Slay: A visual Essay about successfully managing fear

Get The Business Skills Every Creative Needs

Remaining relevant as a creative professional takes more than creativity—you need to understand the language of business. The problem is that design school doesn’t teach the strategic language that is now essential to getting your job done. Creative Strategy and the Business of Design
fills that void and teaches left-brain business skills to right-brain creative thinkers. Inside, you’ll learn about the business objectives and marketing decisions that drive your creative work. 

The curtain’s been pulled away as marketingspeak and business jargon are translated into tools to help you:    ·   Understand client requests from a business perspective   ·   Build a strategic framework to inspire visual concepts   ·   Increase your relevance in an evolving industry   ·   Redesign your portfolio to showcase strategic thinking   ·   Win new accounts and grow existing relationships

You already have the creativity; now it’s time to gain the business insight. Once you understand what the people across the table are thinking,
you’ll be able to think how they think to do what we do. 



Part 1: A Designer Caught in the Headlights: Creative Business Solutions

In Part I, A Designer Caught in the Headlights, I’ll discuss the evolving role of a creative in a business and marketing context.
You can think of this as the crash course in business and marketing for creatives.


Chapter 1 Welcome to the Other Side of the Brain: Business Concepts Creatives Should Understand

Chapter 2 Emerging from the Cocoon: The Benefits of a Strategic Approach

Chapter 3 What They Say versus What We Hear: Translating Client Requests


Part 2: Finding Inspiration in Order: Gathering and Organizing Information

In Part II, we will move into how to gather and organize all the relevant information you’ll need to build creative
solutions that are based on sound strategy, solve business objectives and lead the client.


Chapter 4 You Talkin’ to Me?: Reaching Your Target on Behalf of the Brand

Chapter 5 The Cord-Cutter Struggle: Understanding Features, Benefits, and Values

Chapter 6 Think How They Think to Do What We Do: Implementing the Creative Strategy Framework

Chapter 7 Getting Knee Deep: The Advanced Strategy Session

Chapter 8 Finding the Gold: Turning Data and Insights Into Creative Business Solutions


Part 3: The Strategy Behind the Execution: Developing and Presenting Your Work

In Part III, I’ll give you what you need to develop and present your work. You’ll find tips on collecting feedback and
leading discussions in a constructive and meaningful way—away from the typical subjective comments such as “I don’t like it.”


Chapter 9 Beyond “Make It Pretty”: Positioning, Pitching, and Leading the Client

Chapter 10 Where’s the Map?: 11 Questions a Creative Brief Should Answer

Chapter 11 Matchmaking: Aligning Target, Channel, and Messages

Chapter 12 Sell Without Selling: Preparing Yourself to Present


Part 4: Stayin’ Alive: Building a Successful Career

We finish in Part IV, with the information you’ll need to increase the value of your contribution to your clients and your career. 
You’ll also find a compilation of fourteen creative assignments from creative professionals that mirror recent requests their clients
have asked them to solve. You can use these assignments to flex your new, strategy-based creative solutions to refresh your portfolio.


Chapter 13 How to Take a Punch in the Face: 7 Tips for Surviving As a Creative

Chapter 14 Dragon Slaying: Successfully Managing Fear

Chapter 15 Portfolios Are Like Cartons of Milk: Word Problems from Relevant Practitioners


About The Author



Brooklyn-based Douglas Davis enjoys being one of the variety of voices needed in front of and behind the concept, marketing plan, or digital strategy. His approach to creativity combines right-brained creative problem-solving with left-brained strategic thinking. The unique mix of creative strategy, integrated marketing, and art direction is what Douglas brings into the classroom. Douglas began his teaching career as an adjunct in tandem with his professional career, following in the footsteps of his mentors at Pratt Institute who worked during the day and taught at night.

Currently, he is an associate professor within the Communication Design department at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn.
Douglas is a former adjunct professor at New York University in the Master’s in Integrated Marketing program and current adjunct associate professor at City College in the Branding and Integrated Communications (BIC) program. As a HOWDesign university contributor, his ideas have been presented in webinar, conference, and course format. His online class, Creative Strategy and the Business of Design, has been well received by a mix of creative professionals practicing in the United States and beyond.

Digital Marketer, Freelance Art and Creative Director, Advertising & Design Educator . . . who depends on what day.

In 2011 Douglas founded The Davis Group LLC and continues to offer strategic solutions to client branding, digital, and design problems. In addition to client work and giving back in the classroom, Douglas was appointed to serve on the advisory board for New York City’s High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (iAM). His advertising and academic experience aided him in authoring the four-year curriculum for the first public advertising high school in the country. Following the launch of iAM, Douglas contributed as an education consultant for the launch of the Manhattan Early College School for Advertising (MECA).

Douglas holds a BA in Graphic Design from Hampton University, an MS in Communications Design from Pratt Institute, and an MS in Integrated Marketing from New York University.


Learn about the role you can play as a creative in business. If you’re a professional designer, you know what it’s like to lose creative battles. Design and marketing have changed from a purely idea-centric field, to one that has to provide creative business solutions. Marketers now hold agencies and designers accountable for their creative ideas, and as a result, success is measured in conversions and marketing ROI. The creative who understands the business of design is king (or queen). In this course, you’ll learn how to integrate business considerations into your creative strategies. Learn how you can play a role in the conversations that usually happen before and after a brief is dropped on your desk. If you know how to participate in that dialogue, your work will be more closely aligned with the needs of the client and their business. See what past students are saying about the course or click for a sample outline of the online workshop. 



Whether I'm helping working teams with a tailored training or corresponding with my online students via HOW DESIGN University, the classroom provides an outlet to share what I've learned. My design experience plus business school training gives me the unique position of being able to translate business concepts to designers or articulate design thinking to business people. I enjoy teaching creative teams who want to be more strategic, writing curriculum as a consultant or lecturing in person. Let's begin the conversation about your professional development needs today.




Drop Me A Line

Whatever your needs, from logos and identities to creative strategy training, I’m interested in working with talented people who take risks when seeking solutions. I'm open to the range of possibilities from speaking engagements to custom course design. Let's begin the conversation on how I can help.

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