April 16th, 2014 by Betty

Jason Cox's Many Titles (or lack thereof)

In a small company, or any place with a small number of staff, you often have to wear a lot of hats.  When I look back at our start up days, I’m surprised at the many roles I played.  I could have done accounting, cast an artifact replica, and designed exhibits all in one day.  Those were the days when design was completed at the kitchen table, accounting and marketing in the spare bedroom, and a lot of production in the garage.  One of the advantages of growing a company is each individual can eventually concentrate on their strengths.  Unfortunately, this did take us a long time to learn.  Even after having a larger staff, I would assign an artistic person to project management.  The logic was, “well, they know our business and can explain it well to our clients.”  They were never happy in these roles and what fun is that?  Yet, my mantra was we all have to do what we have to do.  Jason reminded me at one point I even got rid of everyone’s titles.  I didn’t want to hear “that’s not my job.”  Well, in reality, I still don’t want to hear that.  To a degree we still have to jump in where needed.  Yet, mostly we focus on what our individual strengths are. (more…)


April 8th, 2014 by Betty

Three Essential Ingredients to Run an Exhibit Design/Build Company…

…or any team for that matter.  These ingredients may seem self evident, yet I find them rare in many organizations.  If you can focus on these three elements, you will be on your way to a successful company or project.  Of course, none of these matter if you do not have clients or visitors.  You must have a great product/experience/service and marketing and sales effectiveness first. (more…)


March 31st, 2014 by Jason
Posted in Taylor Thoughts

From the Art Director - Failure Can Be Positive

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.“ -Henry Ford

This is one of my favorite quotes and I have it posted on a wall in my office. It is so true not only at work as Art Director for an exhibit design-build studio, but also in life being a father and husband. As much as I realize this, I still struggle with it as a manager and a father. (more…)


March 18th, 2014 by Betty

Exhibit Planning/Strategic Planning

Exhibit planning is like strategic planning:

  • sets priorities
  • ensures that the team is moving towards common goals
  • outlines the intended outcomes/results
  • sets timelines and budgets
  • describes who you serve and why
  • describes tactics/actions needed to get there

Effective planning articulates where you are going, how you are going to get there, and what it will look like when you get there.  It’s a disciplined effort that guides the team and stakeholders to move in a defined direction. (more…)


February 28th, 2014 by Nanette
Posted in Taylor Thoughts

Soft Skills Needed to be an Exhibit Designer

Flashback: You, age 5, your backyard sandbox. You are surrounded by miniature plastic figures, some human and some from the animal world. You are intent on arranging them in a way that depicts a scene from eons ago. Or maybe you’re dreaming of the future. What could these subjects be doing in the future that seems impossible now? Hmmmm…Maybe you need some additional “artifacts” or visual components to bring your story to life, so you return to your toy-strewn bedroom in search of just the right thing. (more…)

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