Ben’s and David’s tag team talk: TAXI, The Agency of the Decade.

Friday! FRIday!! FRIDAY!!! October 2nd, 2015. Two powerhouse punchers from TAXI visit the Pro Topics Arena and do a conversation with a group 23 recruit able creative newbies:


Starting first in the arena,

Ben Feist, Vice president, Technology at TAXI
Ben Feist, Vice president, Technology at TAXI

And presentation teammate

David Stuart Airey, Recruitment Manager at TAXI.


“A Handful of key individuals drive every piece of business” —Ben Feist

Focusing his energies in development and innovation of digital creative, using newest Technologies, Ben Feist and his digital team have provide high quality products for some of the biggest Canadian companies. He believes that every person at TAXI has the opportunity and duty to provide top notch creative. This why when the question, ‘Will I have creative freedom at TAXI?’ the answer was honestly responded is ‘not all the time’. The industry works with constraints and is considered a good thing. Constraints help drive the creative process and produce very unique creative. But this also can result in what is known as the ‘The Creative Advertising Conundrum’ (Almost sounds like a wrestling move, acronym too. TCAC A tool to beat TAXI’s competitors) Digital creative comes to this situation most of time, but it is TAXI who sees TCAC as a in-house tool, forces creative teams to always take a step further and goes the distance… even knowing it will be rejected.

“no money, you need to be daring “—Ben Feist

That is why going the distance, with a concept, sometimes pays off. Ben explained this further in an example where the TAXI team developed a fictitious scooter called ‘Mini Skini’ by Mini Cooper. The result was that some segments of the audience thought the ‘Mini Skini’ was real and some even tried to order. The campaign was a success, web traffic increased to the Mini Cooper website, calling the company to know how they could place an order and buy. So going the extra mileage can result in success.

But most of the time you can’t win them all. For TIFF 2010, TAXI was commissioned to develop a campaign, centred around film and to introduce a common factor; in this case it was a film reel.

This common factor needed to be fun, unique and full of energy. The examples shown were very impressive and became part of something important and feel international. The campaign simply related to classic films. But presented in a way the reminds the audience why the TIFF festival 10 is something not to miss; to see newly released classic film. Smart idea.

But smart ideas can still be cut back to communicate a totally different message and for TIFF Festival 10 this is what happened, the campaign still worked, but this is an example that even when you go the distance does not guarantee success in implementing. So why even try…wrong attitude. The point is that we need to push our selves even if we feel we know that it will not be accepted.

TAXI has a mantra:

  • Keep the pressure on
  • Always go beyond the standard
  • To later be rejected, mean you can try again
  • Sometimes concepts will be accepted


Other notable campaigns mention by Ben are: WVSRT invite campaign, sausage only themed restaurant, required invite materials collateral and digital. Mentioned as being a Cannes Lion winner.

Vancouver Aquarium, Angular Fish campaign, promote Luminescence exhibition, please see the Youtube video, attached a image of an angular fish to a street lamp, mimics an attribute of fish found at the aquarium. This promotion established a link to passers by. Engagement and curiosity generated new interest in the Vancouver Aquarium.

Viagra was one campaign that Ben explored in some detail. He mentioned that pharmaceutical products must be handle in a special way. You can either mention the name of product, minus what it does or you can mention what it does, minus what it is called. A very challenging problem, but TAXI made an interesting approach.
First platform was ‘confiding in your doctor’ a very serious approach to a men’s health issue, newly revealed to pop culture. The second platform was ‘Talk to your Doctor’ more light-hearted; pop culture accepts medical condition. Nice evolution to a campaign that has helped men’s health awareness and received a Golden Lion Cannes award.

Ben mentioned one more client that ventured from other international campaigns that TAXI has done, such as the Bombardier train and aircraft commercials. Allowed both companies to the development of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic relay torch: Canadian made and designed to never blow out.


Ben speciality is digital and it plays an important role at TAXI. Ben showed in interesting diagram that shows that there is a spectrum. And by distinguishing where they fall can determine a candidate’s success and continued digital education. Some agency focus on tech primary in the app development, require a retainer for services and are considered ad agencies but need to grow up. In the middle you have UX Primary, essential stay in one place, internet and .com. For TAXI they are on the right side, Brand Primary and involves pure UX and brand centric and a philosophy ‘learn as you do’.

