Scott Hull Associates

Michael Bast + Landor = New Sour Patch Characters

April 18, 2014



Why would you refresh an iconic brand like Sour Patch to remain relevant? That was the question asked to Landor’s Dale Doyle. “Some brands do it to combat copycats, others refresh only when introducing a new variant. Sour Patch refreshed its package to avoid look-alikes and breathe new life into the brand. Before starting the project, the team mined the brand’s equities by identifying what was important to stakeholders. They took time to understand how the brand differentiated from the competition and how it didn’t.”

What was the Sour Patch brand’s ownable equities? Sour Patch characters. So Landor’s team enlisted the help of Scott Hull Associates’food illustrator, Michael Bast to help with the creation of a new cast of Sour Patch characters.

The new realistic animated Sour Patch characters draw the concumer in to the store’s shelf.

Making the decision to either slightly refresh your package or to a major overhaul depends on the health of your brand. Dale commented that we often see brands that have been declining over the years, yet are hesitant to implement a packaging redesign. Today brands need to continually advance forward to remain relevant. If you think of your brand’s packaging as the living, breathing way in which your product is brought to life, then continually evolving your package makes ROI sense.

Mikey Burton Draws 35 Pairs of Custom Converse All-Stars (Time-Lapes)

April 15, 2014

Converse asked Mikey Burton to draw on 30+ pairs of shoes for Nordstrom. It took Mikey an entire week, and here’s the time-lapse to prove it. View the entire collection here on Nordstrom’s blog.


Scott asks the question “Where do ideas come from?”

April 8, 2014

Teachable Moment

A brilliant idea can change your life. Just ask Steve Jobs. And think about it – how would one incredible idea affect your work? How would it affect your personal creating? Your career? Your confidence and opportunities?

These days, new ideas aren’t just inspiring; they’re essential. A narrow-gauge mindset doesn’t work in modern business. Consumers aren’t loyal to cheap commodities. No, they love the remarkable, the human, the unique. And those ideas don’t just fall from the sky. (Usually.)

So where do they originate? Since Scott Hull Associates is in the business of ideas, I figured our artists ought to know. They surprised me with their answers, citing everything from “cross-pollinating synergetic associations” to cracks in the driveway. Enjoy.

Aren’t you silly…Ideas come from the stork, just like babies. – Andrea Eberbach

From an ever expanding and curious mind. –Von Glitschka

I’m not sure where they come from, but I’m pretty sure – starting in 2012 – that there will be a federal tax on them. -Mark Riedy

Personally, I group them into two broad categories: surprise ideas and task-oriented ideas. There’s an enormous area of interaction and cross-pollination between these, but if I think about it, most everything I do whether art-related, fixing a faucet or otherwise, fits somewhere in the continuum. In the area of ideas for art, surprise! Ideas are just that — out of nowhere, triggered by who-knows-what…smells, memories, dreams, emotions, even stress. Task-oriented ideas are usually, at least for me, more forced and rarely complete at the beginning — they need refinement and tuning, and the trick is to retain something good and fresh enough to keep through that refinement process. Most won’t make it to the end, and many aren’t worth fooling around with from the beginning, but each has to be weighed before discarding. Working in collaboration with commercial clients, most illustration ideas are going to be task-driven, and will be a blend of your ideas and the client’s regarding concept, style and desired results.

Somewhere in here also has to be addressed the impact of original vs. derivative ideas. For a visual artist and especially one working commercially, purely original ideas are hard to come by. We’re bombarded by visual imagery from the first day we open our eyes, then later are drawn to and/or repelled by most everything we see that other artists have done – this can’t help but affect our style and how we see the world through art. How we control and channel our own likes, dislikes and influences through our work, all the while adding whatever personal flavoring we bring to the equation determines how original our artistic solutions will be. Recognizing and utilizing influences is a balancing act that’s always there when generating ideas.

