McCandliss and Campbell are an award-winning team of designers based in the United States. They are the creative directors of Earnshaw’s, Footwear Plus, and MR magazines, all published by Wainscot Media. The duo also work together as design consultants, helping their clients fine-tune their brand strategies and build a strong relationship with their consumers. They have received more than 250 design and photography awards from Graphis, The Society of Publication Designers, The Type Directors Club, Print’s Regional Design Annual, How International Design Awards, Communication Arts Design Annual, Communication Art Typography Annual, and Creative Quarterly. Their clients include such brands as Simon & Schuster, Yankee, America’s Quarterly, Catapult Creative Labs, Compstak, Home Depot, The Farmani Group, The Society of Publication Designers, and photographers Mark Andrew and Augustus Butera. And if all these accomplishments aren’t enough, McCandliss and Campbell have also lectured around the world, judged various design and photography competitions (including the Design 2017 competition here at Graphis!), and teach classes at Kean University.
Though each specializes in different elements of design— Campbell in collage, illustrations, and illustrative type and McCandliss in photography and typography— the team has created one singular body of design work since 2007, with their meticulous attention to detail and unique, handcrafted approach. This mastery can be seen in “Bright Lights, Big City” and “Kitschy Keen” for Footwear Plus and “Gentlemen” for Earnshaw’s. Katie Belloff, art director of Popular Science, describes the team best when she says that “they are two of the most committed and talented designers I know. Both have individual strengths that, when combined, produce stunning work. Any designer should be looking to them for inspiration.”
Here’s a small sneak peek of our Q&A with them:
What would you change if you had to do it all over again?
I feel like the Twilight Zone has covered this topic. Life is such a rich and complex tapestry, and the machinations of destiny are not known to us. Tampering with even one little thing from the past would potentially change the outcome. Nancy and I are both happy with where life has taken us so, strangely, neither of us would change a thing.
Where do you seek inspiration?
We seek inspiration everywhere. Keeping yourself open, which means honing your intuition, is crucial. We keep a huge file of inspirational visual materials that we are constantly adding to. You can’t look for inspiration only when you have a project or a deadline. We also go to lectures, shows, read design magazines, and check out design annuals to see what other people are doing and become inspired by them. Our students also inspire us because they are looking at the world with fresh eyes. It’s exciting to see the work they produce and to help guide them.
How do you define success?
Being able to make a living doing something you are passionate about is, in our opinion, most important to having a successful life. That, along with having good friends and family, are the best ingredients for happiness. Money really does not have much to do with it in the end.
To read the rest of this Q&A and learn more about McCandliss & Campbell, as well as other fantastic designers representing the best in their fields, subscribe and preorderJournal #368 today!