Ben’s helpful tips:

  • Review your gameplay
  • Learn to talk about your work
  • Presenting what you are best at
  • Go outside yourself
  • Contextual thinking
  • Client Situational awareness

Now Pro Topic Fans David has been tagged to inter the Pro topic Arena.

David is a Group Manager for recruitment, has worked in Montreal, New York. Is a post Sheridan graduate. When David began working for TAXI he found to be an interesting and meaningful place.
When David looks for candidates he looks for the best of the best.

Here are some tips he mentioned to become one of the best:

  • Have confidence, being happy is productive
  • Emotion should be in the work not the work place
  • Charisma is nice, talking to people is important
  • Client charge, working with clients is key to success
  • Explain your worth
  • TAXI is part of a healthy culture
  • Work together make it a meaningful
  • Be expected to work around the clock 50-60 hours
  • Show your best ingredients
  • Communicate your talents
  • Have an outside life

For portfolios having both analog and digital presentation is important, but more importantly it is want story it tells about you.

  • Passion first
  • Best you can do
  • Show 3 amazing pieces
  • Stamina and enthusiasm
  • Mentorship is important
  • Stunts should be avoided, unless they are brilliant
  • Network first

David concluded his talk by saying that the industry is in a transitional period.
That work is available and that work for TAXI is a possibility, especially students from Sheridan Web Design program.

Attention all potential creatives, these two highly professionals look for ‘the best of the best’. If you have what it takes, take their advice and work like you never have worked before.
TAXI has provided some of the most daring and memorable campaigns for some of the most well known corporation in Canada and from around the world. So visit the TAXI web site when you get a chance.

Sean Patrick, 4 rules will echo in my Calm Catcher.

Just moments ago I realized that this blog posting may be one of my most challenging. Not in the sense that it is my second “official” posting, on my “first official” blog website or that I will be posting my interpretation of the 4 Simple Rules. But I will need to recount and incredible journey of transformation. At least a first step, it best describes what 23 plus, future wide-eyed web designers experienced September 25th, 2015.

“Sooo… you want to be a (verb) designa.
—Sean Patrick”

Sean Patrick President of Patrick Paradisi
Sean Patrick President of Patrick Paradisi

Short intro, about the most interesting, dynamic, energized and passionate person. Sean Patrick(LinkedIn), President & co-founder of Patrick Paradisi Inc. formally a instructor of Web Design and Marketing, Sheridan College and worked for Mosaic Sales Solutions as Vice President, Digital and Creative Services.

The most amazing, informative and entertaining event occurred to a group of, talented design wonders on what would have been a normal Friday morning. We jumped out of our seats as our guest took us by our hands to a new world of critical life lessons, new way to manage life’s failures and life’s fire works, a place were the impossible will always be possible. A place where we are equal and united in learning. Sean Patrick’s presentation. ‘Lesson from a Digital Guru, Creative Pioneer, Marketing Master, Design Expert, old guy. Who’s really a cool guy!’ was the jolt we needed.

4 Simple Rules to surviving this year and thought out your career. Be true to yourself/We are survivors:

Rule one:

  • Don’t be afraid to fail, it’s not about marks.
  • Recognize what works for you to be productive.
  • Know your triggers.
  • Learn always.

“If you dread failure, you will fail.
—Sean Patrick”

Try - fail - repeat, Try - fail - repeat, Try - Succeed!
Try – fail – repeat, Try – fail – repeat, Try – Succeed!

Don’t be afraid of the blank sheets

Sean presented a short segment and quick exercise, about fear. ‘Don’t be afraid of the blank sheets:  at TEDxAthens’, Ricky Nierva is a Art Director/Production Designer for PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS. Like a empty sketch pad, designing can be intimidating thing. It helps when other collaborators are available. Each person has a sheet of paper, draw a scribble. Done? …pass it to the next person. Let the collaborator make something out of the scribble, and it will work.

