Thinking inside the box.

By: Steve Baldwin, Senior Art Director

“Push the envelope on design. Really think outside the box on this one.”

Graphic designers hear this phrase a lot, particularly from new clients. The notion is that the best advertising design is unfettered by any restraints or limitations.

But when was the last time you had a project that didn’t have a due date? Or a budget? Or standards to be met? And aren’t those pesky requirements just little “boxes” we must all contend with? The fact is, there are plenty of these restraints that limit the extent to which proper graphic design can travel. Ironically, these same restraints, when properly managed, allow the best design to surface.

The bottom line is this: a piece that is shockingly or unusually different does not automatically qualify as good design, even it if was created “outside the box.” On the other hand, a project that has been designed inside the many boxes of proper design will more likely hit the mark.

Penny Ohlmann Neimann

The Ohlmann Group has a rich history that began in Dayton, Ohio in 1949, where the agency was founded as Penny and Penny by Bob Penny and his wife Jean. In 1964, Walter Ohlmann joined the firm. Ralph Neiman came on in 1969 and the firm became Penny/Ohlmann/Neiman. In 2011, P/O/N was renamed The Ohlmann Group to better reflect the agency's ongoing evolution and collaborative nature.

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