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Dear Ben & Frank

Have you had conflicts with clients/co-workers because of your age?

Question Submitted by Ryan

Ben SaysThere has never been an issue on the side of my clients or co-workers that I was aware of. I know that I have learned a lot about how to manage my time and commitments over the years, and still have a long way to go in that area. There were definitely some freelance projects I did when I was in school where I dropped the ball, but thankfully I’ve always worked for and with wonderful understanding people.


Frank SaysNo. I have never run in to this. If my age or the number of years of experience I had were issues for a client, my assumption is that they wouldn’t have hired me to begin with. I work alone, so I don’t have co-workers.


Dear Ben & Frank

Is it important for an illustrator to learn about typography?

Question Submitted by Anonymous

Ben SaysI think it’s helpful for sure. I’ve seen bad type choices ruin otherwise beautiful illustrations. I don’t think you need to be a master typographer but your typography should not distract the viewer from your work.

I think every designer/illustrator/artist should read The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst and have a copy around to refer to.


Frank SaysYes! As an illustrator, it’s an important thing to at least know the basics of type. Often times as an illustrator, typography is your work’s neighbor. And who doesn’t like to know just a little bit about the company they keep?


Dear Ben & Frank

How do I give design feedback without offending?

Question Submitted by Andrew

Ben SaysBe humble and honest, your approach is not the only approach. All to often we as designers, and people in general, state things as facts when they are actually our opinions. Design aesthetics can be highly subjective, so I think it’s important to begin your statements with I think.... It’s also good practice to not use the word like, instead try to assess whether things are working or not working and articulate why.


Frank SaysSincerely, with a heavy dose of personal respect. Start with positive things, the things that are working. Then move on to the areas that can be improved upon. More than anything, be constructive. The purpose of feedback is to be helpful, not harmful.


Dear Ben & Frank

Which one of you is the brains behind your operation?

Question Submitted by Jeff

Ben SaysI am. Frank isn’t even real, I made him up.


Frank SaysI am.


Dear Ben & Frank

What’s your perfect breakfast meal?

Question Submitted by Anonymous

Ben SaysTwo big fluffy buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup. Two well done scrambled eggs. Two crispy strips of bacon. A big bowl of fresh pineapple. A glass of ice cold milk. An orange mango motion smoothie by Naked Juice. Served to me in a nice warm bed.


Frank SaysOne scrambled egg. One piece of french toast with orange marmalade in the middle. Granola with yogurt and mixed fruit. One sausage patty. (No links). A small glass of orange juice. A small glass of water. A mug of fresh roasted coffee with sugar in the raw and a hint of half and half. Served earlier in the morning, so as to correspond with CBS News Sunday Morning, and to be able to go back to bed afterwards.