A Design Conversation

The Chopping Block, Inc.


Chopping Block

World Domination Through Graphic Design

Since 1996

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choppingblock.com, portfolio, stories


Chop Shop

Nerdy Design Shirts For Brilliant People

Since 2004

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NYC @ School of Visual Arts

Since 1998

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Edge Link 03 01 ChopMain
Edge Link 03 01 ChopMain
Take exceptionally talented creative professionals.
  • Teach them how to work digitally.
  • Teach them how to build for & communicate online.

What is Design?

“Graphic design is a popular art and a practical art, an applied art and an ancient art. Simply put, it is the art of visualizing ideas.”

There is No Scientific Definition

People have tried:

“DESIGN: (noun) a specification of an object, manifested by some agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to some constraints.”
“Intriguingly, though, Ralph and Wand did intend their definition to be useful "in the real world" for software designers. "Developers are often expected to estimate the cost of developing a system, but their estimates are often inaccurate," Ralph says. "The definition [of design] is useful to developers for explaining why they cannot provide accurate estimates, namely, the environment, goals, requirements, constraints, or primitives are not clear at the time the cost estimate is needed.”

The Value of Design

When I was in school:

“Art reminds us of emotions once had, and at it's best allows us to experience new emotions.”


“Design, thats just problem solving...”
IBM Eye Bee M Logo 2x
“Good design is good business.”
Science Wonder Art Vinn Diagram
“In most people‚Äôs vocabularies, design means veneer... Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”

What is a Designer?

A Lawyer is a student of law.

A Surgeon is a student of medicine.

A Designer is a student of design.

  • Understands the system
  • Knows the rules
  • Been there before
  • Instinct
  • Savvy


Elements of Design

The building blocks of art & design.


  • Line
  • Shape
  • Direction
  • Size/Scale
  • Texture
  • Color
  • Value


Principles of Design

What we do with the elements of design.


  • Balance
  • Gradation
  • Repetition
  • Contrast
  • Harmony
  • Dominance
  • Unity

Design Focused?

“If you value good design, then you need good designers. If you need good designers you have to prioritize the value of design.”

Our Process

(Launch Capabilities)

Business of Design

The RFP Process:

  • Is flawed at best.
  • Is not a substitute for discovery.

A Statement of Work (SOW):

  • Is your first sign of success (or not).
  • Should be a precise commitment.
  • Do you get payed to go to meetings?

Spec should NEVER happen.

Design & Balance

Albert Einstein Play


“Sometimes when you can't find what you need it's just because you haven't made it yet.”

Im Done