People to Watch in 2011
PRESIDENT/CREATIVE DIRECTOR, GAUGER + ASSOCIATES
David Gauger’s career began at age 17 in a small Los Gatos CA advertising and design firm. He began a design studio at 21. In 1974, Gauger co-founded Gauger Sparks Silva in San Francisco, now Gauger + Associates. A graduate of San Jose State University, he has taught graphic design, advanced visual communications, advertising campaigns and green & social marketing at the university level. His firm has created branding, packaging, interactive design, environmental design and advertising programs for a range of visionary businesses. His agency’s work has garnered hundreds of awards in the USA and abroad.
Where were you born, where do you live, did this effect your design style or sensibilities?
Born in Santa Maria, California, my career and residence have been in San Francisco. The West Coast effect has been to continuously question authority and to experiment stylistically. Ideas always trump style. It is far more difficult to make a good idea look bad than vice versa.
If you were not a designer, what would you do?
Owning my own business, I have had the good fortune, and often the obligation, to do many things that are not considered design. This includes writing, illustration, photography, strategizing and business management. Variety keeps us looking at life from fresh perspectives. Design is everywhere and we are all designers.
What advice would you give a design student or young professional just starting out?
Look at as much good work as possible. Challenge yourself not to do the same thing twice. Have an idea, then force yourself to have a better one, and a better one. Evaluate everything by looking at it upside down. View your work through the eyes of someone else. Stay hungry.
Favorite TV Shows?
Top Gear, America’s Test Kitchen, Sports
Good to Great, Hey Whipple Squeeze This, Blue Ocean Strategy
Inception, Moon Over Parador, Murder by Death
Rock ‘n Roll
Favorite Fine Artists?
Apple, YouTube, Gauger-Associates
New Year’s Resolution?
Eliminate clutter, both physical and mental