Silver Cuellar III, featured in Journal #368,is the creative director at The Tombras Group, based in Atlanta, Georgia, where he specializes in strategic brand building. He received his Bachelor of Science in advertising at the University of Texas, Austin in 2002. Since then Cuellar has received numerous awards in design and advertising, such as the Gold Award from Atlanta Addys and here at Graphis. His work has also been featured in Southern Living Magazine, AdWeek, and the Communication Arts Exhibit. Deborah Morrison, a professor at the University of Oregon, sums up Cuellar with “a few keywords: magic, whimsy, absurdity, joy, detail, and meat. That’s our Silver.”
His designs “Shirt” (above, left), “Blinker” (below, left), and “Crossbow” (below, right) are all fantastic examples of Cuellar’s advertising skill as well as his creative and comical approach to strategic advertising. His advertisements hold true to his client’s mission and brand but elevate how the identity is sold and displayed. He focuses his advertising campaigns on staying simple, clear, and concise.
Read a sneak peek of our Q&A with Cuellar below:
What is your creative process?
If I’m working on something for the first time, I want to know everything about it. I’ll get the product if it’s a tangible item and have as much hands-on time with it as possible. If it’s a service, I’ll use it to experience what every other consumer would experience when they do. I’ll read whatever I can about it, learn its history, and compare the competitive field in the same brand category. Then I’ll let my subconscious eat from that buffet of knowledge while I do something altogether different. Music, family time, smoking meat, whatever. Then I’ll revisit after a day or so when my brain has simmered all of that info into a concentrated rue of insight. It’s amazing how much heavy lifting the mind can do if you just give it some peace. From there, I’m usually able to see things from a fresher perspective. Find those insights where they may not have been as obvious as before. That’s when problem solving becomes the most satisfying and yields the greatest solutions.
What are the most important ingredients you require from a client to do successful work?
Trust. That’s all I need from a client to do successful work. If you don’t have it, you don’t get great work. Period. Clients hire us to solve their problems. We’re pros at doing that. The best let us do what we do in good faith that we have their brand’s best interests at heart.