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People to Watch in 2011 BACK FORWARD

david gauger
david gauger

PRESIDENT/CREATIVE DIRECTOR, GAUGER + ASSOCIATES

David Gauger’s career began at age 17 in a small Los Gatos CA advertising and design firm. He began a design studio at 21. In 1974, Gauger co-founded Gauger Sparks Silva in San Francisco, now Gauger + Associates. A graduate of San Jose State University, he has taught graphic design, advanced visual communications, advertising campaigns and green & social marketing at the university level. His firm has created branding, packaging, interactive design, environmental design and advertising programs for a range of visionary businesses. His agency’s work has garnered hundreds of awards in the USA and abroad.

Where were you born, where do you live, did this effect your design style or sensibilities?
Born in Santa Maria, California, my career and residence have been in San Francisco. The West Coast effect has been to continuously question authority and to experiment stylistically. Ideas always trump style. It is far more difficult to make a good idea look bad than vice versa.

If you were not a designer, what would you do?
Owning my own business, I have had the good fortune, and often the obligation, to do many things that are not considered design. This includes writing, illustration, photography, strategizing and business management. Variety keeps us looking at life from fresh perspectives. Design is everywhere and we are all designers.

What advice would you give a design student or young professional just starting out?
Look at as much good work as possible. Challenge yourself not to do the same thing twice. Have an idea, then force yourself to have a better one, and a better one. Evaluate everything by looking at it upside down. View your work through the eyes of someone else. Stay hungry.

Design Hero?
Milton Glaser
Favorite Color?
200
Favorite Typeface?
Helvetica
Favorite App?
The Weather
Favorite TV Shows?
Top Gear, America’s Test Kitchen, Sports
Favorite Books?
Good to Great, Hey Whipple Squeeze This, Blue Ocean Strategy
Favorite Movies?
Inception, Moon Over Parador, Murder by Death
Favorite Music?
Rock ‘n Roll
Favorite Fine Artists?
Edward Ruscha
Favorite Gadget?
iPhone
Bookmarked Websites?
Apple, YouTube, Gauger-Associates
Worst Habit?
Impatience
New Year’s Resolution?
Eliminate clutter, both physical and mental