twist (a true phenomenon I’ve experienced myself). Where most television is passive, people watching HBO tend to be glued to the primary screen. If they are truly going to be the Home Box Office, they need to focus on replicating the box office experience as well as possible, and you aren’t allowed to surf the web while watching movies at the cinema.

The thing that has me excited is how big and diverse GSD&M’s brand experiences are. Buying a tractor is completely different than ordering a burrito…and that is a lot different than booking a flight. The time and context in which someone is interacting with a brand completely changes the way that brand should interact with a consumer. As I’m sitting on a Southwest flight flying home, I’m picking apart every aspect of my interaction: learning I’m going to travel, booking a trip, heading to the airport, checking in, going through TSA, waiting for my flight, boarding, sitting in my seat for four hours, deplaning, getting my luggage, heading home and telling people about my trip are all very different interactions with different sets of expectations. Being able to stream music or watch satellite television on my laptop or tablet makes me feel better about Southwest, and it has nothing to do with advertising. It is the exact right offering at the exact right time. Same with the abundance of plugs and charging stations at the terminal—it’s a simple, thoughtful gesture that makes the entire flying experience a little more pleasurable.

Every interaction is a brand experience, and every interaction is an opportunity—not to put a new ad or logo in front of my eyeballs at every waking moment, but to help define how people are engaging with our brands. Everything we can do to make those experiences a little more pleasurable or rewarding is going to make people appreciate that brand a little more, and that is an exciting thing to focus on.

by Ben Harman, Associate Design Director

“Frankensteining” is a fairly common term in the advertising business. Even if you’ve never heard it before, you can probably figure out what it means. It’s used to describe feedback from a client presentation that inevitably goes something like this: you present a couple of options and the client likes these bits of Idea A but those bits of Idea B and that little bit of Idea C and can’t you just mix those bits up a bit? Most of the time the results are a bit ugly, but every once in a while you’re left with something magical. Undiluted transcendence. Flawless fontitude.

Enter Comic Papyrus. But before I go off on the nubile perfection that is Comic Papyrus, let’s talk about how it was created. Because “Frankensteining” doesn’t really do it justice. The word “Frankensteining” implies dismembered body parts, sloppy lab assistants/interns, pitchforks, and plenty of moaning.

That’s not what happened with Comic Papyrus (except maybe the moaning). You see, Comic Papyrus was a love affair. Not a love-at-first-sight kind of fling, mind you, but one that started timidly with a similar x-height and, through trust, patience, and considerate kerning, finally reached its glorious potential.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 12.19.13 PMAnd to think — when I first introduced Comic Sans to Papyrus, I wasn’t sure they’d even get along. Besides their obvious age gap, they had completely different personalities. Papyrus was exotic and excessively proud, spending all of its time at the spa. And Comic Sans frankly lacked the maturity to be in a relationship.

Furthermore, they were both dominant Alpha Fonts, used to sitting alone at the top of the font set. After all, these were the go-to fonts of ace designers and common folk alike. But all this unlikely pairing needed was a little bit of time and proximity. Casually being plopped on top of each other in a Word doc. A few late nights working together on a pitch. And a gloriously breathtaking first date, crammed together on a business card, just millimeters apart and buried deep within the dark musty folds of a gentleman’s wallet.

And so emerged Comic Papyrus. The font to end all fonts, melding the whimsical letterforms of Comic Sans with the timeless texture of Papyrus. Being the literal best of the best, and possessing what you and I can never claim: perfect parents.

Come get your copy here.

Just leave your pitchfork at home.

By Summer Ortiz, Studio Artist

SXSW can be overwhelming—one moment you’re having your mind blown by an insightful panelist and the next you’re walking by a giant squirrel reading a book. Sometimes sketching things out is the best way to take it all in. Here are some visuals about life, liberty and the pursuit of SXSW by first-time attendee Studio Artist Summer Ortiz.


