April 16, 2014

Creative Spirit: Burl Seslar

Burl Seslar dismisses much local advertising as "nice, nice, nice-what's the difference?" Instead, he's generated buzz with award-winning print, radio, television, Web and mail campaigns that defy industry norms (including a Naples Lumber ad that used fashion photography instead of two-by-fours to raise the client's profile). Another unconventional conviction: "I never start with the idea that the product is better, only the perception." After beginning his career as an illustrator, he formed Naples' rapidly expanding B2 agency with Robyn Bonaquist in 2001. She's the business maven; he's the concept guy. Who are your design heroes? Paul Rand, [the graphic designer behind logos for IBM, UPS and Westinghouse]; architect IM Pei; Fellini,; Matisse. What can't you live without? A fast car. Most cherished example of great design? A 1938 Japanese Kabuki seriagraph in 22 colors. How has Southwest Florida influenced your work? I work directly with decision makers. Not having to go through a corporate bureaucracy allows me to take more creative chances. What's the worst trend in your field? Technique for the sake of technique-not as a means of communicating.

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