Lastly, I think ideas spring from that overused word, passion. It’s why we do what we do instead of pursuing any of the millions of other occupations available in the world. Speaking only for myself, I want to add my spin and polish to whatever visual problem is put in front of me, as long as it’s something that I can relate to. Generating good ideas is more often than not hard work, and the effort needs to be applied where it will do the most good both for the artist and for the resulting work. -John Maggard

A mysterious internal response to an ever-changing external set of chance meetings. -Lorraine Tuson

My ideas come from nature. I am an avid gardener and I am always in awe of the design found in natural things. The hardest part of drawing nature is keeping its fresh and random quality. I love taking a natural theme (such as shells), and combining the many shapes and textures to create patterns. -Lisa Ballard

Ideas come from playing. -Penelope Dullaghan

Ideas are the result of a wide open mind that is always asking the question “What if?”. After that, getting a few other people’s opinions will often make them better. Scott Matthews

The most common comment I hear when asked this is, “ideas are everywhere”. But to me that’s a cop-out because our society cannot see the forest through the trees. For me ideas come from staring at the stars, or a plant in the crack on the driveway. Yes, the Internet is also full of useful images, but where does one start? Back to the basics, I say! For me this is an endless journey, because problem solving is a passion of mine. -Geoffrey P Smith

Ideas come from doing, not planning. The best ideas I’ve ever had came to me in the process of making creative work, not from sitting down and intellectualizing my next move. -Grant Gilliland

Now that’s a good question! Ideas are a kind of cross-pollination of thought and problem parameters that comes from combining one or more unlike things to create a third, more synergetic association. It starts with research; I look through information relevant to the problem at hand, making lists of items and key words that can drive the direction of thought. Next, I take the information and start to play with it without judgment – it’s called free association. I take some of these key words or essential elements from the lists and literally connect them to see if there’s a potential association there. For example, if you take the word magnet and library and think about what associations they make, you come up with a series of thought-play ideas. I’m hoping for some kind of visual metaphor or analogy that will help communicate the concept of whatever it is I’m trying to get across. So… Library+Magnet=What? I think of a place where information storage plus some kind of pulling force comes together. The human brain would be considered a a kind of information storage unit and the attractive force might be a lighted billboard sign. Or the Rosetta stone, the key to interpreting several dead languages, might have Space Odyssey monolith-like properties that attract the monkeys.

Once all of the play is done, it’s time to see which of the ideas might have merit for the problem at hand. Maybe some that are seemingly way off base will lead to something else by association. This is the portion of the event that we must judge or deem relevant to solving the problem. That, and a healthy amount of sketching, usually bring good results. -Larry Moore

Danielle Evans Lends a Hand to AAF Crafted.

April 5, 2014

When Dale Doyle of the branding firm, Landor Cincinnati initiated the concept “Crafted” for this year’s 2014 AAF ADDY awards, he was searching for an artist with the ability to bring type to life through brewery inspired ingredients.

Food Typographer, Danielle Evans proved to be the perfect discovery.

Landor had determined that the award show would highlight makers and crafters in a homespun, yet elegant way. The project required a technical proficiency and ease of use with dimensional type.

Danielle’s work brings dimensionality to products, using photography as its primary vehicle. She encourages art directors to briefly remove themselves from technology and go analog for the majority of the creative process.

“No one can fake authenticity” is Danielle’s life mantra, which is demonstrated consistently through her unique ideation in bringing type to life with ingredients.

Dale commented that Danielle brought a “wonderful energy and great talent to this project. She has a real can- do attitude!”

When asked if the client’s goals were reached with her use of home brew materials, hops and barley, Dale replied, “Absolutely. Danielle killed it.”


Penelope Dullaghan’s Designer Teacup for Crate&Barrel

April 1, 2014

Penelope Dullaghan is passionate about maintaining balance and harmony in both her life and her art. So what a perfect illustrative designer for Create&Barrel’s 2014 artist signature teacup series.

Working primarily in acrylic, ink and digital design, the Indianapolis-based artist explores fluid, simple shapes rendered in an energetic palette. Her interpretation of the Bennett teacup was inspired by her newfound hobby of gardening. To Dullaghan, the garden is a place of quiet and peace. “It provides the perfect opportunity to slow down and observe.”

Thank you Crate&Barrel for providing the perfect gift for Mother’s Day!

How important is it that an Art Director knows how to draw?