The Cootie Catcher/Origami Fortune Teller, mine will be a Calm Catcher. Each corner has a number: 1 for Rule One, 2 for Rule two… etc: When first layer opened the rules are listed, next layer.  Tips, inspirational movie quotes, photos illustration. I incorporate a North American version of a Mandala (being respectful of Tibetan Buddhist traditions).

The 4 Rules results of resonates Calm Catcher
The 4 Rules results of resonates a Calm Catcher

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like.
Design is how it works. 
—Steve Jobs”

Rule 1 of my Calm Catcher
Rule 1 of my Calm Catcher

How this rule resonates with me? For Rule 1 referenced my hero Batman, DC comics ® Warner Brothers ® , 2015, his moral compasses, recognizing his failures and learning. And why do we fall, Bruce… So we can learn to pick ourselves-up. —Batman Begins, 2005. Listed around are activities that entertain and motivate, illustrations and photographs to stimulate the creative juices.

Rule two:

  • Know what you’re good at (and what you’re not.).
  • The above can be applied to our résumé!
  • Design is defined as a plan and problem solving.
Rule 2 of my Calm Catcher
Rule 2 of my Calm Catcher

How this rule resonates with me? For Rule 2 again list the rule and then underneath it list all my good and bad skills, movie quote relating to the rule, illustrations and photographs.

“Be careful of what you get good at doin’
‘cause you’ll be doin’ it for the rest of your life
—Jo Carson”

Rule three:

  • Look round you and step away from the screen. Take an hour… Yes, It works!
  • Look, don’t stop for anything, it can help you with crap and stupid.
  • Ask, what are you afraid of?
  • Google it!
Rule 3 of my Calm Catcher
Rule 3 of my Calm Catcher

How this rule resonates with me? For Rule 3, rules listed and then underneath it places to go for looking (news stand, library, movies, concert, Art Gallery , movie quote, illustrations and photographs.

“If I have seen further than others,
it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants
—Isaac Newton”

Rule four:

  • Be prepared.
  • Getting the project done is only half the challenge.
  • Take accountability. Little thing can make you fail.
  • Take the time to accommodate.
  • Prepare days before.
  • Do printing the day before.
Rule 4 of my Calm Catcher
Rule 4 of my Calm Catcher

How this rule resonates with me? For Rule 4, rules listed and then underneath it location of exploration.
The moving through the journey to achieve the transformation is not easy venture, the inclusion of companion pieces are necessary.

The Calm Catcher as a Tool

For screen saver it would be nice to have the Calm Catcher, rotate for each day of the week. Rule 1 would be Monday, Rule 2, Tuesday, Rule 3, Wednesday and Rule 4, Thursday. Friday’s are reserver for Professional Topics.

Icons would be nice,icon1icon2icon3icon4

We need a logo, Illustration of Calm Catcher


Business card for networking: Send people the Calm Catcher

The more I apply the logo it builds upon a philosophy; transform into a brand. I see it possible being used as other stationary (when unfolded a sketch pad?) and incorporated in to the creative process… perpetual map.

“Don’t just love what you create,
use what you create.
—Sean Patrick” 

Like any good ending, to a transformational journey, a voice must stand and represents the whole group and say a few words to our presenter. Note this bit of prose was inspired by end speech from “The Breakfast Club”, written and directed by John Hughes, 1985 and theme “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” written by Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff, performed by Simple Minds, 1985. Both the movie and song share the same theme, of a group of people all different, flaw and all, getting together on a journey to transformation. So if you have the tune play it or hum it and read on.

“Dear, Mr. Patrick

We enjoyed the fact that we needed to dedicate and yield a whole Friday morning to hear the incredible things, you needed to show and tell us. It was right. We know you can’t tell us, individually who we are or if we will be successful, but you have given us four rules that will resonate on and fill the blank pages… You do care! You see each of use… in creative terms. You see each of use as a conceptual designer. …an artist. …a tech genius. …a marketer. …and a entrepreneur.
My hope is that this blog helps to give the correct answers the assignment requests?

Sincerely yours, —The Pro Topics Club”

Thank you! Sean, for being our guide at the start of our new journeys, you really are one cool guy!

