1. CLAIRE'S TIPS, TRENDS, & EDUCATIONAL GEMS: Seeking the Creative Juice Bar!

    CLAIRE'S TIPS, TRENDS, & EDUCATIONAL GEMS: Seeking the Creative Juice Bar!


    Being surrounded by creative people on a daily basis does not help me either. I have a whole design team that sits directly across from me (literally I can see them as I write) and you would think that some of their creative juices would rub off on me but no… So how do the designers do it? Where do they pull their inspiration from? What makes their brains become so full with ideas that they have nowhere else to put it but directly into your tradeshow booth, meeting stage set and lobby space designs? I sat down with Bob Russo, Director of Creative Services to pick his juicy brain: This is Bob.


    Where do you look for inspiration when you feel like the well is dried up? There isn't any single place. I try to keep up on industry news through magazines and the web. Seeing what my peers are doing is always a great way to become inspired. Pop culture is a great source for what is in the zeitgeist right now. The real challenge is trying to stay ahead of the curve, trying to predict the curve enough to determine its path. Here at VDA we frequently call folks together for a brainstorm session, formally, or just at lunch or after work over drinks. One of the most successful programs I ever designed came from an idea put forth by our Warehouse Manager. Sometimes I feel like a farmer, taking a seed of an idea and nurturing it along. #farmerbob

    What is the oddest thing/place that has sparked inspiration for you? I am constantly inspired by natural formations. Mother Nature creates some amazing colors and shapes. Sometimes snowdrifts can suggest a new idea. Just a random combination of wind and precipitation can create unbelievable shapes. If I could harness the smallest portion of the creativity that I find at the beach or growing in the forest, it would be amazing. 

    Is there a designer (from any industry) that you admire? Robert Graham is a clothing designer who has always stretched the boundaries of convention. He is best known for his collector edition men’s shirts. I love the way Robert takes color and pattern and creates something new every time. Once you have seen his work, you will recognize it anywhere. He is fearless in his designs and his attention to detail is incredible. For a clothing designer, he includes more inward facing design than anyone else. He is almost singularly responsible for the contrasting inner shirt cuff that has become a ‘thing’ throughout the men’s fashion industry. I don’t know who specifically is responsible, but some of the marketing that I see for Coca Cola is groundbreaking. They have done some recent campaigns that grab you at an emotional level and convince you that a for-profit corporation is driven by more than just money. 

    If you would like to talk to Bob about creating an inspirational event of your own, let's make it happen! Contact us at 617-628-1200 or by sending me an email: Claire@vdaproductions.com

    Till next time,



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