March 27, 2014

This past month Scott Hull Associates was involved in a LinkedIn discussion that posed the question, “How important is it that an Art Director knows how to draw?” Scott Hull has this to say about the idea, “Is it the pencil or your ability to communicate an idea? It all comes down to evoking an emotion. Anyone who can harness creativity and innovative ideas will be the power brokers well into the future.  That’s one rule that will never change. At Scott Hull Associates with live by three words. Originality: Doing what you love not only makes art more fun to create, it also delivers results that intrigue and engage customers. Collaboration: To be truly effective in today’s media-saturated environment it takes many people communicating together, with a shared set of values and objectives, to achieve visual results that truly make an impact. And lastly, results: Our job is to harness these trends into viable visuals that move markets.
 The means of communication, technology and speed will change. But it will always be a pair of eyes, connected to a brain, which we process and make decisions by. So to answer the question, I would rather have someone who can communicate clearly and quickly with a few lines or just an idea. It doesn’t really matter either way, as long as you have clear communication creativity. ”

Here are a few of the other comments on the discussion board that caught our attention as poignant and insightful:

The best art directors I worked for had the ability to sketch their ideas out so one of the designers who answered to him/her could take the layout to completion. I also can’t imagine an art director giving instructions to an illustrator or photographer without a basic sketch. The drawings don’t have to be tight renderings but should be clear as to communicate the art director’s intent.

It makes absolutely no difference whether you can draw or not.

The hands aren’t the only means of delivering expression. Contrary to popular opinion.

In fact the rhythm of the hands can often dilute and distort the magnificence and authenticity of the expression.

Hands can be such primitive, clumsy, frustrating things.

If drawing becomes that important to direction, I’d say that there is too much prescription going on. Your artists should be alive to your direction on so many more levels than one.

Depends whether you consider drawing as part of a creative, expressive process, just like another form of writing – and thinking – which in fact it is or merely see it like a skill to present & execute ideas. In both cases being able to draw can be valuable – but the value will be very different.

How about the notion that drawing actually stimulates the brain in a way our computers can’t and helps unlock our creativity and enhances the flow of good ideas?

As Danny Gregory put it so eloquently in an article titled “Just Draw”, responding to the question of why we should pick up the pencil: “Simple: Because our jobs, our happiness, our lives depend on it. Because our goal is not to produce slick comps; it’s to lead a creatively fertile life. Designers, art directors… get paid to be creative problem-solvers. We need to tap back into the wild mind we had when we held crayons instead of computer mice.”

Working as an academic director at Art Institute, we still (require) our graphic design and advertising students to learn basic drawing skills. We’re not training them to be illustrators, but to draw well enough to convey the visual message. I tell them some of the best concept sketches still happen on a cocktail napkin! We teach them rapid visualization, have them do thumbnails and roughs (with a pencil or Sharpie…gasp!) before they go the computer. They work better and more efficiently when their ideas are sketched out first. When I worked at Imagineering the dozens of graphic designers could all draw…and draw well. Art Director of Graphic Designer, it certainly is an added plus if you can render.

Meg Hunt Gives Coach New York Style

March 26, 2014

Taking brand awareness to the world of social media, Coach asked Meg Hunt to make a piece inspired by New York style. When thinking of the city, she thought of crowds pulsing with life, color and pattern. The strong lines of this bag also made her think of streets and more so a sense of direction forward. Thus, the subway seemed like a perfect juxtaposition of this lively chaos!

You can see the complete campaign on Instagram.

Andrea Eberbach + ADMERICA!

March 25, 2014

Who attends an ADMERICA! National conference? All sorts of different people and that is just what Scott Hull Associates artist, Andrea Eberbach was asked to portray in the image she created for this year’s conference in Boca Raton, Florida.

Andrea provided an energetic, graphic overview of the conversation, blending various peoples and occupations. ADMERICA conferences cover everything from digital advertising to social media.

She came up with her concept by imagining herself attending the event and placing herself in that environment.

Andrea is skilled at conveying her client’s message, as demonstrated in the completed project.

Scott asks the question: What Makes a Good Art Director?

March 20, 2014

Teachable Moment

To help understand the creative process and what it takes to make the collaboration between illustrator and art director more fluid, I thought the answers to this question might be enlightening.

The first trait of a good art director that sprang to mind was teamwork. Art directors, creative directors, designers and illustrators are passionately focused on their work, as we know. And sometimes it seems more comfortable to work as a lone constructor, undistracted by “outside” voices. But in my experience, that’s not ideal. Besides, there are lots of ways to be a more collaborative player within the larger team. Learning more about each other’s respective roles in the artistic world is a good start. Listen to each other. That’s one route to rising above the basic differences and misconceptions, and elevating our work as well.