SXSW Essentials. #sxsw #gsdm #illustration #drawing #sketch

A photo posted by Summer (@signifyingnot) on Mar 13, 2015 at 11:15am PDT

SXSW is not conducive to a large personal bubble. #sxsw #gsdm #illustration #drawing #sxsketch

A photo posted by Summer (@signifyingnot) on Mar 14, 2015 at 10:34am PDT

UX meets animation. #sxsw #gsdm #panel #uxchoreography #ux #illustration #sxsketch #disney #sketch #doodle

A photo posted by Summer (@signifyingnot) on Mar 15, 2015 at 10:39am PDT

The Glasses of SXSWi. #sxsw #gsdm #sxsketch #illustration #drawing #sketch #doodle

A photo posted by Summer (@signifyingnot) on Mar 15, 2015 at 10:42am PDT

Innovation. #sxsw #gsdm #advocacy #advocate #illustration #drawing #type

A photo posted by Summer (@signifyingnot) on Mar 16, 2015 at 11:29am PDT

When a brand celebrates 90 years in business, it’s a big deal. Brands with that kind of heritage are institutions—legends, if you will.

This year, Ace Hardware and Zales Jewelers turn the big 9-0. We thought, “we should send them a card.” But then we realized these occasions call for more than a run-of-the-mill birthday card or even a singing voicemail. A 90th birthday calls for… wait for it… diamond mirror art and a layered hardware cake. (Isn’t it obvious?)

Art Director Will Chau gives us the backstory on the piece we created for Zales:

“We knew Zales’ 90th birthday gift had to be something romantic, beautiful and worthy of display. It needed to be an art piece that came from our hearts. The idea of the glass mirror spelling out “90 Years of Love” and surrounded by diamonds felt like an elegant visual statement. We wanted real diamonds on the glass, but it was just a tad out of our budget. Happy birthday, Zales!”


Copywriter Laurie Lehnert tells us how the Ace “layer cake” came to be:

“Art Director Kyle Mitchell and I were paired up to work on Ace’s upcoming 90th Anniversary campaign last November. One of the assignments was a poster, so we brainstormed images that would help Ace celebrate and share the excitement of the occasion with their fans. Kyle was in the throes of wedding preparation at the time and came back from a wedding cake meeting with the idea to make an Ace cake out of real, life-sized hardware. With a store full of items of all shapes and sizes it was easy to get excited about this idea. We documented the building of the cake, every minute for two days, to make this short “stop motion” video.  Happy birthday, Ace!”

For ad students and creative types in Austin, there’s a quiet but passionate alternative to advertising education in the traditional sense. Austin Creative Department was founded by Will Chau, a Creative Director here at GSD&M. It is the first and only advertising program in Austin taught by working creatives within an agency environment.The school’s classes are small by design–limited to just twelve students. Some are college students in need of a portfolio. One student was an Iowa Writers’ Workshop grad-turned-editor who wanted to get a feel for copywriting. Other students are working folks looking to make a career change; still others are entrepreneurs wanting to use creative problem solving to propel their business forward.

Will has found that traditional advertising arts educators often try to take students to the highest level, emphasizing big-name agencies and a singular path to success. Austin Creative Department’s goal is to help its diverse student body realize what success looks like for them. “Once students define their purpose, then it’s my job to help them attain it.” Students develop creative thought through a variety of classes, all focused on the goal of creating big, simple ideas that have an impact on society.78416_447821765276204_1548741938_oStudents graduate with a better idea of how creativity can be applied to their lives, whether that means a future in advertising or not. Elizabeth Perez, one of Will’s former students and minority scholarship recipient, is now working at Leo Burnett. Will is especially proud of Elizabeth, and not just because she received massive attention when her class project was featured on Buzzfeed.225114_501771466547900_1881383255_nOther students have taken different paths. That Writers’ Workshopper from Iowa? Her name is Jeanette Horn, and she dropped out to write her first-ever novel. Will couldn’t be happier: “The school took her back to her first love. That’s her true calling—I feel good about that.”

Regardless of where students go after they graduate, Austin Creative Department is helping foster creativity in Austin (and everywhere else, for that matter) – “it’s not just about selling tacos.” Unless, of course, tacos are your passion.