In the summer of 1993, as the painfully pervasive hit “Whoomp! (There It Is)” rose the charts, a fresh-faced Scott Clark began his career at Leggett & Platt as a graphic designer. Over 26 years, he’s seen his department – now known as Marketing + Creative – move into a glamorous corrugated-aluminum warehouse, quadruple in staff, and advance exponentially in both capabilities and technology. M+C now bears his stamp, as Scott has risen to Senior Creative Director. He put down his crayons and Pantone chart for a few minutes to chat.
How do you tap into your creativity?
It's really just always on. I examine in great detail those things that most just pass by without a thought. I critique the shapes and colors and wonder why they were chosen. I wish another font was used, or that a headline read another way. I often disagree with how the ad talent portrays their character, and so on. Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t think I can make everything better. Creativity is at an all-time high point in our history. So many things I experience are so very well designed, and no obvious improvement comes to mind. I really like those things, places, and experiences.
What made you realize that you were destined to be a graphic designer?
I could draw better than most of my friends from the youngest age I can recall. I filled many a notebook with drawings of my favorite band logos, caricatures of those rock stars, and some of the most disturbing cartoons one could imagine. As I grew up, it just seemed obvious that my career was going to be in graphic design – and here I am.
What projects get your creative juices flowing?
I love brand design the most. It’s such a cool thing – creating an identity of a company, product, process, etc., with just a few simple shapes and a word or two. But it sure doesn’t start there. It is a very difficult thing to do, but I still approach it with eager anticipation every time. In the midst of the process, there’s utter chaos, but as it progresses, it simplifies and just appears. Blocking off time to create a brand is my creative happy place.
Besides design, what other hobbies and interests do you have?
I am a drummer – over the years, I’ve played in bands ranging from jazz/fusion, funk and blues, to heavy metal and alternative. That’s a great release and a different way to express creativity. I also like to wear overalls on the weekends to fix broken stuff and slay innocent wood with a chainsaw and hand ax. For exercise, I enjoy running and hiking as well bicycling – both road and mild trails. I do my best thinking when I’m out on a secluded road or quiet trail.
You don’t work Wednesdays, instead stepping aside for Rusty Gold.
My alter ego, Rusty Gold, is also a hobby or side interest. He’s basically the coolest business professional you would have known in 1980s, with his keen sense of polyester business attire, matter-of-fact stares and attitude, with an unhealthy taste for office smoking, cheap cologne, and cheaper scotch. He’s certainly not me, but he’s also not completely not me.