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Who are you and what do you want with me?

Counterintuitive as it sounds, if we are connected on LinkedIn, chances are I don’t know who you are or what you do. As social networking platforms go, it’s by far the least social in my experience. I see a lot of commotion with little interaction.

Now, I’m only one of 260+ million active fish in this particular sea, but making connections that slip into the shadows seems to be the norm. I often wonder why this happens. In fact, I wonder every time it happens. Perhaps it’s because members can have up to 30,000 connections, a virtually unlimited amount. …

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The first step in trying to write more as a Designer

I am not one for new year’s resolutions or scheduled reinvention, but as we swan dive into 2020 with all of its political mess and climate crises, I decided it is time to spur some personal growth and attempt more acts of self-love.

One way I hope to grow creatively this year is as a writer — something I am not. Don’t get me wrong. I write plenty from day-to-day. As a Designer and Creative Director, I compose regular business communications, proposals, rationale to support ideas, advertising and marketing copy, and so on. No, what I’m talking about now is writing for myself. I’m talking about exploring new and exciting ideas as an act of creation. This has always been the dark side for me. I find it difficult, nearly impossible to traverse without succumbing to the perils of self-doubt and mental blockages. As a result, my ideas, the few that get documented at least, are often abandoned and left to die in the Notes app on my iPhone. …

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Growing a business without focus can be a risky endeavor. It’s easy to lose loyal customers if what you do strays too far from what your brand says you do. I recently experienced this in my own neighborhood.

In my city, it’s rare to live within walking distance of a coffee shop. However, my family is fortunate to live just 350 feet from one. This particular family-owned shop has coffee and specialty drinks, as you would expect. It also serves great breakfast food and homemade desserts. It sells local art and goods. Several times a week, locals perform anything from jazz to spoken word for customers. Hell, it’s even connected to a juice bar owned by the same family. …

Originally appeared on

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Good design has done its job before you even notice.

There is a belief in the culinary world that we eat first with our eyes. That before other senses, such as smell and taste, enter the conversation, our brain is already processing information and making assumptions through sight.

The story begins before it begins.

You order the spaghetti from your favorite Italian joint, and as it is laid before you, your brain goes to work. The plating is clean, suggesting the chef is skilled. The deep red hue of the sauce, simmered for hours, advertises rich umami flavors. Below the sauce is a bed of elegantly twirled al dente noodles. They will be tender but firm to the bite. …


Andrew Stephens

Creative Director + Designer + Illustrator

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