We met Adé at a lecture and were instantly drawn to his warm welcoming demeanor. He is a man of many talents that continuously pushes boundaries in order to challenge himself and his work. The longer we know Adé the more amazed we are by his ability to persistently think outside of the box. After seeing what this designer is capable of we will definitely be working together again soon.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

My name is Adé, and I am an Art Director, designer, and letterer based in Chicago, IL. I am an adventurer and explorer who looks for inspiration all around. I work across many different mediums, but the common thread that seems to unite them is lettering.

Walk us through a typical day in the life of Adé.

Oh boy. Typically I start each day with some kind of workout to get the juices flowing! I get into the office relatively early, and the meetings usually begin. I work full-time at an agency, so my days are typically pretty packed. After leaving the office I try to go home to practice lettering, do freelance work, or work on personal projects that I find fulfilling.

Where do you find inspiration?

Literally everywhere. I find it through exploration (both analog and digital), my peers, and by stepping away from my desk regularly. In my opinion, the best creative work doesn’t come from sitting in the same place for too long!


How do you make time for creativity and collaboration?

You know, I talk with people about this regularly. I don’t think that we ever *find* time to do the things we love. We MAKE it. I try to look for the moment in between to do the things I love. The time in between meetings, or even between emails. 

What tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started?

To just get started! There’s no better time than now. Just start making stuff and putting it out there for others to see. People will catch on sooner or later.

Do you like collaborating on projects? What are some perks? Some challenges?

I love to collaborate with others! I’m always looking for opportunities to do so. I learned early on that the best things are created by people coming together, rather than trying to do them alone. It can be challenging to collaborate in today’s working environment, especially via the internet, but if you’re willing to work at it the final product is usually more than you ever expected.


If you could live the life of another creative, for a day, who would it be and why?

It would probably be a printmaker. I love printing things and the technical precision it requires. Maybe that’s why I love design.

What keeps you motivated and making?

Just trying to be as good, or even better than the people that I look up to. Having the respect of my peers is how I value “success” in design.

What have you learned from your career that you wish you would have figured out earlier?

That it’s okay not to know. Not everyone expects you to know it all, especially right after graduating. Just ask questions, and you’ll figure it out as you go!

Photography by Mike Killion and Adé Hogue