On Thursday, May 21, our Associate Creative Director Tim May and Designer Jeffery Frankenhauser teamed up with Portland State University’s Graphic Design program to do a little Show & Tell. At the School of Art and Design’s weekly lecture series, our two designers presented to a room of 30+ design students, professors, and guests. Tim and Jeffery spent the lunch hour talking about their lives before and at XPLANE, sharing some of our public projects, and dishing out artsy wisdom. At the end of their session, the two shared three solid pro-tips straight from the XPLANE design team:



Grab some Post-It Notes and get visual! Posting up your ideas on a wall is a great way to get ideas generating with a large group of people. This method gets the whole room thinking and allows you to move ideas and group similar thoughts together. Not only is this technique great for the group brainstorming process, but you can also apply it to your every day life. “The moment when I realized that I really believed in what we were doing was when I did a Post-Up at home,” Jeffery said. “We were having trouble visualizing what we should be saving our money for, so we posted it up on the wall and organized our short term needs and wants.”



When everyone’s involved and working together on something, everyone supports the final outcome. “In order to get things to succeed, you need support,” Tim said. “People will defend and support what they helped build.” This idea of collaboration is especially important in what XPLANE does on the inside of organizations. Collaboration is the key to getting all teams to buy-in to the work we do.  


Collaboration is key for XPLANE internally as well. Not only should you involve collaborators in the design process, but you should also be sharing your work with other designers. When you get another set of eyes on something, it’s always going to make your project better.  


Draw Everything

Taking notes? Making a shopping list? Writing a letter? Draw it. It takes skill to move from the precision and exact measurement in fine art to learning how to draw a simple library of cliché cartoons. Create your own mental library of little scenes and images that are universally recognizable (like a light bulb to represent an idea). “People will rally around that,” Tim said. “They get it. “ This “Egyptian Realism,” as Tim called it, is a great (and fun!) way to get your ideas across. The simpler the drawings (with the least amount of lines), the better.

Photo from @katebingburt