Life & Career Lessons from Red Six’s Art Director
“Use spell check and celebrate the little victories.“
In the advertising world, it takes a team to plan, create and execute a client’s vision for a new campaign launch or branding revamp.
Among the key players are account managers, digital strategists, creative directors, designers, copywriters – all are an essential part of the process. We also have art directors that bring creative ideas to fruition and tell the brand’s story visually.
Today, we are picking the brain of Sixer Art Director Donny Terrio. Starting as an intern and working his way up to art director, Donny shares career advice, favorite projects he has worked on and dos and don’ts for aspiring designers.
So grab a cup of coffee and settle in – Donny has some intriguing (and quite funny) stories to tell.
Donny Terrio, and his wife, Lauren
How did you get your foot in the door with Red Six Media?
I picked Red Six out of a list of local agencies to apply for a senior year graphic design class at LSU. I interviewed with Red Six, got offered the position and haven’t looked back since.
Years later, the owners told me that one of my logos in my portfolio is what really made me stand out. At the time, my sister was putting together a bowling team for a breast cancer awareness fundraiser in Houston, Texas. She had me create a logo for their team, Tossin’ TaTas. To this day, my sister and I joke that she’s the reason I got the position at Red Six.
What was your internship experience like at Red Six Media? How did it lead to a full-time position?
I came along at a very good time. Back then, Matt, Joe and Kristen were the only ones at our original office at the LSU Student Incubator. Business was really starting to pick up so they were in need of some additional help. Compared to other internships I previously had and from what I heard from other classmates, I was able to work on a lot of “real life” work and less “busy” work. I really got my feet wet and could show what I could do as a designer.
At the end of the internship, they offered me to stay on full-time as a graphic designer.
What are the top lessons you have learned during your time at Red Six Media?
- Use spell check. I’m the worst at spelling. I tend to get caught up in layout, form and color, and I stop reading my work.
- I’ve learned the perfect work/fun balance. We know how to have fun at 319 Third Street.
- Kristen, our account director, really wants to be part of the creative team. Who knows–one day it might come true! #dreambig
What is your day-to-day work like as the art director?
For starters, now I’m the one in charge of our design interns. The biggest change is that the advertising industry has shifted from print to digital media compared to when I started here. So now I do a lot more digital designing. Other than that, my day-to-day designing hasn’t changed. I just get things done much faster and better now. #Experience
What are three things you would tell your younger self a.k.a the intern?
- Celebrate little victories. It’s easy to focus on a negative and forget about all the other things that went well.
- 2020 is going to suck, so get everything done that you want to do in 2019 and just chill for all of 2020.
- Everything is going to be just fine. I think.
What are your design faux pas?
- Have a clear hierarchy with your designs and content.
- Keep it simple. Don’t over-design.
- Always have a reason for your design choices, even if the reason is a little bit of some good ol’ fashion BS.
What are your favorite projects you have worked on as Red Six’s art director?
Tiger Athletic Foundation – Not one specific project, but just the entire client. I’m a die-hard LSU fan and sports fanatic, so working on anything sports related is a good day for me as a designer. A highlight for me was being able to watch a commercial and see some campaign graphics I worked on from field level in Tiger Stadium. It also never gets old seeing your work in the Gameday program for Football and Baseball.
River Parishes Tourist Commission – Being from the small town of Garyville, LA it’s been nice to be able to work on a project from back home. After 20+ years of living in the region, I thought I pretty much knew everything you could do there. It’s been really nice to really dive into all the River Parishes has to offer.
XStream Urinals – Boy, this was an interesting one. We had the opportunity to do branding, messaging, logo, website and sales material for a four-man outdoor urinal. Still not sure what I’m talking about or believe this is real? We didn’t either at first. Checkout their website, xstreamurinals.com, for the full insight.