Welcome to “My World” in this Big, Beautiful, Universe.
My name is Trey Daugherty and I have been creatively inclined ever since I can remember. It all started “doodling” in class. Getting in trouble for “doodling” in class. Parent/teacher meetings about “doodling” in class. I have always gravitated toward anything creative in nature, drawing, sculpting, airbrushing, music, guitar. I was also one of the first generation of kids to have a personal computer in my bedroom. In 1984, when I was 10 years old my mom and dad got me a TRS-80 for Christmas. It was a black screen with white type and it had a tape drive. A tape drive! Remember tapes? Having to rewind and fast forward to get to songs. Simple math games would take like 20 minutes to load, it was crazy, but I was hooked.
I learned the coding language called Basic and was amazed how I could make this machine do so many things as long as everything was typed correctly. I could see back then computers would be integrated in our everyday lives. I just had no idea the level and speed at which this would happen.
I knew I wanted to do something with computers and something with art, I just didn’t know what that “something” was. In high school I had a couple classes that made a huge impact on me. One was a technologies class where we had Window’s 95 PC’s. We did projects that would require us to engineer and create things to solve problems. I loved this class. The other was one of my art classes. Ms. Andritz, my high school art teacher introduced me to this program called Adobe Photoshop 2.0. I was amazed at what I saw. It was the first time I got to interact with a Macintosh for longer than 5 minutes. It immediately became my favorite class, even over technologies and sculpting. I have been hooked on digital art ever since.
I Have Always Felt the Print Pieces & Websites I Design Are Pieces of Art.
I have as much pride in any of them as I do in a black and white pen drawing or a ceramic mug sculpting. When I manipulate a photograph and no one can tell is an art form in of itself but my main love is still my first love; doodling. I love drawing thumbnails on paper until I get that “bam” moment. The process of taking that drawing and turning it into a piece of digital art, is the art. I feel like Illustrator and Photoshop are extensions of myself like a pen or brush. As soon as I understood Photoshop, I quit airbrushing because it was much easier to create a mask in Photoshop than cutting film for each and every color of an airbrush piece. I have thousands of hours in both Photoshop and Illustrator and love both programs equally. Even though they are both getting closer to merging they still each serve a purpose. I can draw a bézier curve in both but I feel more at home in illustrator when dealing with vector. The same holds true for photoshop and creating pixel based digital art. With the introduction of smart objects they both work together in an entirely new way. Smart objects in Photoshop allow you to keep vector art within your psd and also allows for an image that is 300DPI to be put into your 72DPI document in a non-destructive way. Resolution independent. Crazy, right? Anyway that’s me “in a nutshell“.
With over twenty years in the design industry I have learned what makes a great design but more importantly I have learned what doesn’t make a great design. From icon design to large multi-media presentations, I have the experience to lead any team to amazing creative results. Creative Direction implies directing. While you do have to direct your team, I feel it is so much more than simply directing. You have to learn the strengths and talents of the creative team you are leading. Then you have to incorporate all of their strengths into whatever project it is your team is working on. All of this while you make sure to teach and mentor each and every one of the creative talent below you, along the way. I wouldn’t be where I am at today if it wasn’t for a few critical people mentoring me & a few dedicated teachers. Ultimate thanks go out to Jeffrey H. Watts, Adam Grant, Mr. Carnegie, Mimi Botscheller, Lorna Hernandez, and of course my high school art teacher Ms.Andritz! They showed me the ins and outs of the industry & shared their love and passion for the medium to me, so I always make sure I pay it forward with my fellow creative talent. People say it can be difficult working with creative talent and getting them to work together as a team. I have never seen it this way. The good designers will always have egos about their design and that’s understandable. Great designers keep their ego in check and pass down their knowledge. You learn quickly who is who and you adjust. I have the personality and talent to bring creative teams together so we all grow together.
A lot of companies have a problem understanding branding and what it is their “Brand Image” is. It is something that’s far too often overlooked in the overall design of a company’s corporate identity, print design, web design, commercials and about anything else a company does to promote itself. When this happens the company doesn’t have a consistent look & feel in all the different medium they are advertising in. This leads to them never make a lasting impression on the consumer so they are easily forgotten. Having worked at many Fortune 500 & 100 companies along with some amazing advertising agencies I have the knowledge to create a lasting brand image that will stand the test of time. It is honestly one of my favorite things to do because you are giving a company their “face” and clients love it when you give them an image they are proud of and helps them succeed in their arena. Being able to translate a company’s objective and their culture into a memorable brand image people will remember is critical to their success. We all know some of the best brand images in the world because they are consistently the companies that understand what their “Brand Image” is. Companies like Apple, Google, Adobe, Nike, BMW and Coca-Cola understand this.
