Art director, designer, and illustrator, Russell Shaw, takes pride in his attention to detail. “My favorite work is helping people take their wild ideas and turn them into tangible experiences,” he states on his website, “and bringing creativity, impact, and delight into each experience that is made along the way.”
According to Shaw, the beauty of brand identity design is not in any one single expression of the work, but in the magic of how it gains momentum when it all fits together. And with clients that include Porsche, Target, New York Magazine, and HarperCollins, he clearly knows what he’s talking about.
But in an interview with The Design Kids, he described his path to graphic design as a meandering one, having first studied art with the aim to become an artist rather than a designer. “I actually went into college pursuing studio art,” he recalled in the interview. “But one day, one of my professors approached my drafting table in a painting course and, in front of the whole class, said – and I kid you not, this is verbatim, because I have never forgotten it – she said: ‘Watching you try to create art is like watching someone drive nails through their fingers.’”
It was then that he had an epiphany. “What she meant was that I was too tight, too obsessed with detail, and too focused on getting things absolutely perfect,” he explains. “And she was right. I was not mad; I think it steered me away from something I just did not have in me.” Nowadays, it’s this attention to detail that puts him on the map. It has also won him a PRINT Magazine’s “Best In Class” award for hand-lettering.
If you’re looking for some design inspiration, we recommend you follow Shaw’s Instagram page.