Creative South 2017 Recap

Creative South came and went. While the air travel caused headaches for many and where I almost did not make it to the design conference when I did arrive, boy I had a blast! Catching up with friends, meeting new ones, talking nonsense as well as talking shop. The memories I had are mine to cherish just like everyone else’s personal experience. Here is some of the highlights from this creative conference that is Creative South.

Come as friends, leave as family- One of the great reasons to go to Creative South is being around all the like minded individuals. It is inspiring, rewarding, and you may not know what will come of it. I went there with a bit of business on my mind and I am happy to be able to hire some designers for projects I am working. At the same time I got to catch up with various friends and hang out with my core group of Anderson Bluu of Bluu Dreams, Will of Dead Flesh Co, the Biggie from Deli Fresh Threads (who I finally got to meet in person after talking online for a couple years), and Kevin Green of Green Design Co. As much as I’d like to name drop everyone that I hung out with, it’d be a long post. But from just chatting it up at rooftop bar, to getting a very late night snack at the Waffle House, or exchanging stickers at the Vendor Village it was a blast.

Your WHO is more important than your DO- Alicja Colon dropped this gem early in the conference. Don’t lose sight of who you are and what you like to do, because you want to put out so much content out there. Manage your priorities and satisfaction. It’s about quality not quantity, especially when sharing your work online through social media.


Who would have thought an accountant would be a great speaker at a design conference- James Blumer had one of the best talks and for anyone who walked out of it, I have to say was probably not mature to understand how the business side of design works. He talked about having 3 options for pricing, a high, middle, and low. 85% of the clients choose the middle price tier, so you may want to decide how you price. He talked about trying to give a 1 page proposal or even 1 page per option of your price tier, but don’t give out a list of everything you’re doing. Know your costs, present in person and if you can’t present in person get them on the phone as it is easier to explain why something costs so much rather than someone looking at a number in an e-mail and immediately deleting it, because you’re pricier than expected.  You want to strategically place value with option. Show your options, THEN show the price. One of the best things and ballsiest things he said was “Double your price.” Whatever you are charging right now, DOUBLE IT.  Find out what your M.A.P. (Minimum Average Price) is, which means what is the minimum you will charge.

Take part in any extra activities- While only 8 people can participate in Ink Wars, there are other activities. There was the logo competition which I had fun doing and the Adobe Creative Jam which focused on various design topics from Photography to UI Design. It’s just fun to do and you get to be creative and vibe off everyone else. I had the pleasure of designing alongside my buddy Anderson and the head honcho Mike Jones working on our own logos for our imaginary restaurant “On the Bridge Tacos” which we had 1 hr to complete it.

If it’s not a “HELL YEAH” it’s a no- That is a great philosophy to live by and shared by Marc Hemeon and Joel Buekelman of Design, Inc. They gave us 70 design tips which I only took down the ones that were important to me. Here are a couple,

-” Design is not art.” (That’s always a nice reminder)

-“Punch above your weight class.”,

-When designing “Design one for the stakeholder and one for you,”

– “Effort trumps talent”

-Resentment causes burnout

-Success = 80% sell, 20% Design

-Everyone’s job is hard. That means everyone in every profession.

-Write more (I’m back to blogging)

-Do 1 Big thing a day.

-Have 15 minute meetings, have your agenda before hand, because meetings are for decisions.

Contrary to what it looks this was gooooood.

Southern Food is TASTY- The food in Georgia was good and you should certainly try it.


It’s a great conference and if you can make it out next April, I highly recommend it. It gets sold out quick, so make sure you get your ticket in time.

As I’m finishing typing I still can’t help and reminisce how awesome it was and how interesting it is. One minute I’m sharing my knowledge to college students who are about to graduate to the next where I’m receiving tips on how to improve my own photo retouching to just enjoying a nice evening watching people draw live on a Bentley. Good times. Good times indeed.

Stay Creative,

Joe Baron