Phoenix Designer Chris Reed: 100 Creatives

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Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 90. Chris Reed.

Chris Reed has been in Phoenix for more than a decade. He says his favorite thing about the city is "how fast it changes. It's constantly shifting and growing each year. Seeing how it's developing is exciting -- not many cities offer that firsthand experience."

The designer, who's from Milwaukee, works for Scottsdale's Fervor Creative during the week and pursues passion projects (for example making minimalist Titanfall posters) during his off-hours.

"I would describe what I do as being a communicator," he says. "Whether that's through typography, print pieces, or even websites -- it's all about communicating your idea."

See also: Deer Valley Rock Art Center's Casandra Hernandez: 100 Creatives

I came to Phoenix with a vast misunderstanding of the Southwest. I moved here from Wisconsin and going from the deep midwest to Phoenix was such a shock -- one that lasted nearly a decade before I was able to truly appreciate all that this city has to offer. Being part of a community that's constantly growing and evolving has been such a rewarding experience, both personally as well as creatively.

I design because I love it. There's something inherently therapeutic about being a designer. Even when you're awake at 3 a.m., rushing to meet a deadline and shaking from the caffeine intake, the moment you put on your headphones the world fades away and you almost lose yourself in your work.

I'm most productive when my cat doesn't lay on top of my keyboard when I'm trying to work.

But in all seriousness, I find that being excited and passionate about what you're doing is the ultimate motivation. I've given up countless nights and weekends to focus on projects that mean a lot to me. Having that driving force not only pushes yourself to the next level, but pushes your work to the next level as well.

My inspiration wall is full of robot posters and mouth-watering letterpress samples.

I've learned most from my peers in the industry. When I see something inspiring, I always try to deconstruct it. Why did they do this particular thing? How was this executed?

I find that pulling out the individual pieces allows me to understand their thought process and in turn, allows me to grow as a designer. A goal of mine has been to create at least one new project every week. Keeps things fresh.

Good work should always make you happy. That pride you feel when you peel yourself away from your chair to really see what you've been working on for the last eight hours is irreplaceable. Even more rewarding is when you can evoke that feeling from someone else. Our jobs are about communication, after all.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more happy hours and pizza parties.

I also think the city could benefit from utilizing their local talent more. I've seen so many jobs outsourced to other states when we have some of the best creatives down the street. Every year we lose talent to other cities and I think a part of that stems from the ceiling we hit here. Hiring a firm or a designer in Chicago or New York doesn't guarantee better work, especially not when you have locals here with both the passion and background to create something amazing.

See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:

100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez

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