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Lessons Learned: Frank Pauer

Lessons Learned: Frank Pauer

Frank Pauer December 04, 2018
Wit and wisdom from the art director of the University of Dayton Magazine on the eve of his retirement.

I am a copy-driven designer. I need all the words and all the art to design. Adding a photo or deleting copy late in the process can change everything.

Frank PauerAlways pick up the penny.

Absolute joy is watching a two-year-old discover the world.

The internet destroyed used-and-rare bookstores.

People driving cars are far more rude than they would be to your face.

Tea, not coffee.

I remember my first two days at UD 27 years ago; the rest of it is a blur.

People who watch the clock are not using all their talents.

I am not just spending time knocking something out. It’s taken more than 30 years to be able to do this. If it’s so damn easy, why don’t you do it?

I’d much rather drive the eight hours than fly.

Always park on an end space.

People who sit idling in a car waiting for a parking space to open up instead of walking an additional 25 feet mystify me.

Make no mistake — cartooning is art. Charles Schulz once said that while he might never have done anything as well as Picasso, he also believed that Picasso could never have done a comic strip.

Someone who texts while driving is the definition of arrogance.

There’s design in everything. A lot of it is awful, but it’s still design.

I left newspapers more than 25 years ago, and I still miss everything about them.

Cartooning is still the most natural thing to do, though I draw more slowly now.

After one too many revisions, it’s just easier to do what the client wants, no mater how awful the outcome.

It’s not about politics; it’s about money.


Design by committee is taking a clear message and reducing that to many voices which can never speak as one. It’s not design, but a message diluted. If originality is diluted, then it is diminished. If it is diminished once too often there is no originality.

Soup tastes better when it’s cold outside.

A sure sign of aging is that not only do you not know the musical acts on Saturday Night Live, you don’t know who the host is either.

>Why don’t people finish the food on their plate at restaurants?


People who use their phones in a restroom have a bigger problem than needing to use the restroom.

The party is always in the kitchen.


I will read letters to the editor regardless of whether I am interested in the magazine or not.

The more years pass by, the less time there seems to be.

Temptation is having ice cream in the freezer.

A sense of humor outweighs most other traits.

You can teach someone the mechanics of drawing, but you can’t teach them how to be funny.

Shoveling chicken manure out of a coop on a hot summer day helps determine which career you would NOT care to pursue.

Pizza from the place near where you grew up is still the best pizza.

Making life-altering decisions about your future makes me realize that it’s finally time to grow up.

There’s way too much more still left to do.