InsightsDhano Mc Nicol

Making Good. Great!

InsightsDhano Mc Nicol
Making Good. Great!

"I like Jeff Bezos. Why? He's a badass. Simple. But you just sat there with your wheat crisps and tuna expecting more. So let me expand. He's like the Godfather: "Make them an offer they can’t refuse". Bezos has taken one of entrepreneurs main pillars of success and made it a a huge success: that the best entrepreneurs are super disagreeable. That love of debate. Where people are forced to advocate their perspectivesis ingrained in Amazon's culture. It should come as no surprise that Amazon's leadership principles is: Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit. 

And it got me thinking about my own body of work as a Creative Director. Like Bezos, I've had to step back and look at what my work was communicating. Was it even communicating in the first instance? What makes good ideas, GREAT Ideas?

1. Put in the work

Good ideas come dime a dozen. A great idea forces you into a corner, to caress it; to look at it and mould it and breathe into it the creative breath of life. Anyone can drink from the spring on the way to Maracas beach. But to drink from the source of that spring? Yeah. That takes time and effort and maybe a scrape or two. But it’s worth it in the end.

2. Embrace limitations

Face it. Without limits, what started as a simple font change on a document can end up being an entire make over. From a simple flier to a full scale collateral. While the client may be wowed by your creative prowess, that's not always what they want. Stay within the limits of what is required, but explore to its entirety the boundaries of those limits. Dont pout at limits. embrace them.

3. Mojo. Creative Mojo

That Creative "Jooz" that we hold so dear. For some it may be Junior Demus / Doubles / 32 Oz of Coke / 27 inch iMac. For others it's calm serenity of your back porch / chai Tea / Yoyo Ma. For others, it's aimless driving at 2am / limp biz kit / (enter favorite 'erb' here).

Combining the aforementioned takes a bit of work to get it just "GREAT" enough. But many times this is the point where you put aside your personal feelings toward the body of work that you're a part of and take critical comments/advice. As we say here, "feedback is fuel". And dont stand within the shadows of your previous work. Understand that you have to exceed that last effort. It's that 40 min period that you take to fit 3 lines of text into a page without causing rivers. And yet the font kerning remains the same.
Either way the end result is a channeled, focused mindset towards design and what needs to come forth. Mojo. It's yours. Mess with it and it could be a deal breaker for you. But remember our friend Jeff Bezos mantra: Be that Cheetah that commits to a gazelle.

Management has just informed me that I am out of word count. Sigh."
All in the name of fuel...


A Creative Professional with over twenty years experience. Which he gained during his time spent at a few of Trinidad’s top advertising agencies. Then functioning as the Regional Creative head of the Caribbean’s largest retailer. Contributing to the development of the group’s regional marketing strategy. Forming the regional Design Strategy. Conceptualisation and execution of all creative, marketing and advertising communication for the group’s brands. With oversight of regional and local creative teams and creative processes. He continues to sharpen his creative edge. A passionate, twenty-four hour creative junky. Admirer of sexy typefaces, lover of words and aspiring life long learner. He is also the founder of A BigBox Of Crayons. An online and offline community for creative thinkers + makers in Trinidad & Tobago.