Celebrate Austin design through a week of workshops, talks, studio tours and events this November as the city celebrates its creative economy in the third annual Austin Design Week.

Inspiration Friday: Two Creative Directors Share What Inspired Them Last Week

Every Friday morning our agency holds a team-wide roundup called Inspiration Friday. This is a time when we all share with each other things that we’ve seen during the week that we personally applauded or found particular inspiring to our practice.

With Austin Design Week approaching, I thought this format would be an exciting way to get primed for the conference, as well as learn a little more about the hosts of the many workshops, talks, and studio tours. Each week leading up to the conference, participants from this year’s event will be sharing 3-5 things that inspired them, along with a few of their go-to resources for inspiration.

Today we highlight Chris Perez and Bo Duncan, Co-Founders and Creative Directors of Left Right Media. Here’s what inspired them in their in their own words.

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1. The Visionaries Behind the Memorable Worlds of Film

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I’ve been getting the NY Times Sunday subscription for almost a year now, and I particularly enjoy it when a new copy of their glossy T Magazine is packaged inside. This last week’s T Magazine featured a very interesting article that highlighted the often “invisible” work of film production designers. From designing a cafe that’s a reflection of the golden era of Hollywood for La La Land (above) to a quirky 1930’s concierge desk for Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel; the piece discusses the process, trust, and collaboration needed between designer and director to immerse the audience into their worlds.

Read it here.

2. The Place Economy

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This book was recommended to me by Elizabeth Fauerso, Chief Marketing Officer of the Pearl in San Antonio (which I think is one of the best master planned developments in Texas). Published and edited by Australian creative director and designer Andrew Hoyne, this book is a reference manual for place making and place thinking. Filled with case studies of Australian urbanism and essays from prominent educators and designers; the collection examines the many components of successful communities, places, and brands.

It’s inspired me through its design and its content, and it’s definitely worth the price of admission.

Get it here.

3. Star Trek Discovery (Opening Credits)

I’ve never been much of a Star Trek fan, but I did tune into the series premiere of Star Trek: Discovery since it seemed to be taking influence from the JJ Abrams reboots which I have enjoyed.

One of the best parts of the show to me was the opening credits developed by Prologue. You’ve no doubt seen their visual effects work in films like Iron Man and Tron Legacy, and this extremely well executed layering of Da Vinci-esque technical drawings with 3D X-ray renderings is another great example of their narrative capabilities.

Favorite Sources of Inspiration:

Texture (app)

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I have a strong love for magazines and editorial, and the Texture app (forgive the unfortunate name) is like a Netflix or Spotify for magazines. The $10/month subscription lets me access all issues (new and old) of my favorite publications like Fast Company, Wired, Vanity Fair, and Adweek on my iPad.

Beyond getting inspired by the articles, I often take screenshots of great page layout and type treatments for reference.


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This podcast is essential listening for any creative with an entrepreneurial spirit. Each episode takes you through the origin stories of some of the most successful businesses of our time, as told through the founders themselves.

Host Guy Raz guides his guests through some great quotes that help to uncover the mindset behind these great visionaries . I always learn something and I always leave empowered.


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1. Vaudeville (Fredericksburg, TX)

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The Vaudeville, true to its name, is a sort of carnival experience where you can shop, dine, drink and view art all in one place. It feels out of place on the old main street country town, with its European, upscale vibe. When the 1915 building became available, owners Jordan Muraglia and Richard Boprae decided to make it into a vaudeville, or a variety performance like those of the early 20th century. Jordan and Richard both have incredible yet unique talents they contribute to the business, so a variety show just makes perfect sense. With all the levels and “acts” performing in harmony in this building, they really made that concept work.

The second floor features an art gallery. The main floor is an upscale home goods and furniture store where you’ll find rose gold cocktail shakers and $1,200 couture leather clutches from Paris.

A curtain in the store leads you to a secret bar with a private supper club. This is where the Jordan serves multi-course gourmet New American dinners on Friday, Saturday and Monday nights. I hear that the crab curry soup is to-die-for, and I can’t wait to try it. Finally, the bottom floor has a bistro (open daily) with French pastries, a wine cellar, and the best damn Sunday fried chicken you’ll ever have.