Relevent links and Workcited

Sheridan College:


The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast club

Issac Newton



Jo Carson

Steve Jobs

Janice Law Web and Print Design, a tandem force for success

On September 18, 2015, Janice Law a Web and Print Designer from Tribal Worldwide Toronto provided an enlightening presentation of her career experience and educational journey and included tips to be a successful designer. During her presentation she emphasized that as a designer, she plays an important role in the rolling wheel of expertise. She collaborates with UX/IA (User Experience/Information Architecture), Developer, Art Director, Creative Director, Accounts Team, Project Manager, Producer, Copywriter, QA (Quality Assurance), IT (Information Technology). All work together to meet the same goal, successful creative.

And for the whole design wheel to be in a motion of success, you also need to have a solid design process. A circle of talent sharing different aspects of a project is being collaborative for each step: Brief/Requirement gathering (You need to ask, Why?), Brain storming/Research (This is the time to contribute what you know and learned), Branding (Let’s build a philosophy and a culture), Site structure & wireframes (Getting from A to B), Sketch/Design Mock-up (working out the details is crucial), Revisions/Production (If you build it right they will follow.), Development (A massage for branding), QA Testing & Launch (Dress rehearsal and opening night).

But lets talk about Janice, who is this design master?! Originally from Markham-Scarborough, she is currently a designer of Web and Print for Tribal Worldwide, part of the internationally known parent-advertising agency DDB headquartered in New York City (the central hub of all things design).

Janice Law with examples of her presentation
Janice Law with examples of her presentation

Janice’s love for design goes back to her education and work experience as they function in tandem and compliment each other:

OCAD University, Bachelor of Design (considered foundation to education and experience)
• Sunny Graphic Workshop, Designer
• Sheridan College Post Graduate Web Design, graduated 2012-13
• Sapient Nitro, Junior Designer to Designer
• Tribal Worldwide

Janice also pointed out to the Web Design class that the people we are working with in the class will play an important role for the 8 month course and possibly in the future. She shared some the very best and important tips to help in our success and added some of the thing taken from each time:
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS (while in school):
• Eat, sleep, exercise…Keep yourself alive! (Fruits and vegetables, yes!, try to like tomato juice, sleep time is your brain time… let your brain sort what you have learned through the day.)
• Details, details, details (Read all the assignments from beginning to end, no harm to reread your notes)
• Rely on each other – this is your family (We are a team, friends, and all share a creative talent, learn from each other… Think like a Marine… leave no one behind)
• Be nice! Don’t burn bridges (We all share the same goals and we all share the same hurtles) 
• Have fun! Stress out…but not too much. (If you have a favourite song, rock out to it!)”

• Create a logo / brand for yourself  (This should tell me all about you in 3 second or less)
• Uncomplicated, Simple and Concise (Make your idea easy see pleasee)
• Just as strong in black and white (Versatility is a virtue.)
• Scalable – Favicon? (I like that… think Favicon…awesome tool, easy to use)
• Differentiate yourself. (It’s OK to be different and being different let you stand out)”

• Make it one page (All creative directors, art directors and designers like to get the facts fast jack)
• Speak to your experience in as few words as possible (7 words or less… help to get to the point fast)
• Keep in mind: line length (Complete sentences please… no run on)
• Consideration the hierarchy of information: easy to scan (Skills, experience, education…)
• Colour is powerful. (We see the world in colour, show it off in your presentation)

• Network, network, network (If you are not on LinkedIn yet, get going and sign up!)
• Don’t be shy: this is not the time! (Being a wall flower is so borrring, try being a butterfly)
• Bring your own devices (If you design a website for mobile first, show it on mobile)
• Choose your best work (Be a show-off and brag about your best creative)
• Follow up with people. (Keep the lines of communication open, especially with class mates)

• Smile and dress for the role you want (I like to smile when I am well dressed… feels like I am a success)  
• Do your research on the company (Knowledge is power!) 
• Differentiate yourself: do something that makes you stand out ( I will say it again, ‘It’s OK to be different and being different let you stand out’)
• Include process work in your portfolio (Your portfolio should show each step of your process)
• The follow up email. (A simple email goes a long way… pssst it can be lonely at the top sometimes

I believe that the following is the most important set of tips. Janice Law believes that hard work, determination helped her education and work experience; so can it to us, because in the end the result is being noticed. Never stop learning as this industry turns on a dime it is better to be prepared for the turn, than have the wheels slip from under your feet. Being different is ok, what is important is that it makes you stand out. Be a show off of your creative process, it is important and sharing with everyone is welcomed (it show you care about your creativity). Stay in touch with all those you network with, it’s easy to follow-up with an email.

