Only a few leave an indelible mark in a world bursting with visuals, colors, and campaigns. Robert Talarczyk is one such architect of these iconic impressions. From his beginnings, influenced by mentors in school classrooms, to the vast halls of global advertising giants, his journey has been nothing short of a masterclass in design and innovation. Join us as we delve into the life and times of the creative force behind Darkhorse Design and High and Mighty Photo, unpacking the secrets that make him tick and exploring the canvas of his remarkable career. Go inside his story of art, ambition, and outstanding achievements.
Here’s a snippet of his interview:
What inspired or motivated you to pursue a career in art, design, and advertising?
My mother, my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Williams, my high school art teacher, Mr. Pappas, and my high school biology teacher, Mr. Cassulli.
What is your work philosophy?
Be a problem-solver.
What is it about advertising that sparks your passion?
I respond to challenges by problem-solving and developing a visual strategic concept that sells.
Who is or was your greatest mentor?
My wife, Nancy.
What is the most difficult challenge you’ve had to overcome to reach your current position?
Handling hot potato projects and dealing effectively with difficult people… always a challenge!
Who have been some of your greatest past influences?
The Bauhaus, Franz Kline, and Geigy’s Swiss in-house design mentors whose history influenced the world.
What would be your dream assignment?
I am fortunate to have had many dream assignments. However, it would be a dream to conceive and design a campaign announcing a new age of discovery that revolutionizes the globe and the universe.
Who have been some of your favorite colleagues or clients?
My favorite clients are those who trusted me and had confidence in me. It was great hiring and working with professional colleagues and teammates with leaders like Bill Hackett, Charlie Hackett, Jack Marmars at C&G In-House Design/Agency, Joe Shramko, and my faithful studio designers Janice Townsley and Phil Aklonis.
What about your work gives you the greatest satisfaction?
Solving the problem with an effective concept that you never knew existed or knew you could create from nothing but your brain. Plus, seeing a finished product on screen, in a magazine, on a box, clothing, billboard, or vehicle, looking exactly like the production file, is an emotional high that inspires one to go on despite the high stress to get the project completed.
What part of your work is the most demanding?
Perfection, despite “deadlines.”
What professional goals do you still have for yourself?
Evolve my creativity, like presently creating 3D folk art.
Robert Talarczyk attended the New York School of Visual Arts. He graduated from Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art with a diploma in advertising graphics. He earned a BA in graphic design from William Paterson University and got an MS in design communications from Pratt Institute. His creative career includes being the art director at Bozell & Jacobs (formerly Reach McClinton) and N.W. Ayer & Sons, the senior art director at J. Walter Thompson (Deltakos), the design director, film director, and producer at Ciba-Geigy Corp. (Novartis Corp.), and the global design manager at Merck Global Headquarters. He is the founder, CEO, and executive creative director of Darkhorse Design, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is also the founder and director of photography of High And Mighty Photo.com, a DHD subsidiary. In his spare time, he flies vintage aircraft and sailplanes. Besides his wife, his camera is one of his best friends in capturing special moments.