At Left Right, we’re really interested in historic preservation and giving new life to old businesses and structures with great design and big ideas. Vaudeville has done just that, bringing a new story to life in Fredericksburg.

Next time you’re in Fredericksburg, be sure to pay them a visit:

Vaudeville

230 East Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624

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2. The Sound of Pink by Henriette Gote

I spent last weekend on a solo retreat in Leakey, Texas, reading poetry written by Henriette Grote, my grandmother’s sister who passed away decades ago. I’ve read her poems before, but never in the solitude I enjoyed last weekend. These words inspired me so much and gave me a peek inside the life of a woman I know very little about.

My takeaways from these poems is that Henriette was sexy as hell, loved only Jesus more than her Yorkie, felt pain in the most beautiful ways, and adored the memories of raising her children. In my imagination, she was French and fancy, yet risqué. Her passion pours from her poetry. Here are a few of my favorites…

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Last year, my grandmother’s art was the driving inspiration for a hotel project we developed called Hotel St. Dorothy. Similarly, a new hospitality project has begun to brew with these poems her sister wrote before her death. I won’t reveal details, but maybe it will come to life someday.

This is what inspiration is all about, right?

3. SNL Papyrus

Sometimes our “Inspo Friday” contributions are lighthearted, and this one got us all roaring. If you missed this weekend’s Saturday Night Live, you missed Ryan Gosling’s hilarious skit of a man haunted by misuse of the font papyrus. As a creative agency, we don’t like to play by the rules, and we feel like that’s a strength of ours. But as graphic designers, there are two crimes that we’ve taken the pledge to never commit.

    1. Unless you are making an actual comic book, or you are under the age of 12, you may NOT use the comic sans font.
    2. Unless you are doing a report on Ancient Egypt AND you are under the age of 12, you may NOT use the papyrus font.

Besides being hilarious, the skit reminds me of all the crimes I’ve committed against design when I was younger. The drop shadows and awkward photoshop cutouts of hair; the word art that haunts my middle school keepsakes.

Mostly I just love that our industry was given some attention on SNL. Great work Gosling.


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Favorite Sources of Inspiration:

I have this saying when I’m not sure how to do something, “By God or by Google, I can do this.” Truth be told, my master googling usually leads me to a Skillshare video. If you’ve never tried it, your world is about to change.

From Illustrator shortcuts to brand development secrets, I must confess that this continuing education resource is better than any formal workshop or class I’ve ever signed up for. Don’t tell anyone, but I may have learned more from Skillshare about graphic design than I did at NYU.

The $14/month investment is totally worth it. Here are a few of my favorite classes for getting started:

Pattern Design: https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Adobe-Illustrator-For-Pattern-Design-and-More-Make-a-Repeating-Pattern%21/688960796/classroom/discussions?via=continue-watching&enrolledRedirect=1

Modern Marketing 101: https://www.skillshare.com/classes/The-Modern-Marketing-Workshop/96411401/classroom/discussions?via=continue-watching&enrolledRedirect=1

Designing with Bold Colors and Shapes: https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Graphic-Illustration-Boldly-Design-with-Color-and-Shape/1266193104/classroom/discussions?via=continue-watching&enrolledRedirect=1

Illustrator Shortcuts: https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Mastering-Illustrator-10-Tips-Tricks-to-Speed-Up-Your-Workflow/1583544555/classroom/discussions?via=continue-watching&enrolledRedirect=1


Left Right Media is hosting a Mood board by design workshop along with Chris McCray and Grace Hall of McCray and Co. and Linda Asaf on Monday, November 6th at 8:30am.

Moodboards by Design Discipline

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Moodboards are essential to taking the first step in a design. Whether you are an architect, fashion designer, graphic designer, interior designer or wedding planner, moodboards establish the tone, look and feel of a project, and provide a baseline of reference for the entire project. In this workshop, designers of three different disciplines will show examples and discuss their process of creating moodboards and why they are important. Finally, participants will create their own moodboards to take home. Read more here!

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The Austin Design Week Blog is curated and produced in partnership with Left Right Media. Left Right Media is a creative agency in Austin, specializing in branding, web design, app design and digital strategy. Their success is a result of both an analytical (left) and creative (right) approach to design.