Print Design & Development
I have always taken a traditional approach to all my design because I believe it’s the only way to truly develop great advertising & design. The print medium is often overlooked as part of a businesses strategy in modern times. Having great looking print advertisements in newspapers, magazines & newsletters while at the same time developing a direct marketing strategy such as postcards, business cards, pocket folders and promotions you can leave with potential new clients is still one of the best methods to sell them your product or service. I have been designing print advertisements and art directing photo shoots for over 20 years. I still love it to this very day. Everything from conceptualizing the overall piece, to scheduling and art directing any photography, to the tactile feel, color and finish of the paper you choose. I have designed packaging and marketing materials for companies like Mr. Coffee, Revlon, Sports Authority, FoodSaver, Office Depot and Guinness Beer to name a few and I have the skills and talents to produce award winning pieces.
Adobe, Adobe, Adobe…
I have been using Adobe’s software since the mid 90’s. To this day I am excited when an update comes out and I can learn about all the new tools & functionality. Being able to transform one of my thumbnails into a vector logo, icon, page design, etc is an awesome and interesting process. I have been in love with it ever since Ms. Andritz (my high school art teacher) introduced me to it. I strive to keep up with today’s advancements in software and technology. I also try to make it to Photoshop World ever couple years to keep my skills honed and to also see some of my idols like Like Bert Monroy. I love what I do and believe it shows in my work.
Web Design & Development
I built my first website in 1996 using this new application called Flash. I read through the manual and watched a couple tutorial videos I had on a CD. I was still in college earning a degree in Visual Communications. At the time my industry was mainly print design. I was immediately enamored with this new medium. It fit with my love for drawing and my new-ish found love for digital art. I have been designing and developing websites ever since. Web design and development have come a long way since 1996. We have learned about UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface Design) which allows us to design and develop websites you can interact with in an intuitive way. This is completely different from the original “Online Brochures” we saw in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Tables are long gone and HTML, CSS & JS are the new norms that are taking us to a new level on the web. There was a hole in the web when flash started going away but with the introduction of things like SVG’s (SVG’s were technically re-introduced), frameworks, layers, canvases, and web fonts this has opened the web up to designers in a way we could have only imagined. These technologies have also required any good designer to learn how to “layout” their design just like they would layout a magazine in InDesign which requires learning front end coding languages.
What can I say? It’s a Love, Hate Relationship
When I initially learned to design and develop websites we were in the very early days of the internet. The internet consisted of simple html tables with pictures, animated gifs, some pretty basic layouts and bad designs. This was mainly because we were still trying to figure out what this “web” was going to ultimately be. The technology at the time simply had not progressed far enough. Things like User Experience and User Interface Design were not as central to the process as they are today. We are just now getting to a point where a website adapts to each device without having a different set of code for each device. It’s a beautiful thing but at the same time can be extremely infuriating when you’re fighting with code. So like I said; it’s a love, hate relationship and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Everything I do in the design industry requires a certain amount of project management but my speciality is leading a client when they feel overwhelmed with everything entailed with large, complex projects. From large eCommerce websites to print catalog’s I am adept at breaking it all down into stages then figuring out timelines and milestones so the project can be completed on time and on budget. It’s a juggling act sometimes but it’s what is required to accomplish large ambitions. Being able to take a step back and see the big picture on a project is critical. It’s one of the main problems I run into with clients. It can become too much when they consider all the different pieces required to bring a large project together. That’s where I come in. I break it down and make it understandable. With something like a website I am usually acting as the Creative Director and bringing all the pieces together like copywriters, photographers, developers, illustrators, production artist, SEO/Marketing experts, etc. to accomplish the website.
If you are a professional designer, art director or creative director of any medium you are inherently a marketer. As a designer right out of school I would take it personally when my art director or a client didn’t love my design as much as I did. I mean, I stayed up till 3AM working on this. I put my heart and soul into it! Why don’t you see what I see!?! Luckily I had a couple wonderful mentors who taught me not to take ownership in the design and to make sure not to lose sight of the marketing objective of the piece. My art is used to promote other people’s products and services, my objective is to ultimately help them make more money. I was lucky to have learned this early. There are so many area’s in today’s marketing world, It’s mind-boggling. Print advertising, SEO, PPC, PLA, marketplaces, affiliate programs, email marketing, re-targeting, analytics, split testing… It goes on and on. To market your company, product or service in today’s world requires a broad knowledge of many different media and marketing arenas. It requires analytics and testing. It requires accepting that sometimes, your awesome design didn’t test as well as something far more amateur looking. I have been heavily involved in all things marketing for over 15 years and have the experience to not only design and produce artwork for marketing, I am also versed at strategizing, planning and deploying the overall strategy.