Janice’s creative is unique and being a unique creator is important; sharing what methods are involved helps other designers. Give credit where credit is due, as design is a collaborative process. She is proud of the work done for clients and welling to share her tips to their success. Janice Law is a person who is passionate about design. The Web and Print both share a common ground. My colleagues and I thank her for taking the time to present and sharing of resources. And after Sheridan, free food and beer? Count me in! We all thank you, Janice Law, for all your wisdom. Cheers to you!

To learn more about Janice Law please visit
or you can follow Janice on Instagram at janbearr

Here are the great resources provided by Janice:

Check this app out:

Skala Preview :


How :D folks!

fluffyclouds_skyApologies to all those who have place comments. I am currently reviewing them. And will reply A.S.A.P. A lot has happened in the past few months. I have been taking some photos of events around town at the same time preparing for my next add-venture; I will be posting more often, share my interactions with fellow Web Designers, Graphic Designers, Art Directors, Creative Directors, other Bloggers and other really cool people in the Creative world. So please stay tuned. In the mean time I will place a picture up to make this blog post more pretty. Note to all fans, I am learning all the ropes of proper blog etiquette, so please leave a comment as I wish to raise the bar on my blogging style. Thank you for your patience.

All hail Wayne Manor

All Hail Wayne Manor
All Hail Wayne Manor
One park tower fore ground, steel statue
“Contemplating Child”
by Ferrucio Sardella
Photography James Baker

I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. That is why I was inspired to create this photo; visually manipulating the both distinct, juxtaposed objects: a black and white tower background and a highlighted orange sculpture foreground. I find it interesting these two unique, brilliantly developed and executed entities of art and design can both contribute to a new creation that could ignite the audience’s imagination in the direction of a heroic pop culture icon.
I first surmise that an architect at Daniels Homes, One Park Tower, is a fan of Gothic Revival architecture. The most obvious proof is the overall structure of the building, tall and light spires and pinnacles and ornate creatures hovering over the corners, up and around the facade, with wings ready to swoop in to defend. All to create the emotion of somethings bigger, wealthier and powerful than ourselves. With all that considered I wish to further this emotion, to a heroic realm. Looking way up to the top of the tower… do you see them? Are those bat ears? I sense even an architect can be inspired by ‘The Dark Knight’ (DC comics®)
Ferrucio Sardella’s “Contemplating Child” sculpture must have been part of the whole  architectural and landscape plan from the beginning; If not, a well executed happy accident. For my creation it is what the child is contemplating is what I wanted to express: a child enlightened, looking to a standard, a dynamic hero, who provide a moral compass and highlight a childlike emotion of worship. And to show examples of dichotomy united: the small with the large, the vulnerable with the guarded, a fan with a hero.
So next time you visit the corner of Prince of Whales and Living Arts Drive stop moment and look towards Ferrucio Sardella’s “Contemplating Child” and Daniels Homes’s, for One Park Tower and allow your imagination to wonder you too would do an ‘All Hail Wayne Manor’.

Being creative opens the opportunity to go into any direction

holistic direction
The creative process is a holistic system. And it exploration and research are the linchpins for how creative is conceptualized, developed and produced. Inspirational ideas can come from unexpected places. Music, movies, television, short stories, graphic novels, photography, a walk outdoors or wisp of clouds. There is no creative vacuum here. The inspiring sculpture above is a public art piece by Montreal based artist Michel de Broin titled “Possibilities”.
If interested in my photography please email me at

The inspiring sculpture above is a public art piece by Montreal based artist Michel de Broin titled “Possibilities”.

My first blog post! Canonpillar Rules!


Welcome to my photography blog. This is my first post. I thought very hard about what to show and what to write. I first thought about keyboard mashing my first post, but I would rather express something that would make sense and hopefully entertaining…like a 1001 squirrels trying to type… something… awh that story always makes me laugh. First impressions are always important. Say hello to the Canonpillar.