We’re a global team of thinkers, dreamers and builders. In our Spotlight on… series, we feature one of our expert practitioners. Here, Scott Buschkuhl, Creative Director, talks about his design influences, misconceptions about the design process and hidden talents.
How would you describe your design style?
If pressed, I would say that I don’t have one. I am style agnostic, and continually searching for timeless solutions, avoiding trends. I simultaneously approach design through the lens of an idealist vs. realist. A problem needs a solution, and I hope to find one that is expressive, conservative or somewhere in the middle, but always appropriate. I also believe in approaching a creative challenge from a weird angle, sometimes even “the wrong way,” because it’s another way of diving deeper into an expressive solution.
Do you have any specific influences?
One of my biggest influences has been the School of Visual Arts. I had wonderful teachers when I attended that helped kickstart my journey in design. After graduating, they became mentors and friends that continue to inspire me today. I returned to SVA 12 years ago to teach basic graphic design, typography and senior portfolio. Seeing my students discover the moment they know their solution to a problem is working—even after struggling and doing the project multiple times—all help bring design to life for me.
Do you have any design heroes?
Paul Rand, Herb Lubalin, my students and the creative and kind people I have worked with.
What is your favorite museum or gallery?
DIA Beacon (outdoors), London Design Museum and the Saatchi Gallery
What are three things you cannot live without?
At work: A team, sketchbook and a great cup of coffee (cortado, to be specific). At home: My other team (family), cookbooks and a cast-iron skillet.
What are your favorite things to do/work on right now?
What I love doing now hasn’t changed all that much since I started my journey in design. Every time a new project kicks off, I am always excited by the possibility of learning something new. Additional bonus points if I can move from novice to expert in that new area while working with smart and enthusiastic people.
What is the biggest misconception among clients when it comes to the design process?
Design is not easy; it is not pretty pictures. Brand design is creativity with a purpose. The process of getting to a solution is far from linear, and it takes time to distill down complex narratives into something simple that everyone can relate to.
Do you find you’re more creative during the day or at night?
I am currently juggling remote schooling and the constant question of whether I work from home or live at work? At the moment, I would have to say that I relish the freedom during the early mornings and late nights when I am not fending off a precocious 5-year-old boy or a multitude of meetings. Those precious few hours are the real time to make shit happen.
Lastly, any hidden talents?
I am a lighting fast eater. I am very flexible, and can put both legs behind my head. I can also answer any question you have with just the right GIF, possibly leading to a back-and-forth GIF battle.