Here’s what Seth Godin has to say about art and where it comes from. “Art is an original gift, a connection that changes the recipient, a human ability to make a difference. Art is the very human act of creating the uncreated, of connecting with another person at a human level.” No reason you couldn’t do that with other humans, right?

Here are my favorite answers from some of my contemporaries and our own artists at Scott Hull Associates:

“What makes a good art director? A tenuous balance of humility and passion”. -Adele

“A good art director is one who can sell a good idea to an editor. A good art director is one who knows a good idea when he sees one. A good art director is one who hires me”. ☺ – Curtis Parker

“Was it Ogilvy who said “Always hire people (smarter/better) than you are? Aspire to be the dumbest person in the room.” Plus I’d add that wisdom is worth more than raw intelligence”. -Brian

“Star Trek Analogy: We are the creative Federation, Collaborating with Klingon warriors to vanquish the Borg of assimilated ideas, leveraging marketing with Vulcan precision, and all the while making our clients’ Ferengi bean counters satisfied with an increase of gold-plated latinum”. -Von Glitschka

“Like a good coach, a good art director is a visual person with a good connection between their eyes and mouth. They know how to get those involved excited about the project. They know how to supply visual inspiration and reference while still giving enough room for the artist’s interpretation”. –Lisa Ballard

“Leadership skills and good design skills: the ability to coach a designer to find their own best solution”. -Patrice

“A great director brings greatness out of others and communicates concepts simply”. -Michael Bast

“Bravery. Collaboration. Trust”. –Penelope Dullaghan

“He or she has some knowledge of the importance (and historical effectiveness) of illustration in the field being considered: editorial, advertising, multimedia, etc., and how it differs in effect and execution from straight design and/or photography. He or she is willing to trust the instincts and creative input from the illustrator, as opposed to just hiring a pair of hands”. - John Maggard

“I’ve worked for clients who’ve told me exactly what they want, and others who’ve pretty much turned me loose. Both approaches can yield wonderful results. Difficulty occurs when the job really has no flexibility, but those all-important parameters are hidden from the artist”. -Chuck

“A clear vision of what is needed”. - David Reinbold

“I’ve spent 35 years practicing. Maybe one of these days I’ll get it right”. -Tim

“A good art director can communicate a vision and then release it to the artist. Next step is partnering with the artist and giving the vision enough room to have its say”. – Andrea Eberbach

“Working as both an art director and a freelance illustrator, I’ve experienced the frustration when design is forced to fall victim to the ‘convenience’ of stock art. A good art director communicates visually and will often see an image beforehand in his/her imagination that best illustrates their desired message. Problem is, the design process is too often the reverse where we are stuck trying to find an existing image that will work, changing our concept to fit what can be found. I love opening the door to creativity and allowing an illustrator to translate my thoughts graphically”. -Clint Hansen

“An art director is good when they love their job. They’re great when they are perceptive, honest, open to communication, willing to challenge you to perform to your best but also willing to hear you out when you present an offbeat idea. A good art director gives input but doesn’t lead the illustrator on a leash– they give their views and collaborate, but ultimately trust the illustrator to deliver more than what they ever expected. They’re in your corner and work with you to produce the best work you can for their product”. –Meg Hunt

John Maggard Reveals Heart Mini Marathon Poster

March 10, 2014

Illustrator John Maggard wasn’t thinking about this interminable winter when he designed the Heart Mini Marathon Poster for this year’s 37th annual event.

But it sure fits.

The poster features an Art Deco-styled, dark blue-tinted Cincinnati skyline in the background, with a cream-colored crocus poking out of the snow in the foreground. And the word “perseverance.”

His inspiration was actually a hardy patch of crocuses that somehow comes up each spring, even in his difficult-to-grow-anything Terrace Park yard. The idea for the skyline came from a fleeting image of skyscrapers in an old movie.

It is John Maggard’s 34th poster for the Heart Mini Marathon.

John wanted to create something with a simpler style than in recent years. “It’s fresh and a little bit different,” he says.

Maggard has donated all his time and materials to the project for all 34 years. He appreciates the freedom he has in creating a design that often has very little to do with running.

That, and he’s a big fan of the local chapter of the American Heart Association.

“I paint,” he says. “They do really, really good work.”

Heart Mini Marathon events range from the 1K Steps for Stroke to the Heart ½ Marathon. A related Health & Fitness Expo and Kids Fun Run are March 15 at the Duke Energy Convention Center. Learn more about the race at