Arrogant Graphic Designers: Toxic Behaviours We Should be Aware of


Arrogant, Pretentious, Toxic Graphic Designers – chances are you either know one, or have been one yourself at some point in your career.

Sure, it’s easy to get cocky or overconfident every now and then, but if you’re arrogant 24/7, YOU are the problem.

The truth is Arrogant Graphic Designers are tarnishing the design space and fuelling the stereotypes that a lot of us have tried hard to break.

In this episode of The Angry Designer, join the bearded gents for a fury-filled episode exploring arrogance in graphic design, why some Graphic Designers embrace it, and arrogant behaviours you should be aware of and actively avoid.

Episode Transcript


There we go. 


There we go. Beautiful. 


Let us begin. Hey, smell. Oh, that smells a little different. Cheers, my friend. 


Salut. Cheers. Cheers. 


Cheers. So this is something interesting. This is although we've had Basil Hayden before, this is Basil Hayden toast. Not to be confused with that one, Wonder Bread toast, but according to. 


This, I thought I saw Wonder Bread. 


Float logo, which, by the way, is kind of a cool logo. It's been recognizable, didn't you, Sean? I remember like 20 years ago or 15 years ago. Nico showed me your logo when you went freelance at first, and it looked like the Wonderbread logo, but with your tag or your name. 


No, I don't remember. 


I swear. Oh, my God. 


I'll have to dig that up. 


Let's think back. Because I was like, hey, Wonder Brand. He's like, yeah, I know. Cool, right? And again, it was 100%. I don't think it's like it was doing it by purpose. I think you were intentionally doing it. 




I wonder why that just came to mind. 


Yeah, that's random. That's digging way back. 


Yeah, I got parts of me are like an elephant, let me just say that. Any of this is Basil Hayden toast. It's like finished in toasted casks, right? Got that caramel. They toasted the inside of the cask. 




I don't know how does this it's really good. Is it really? 


Oh, man. 


Because I've been doing that juror for . 


Yeah, you really went down hard on that juror. But it's so good, though. It's nice to have a bourbon. 


S***, dude. That is really good. 


It is good. 


It is. It's a bourbon. But it's bourbon. The other Scottish stuff that we've had. But this is great. 


I like this. It's not very sweet. 


No, not at all. 




And I appreciate that hint of caramel. I can taste the toast, but not as strong as I would have thought. 


Yeah, it's got that CASKEY kind of vibe. 


Yeah. All right, well so what's up, California boy? 


Nothing, dude. Just chilling in. 


John comes back from California adventure, all tanned and beard, has got, like dudes in it. 


Playing on the steel drum. Oh, wait, that's not that far. That far south. 


So it was a good trip, though. 


It was awesome. 


Yeah. Totally jealous. 


Yeah. Well, I mean, we're going to be traveling soon. 


Yes, we will. Yeah. We'll be heading out to Nashville. 


That's right. 


Not california, though. 


It's not, but it's Nashville's pretty f****** it's going to be the bomb. Like, there's good food. 


There good food, good music. I think we'll have some good old fun in Nashville. 


That's right. Looking forward to it. 


But needless to say yeah. A lot happened while you were gone. 




F*** did I miss you, because I had to do your job. My drink. I had to step in on Mac for a little. I don't know how it all is on my plate. I had anxiety f****** weed. 


I can imagine because how crazy some of our clients can be with us. I was kind of paying attention to the launch list and all that. I was just like, oh my God, those poor guys, they must be losing their mind. 


It was a little nutty. I mean, I don't think we're out of it yet because this upcoming week, it's still going to be a b**** for weeks, still going to work. 


You get those projects out of the way for the trade show or whatever. 


It seems like it doesn't matter how big your team is. It's like you're constantly battling this growth and then hiring new team. Do you hire before you grow? Do you grow before you hire? Right. Man, let me tell you, this week I could have used it as a person. 


I can imagine that is a good problem to have, right? 


Yeah, actually it is. I always tell everybody, if your problem is that you're too busy, yes, that's a good problem. 


That is a good problem. 


I mean, again, it can be overwhelming. It could be this, it can be that. Generally nine times out of ten, all it takes is just you got to put in the time to get over that hump. If it continues, you got to bring on. It is a good problem to have. 




Yeah. Let's just see how long we have this problem, that's all. 


It's always funny because you think at some point I remember in the days of old we would have lulls. Do you know what I mean? 


Oh, yeah. They're peaks and valley. 


Peaks, valley. 


Here's the difference, because we switched over and again, some people are against this online, but we did switch over to a retainer model and we tried hard to get everybody on a retainer model. What happens is it's just like you, then all of a sudden the peaks and valleys start to level out more because then you're involved more in the planning process on a regular basis and you can almost control the workload. You know that I know for a fact the next quarter is going to be pretty d*** busy. Right. I think it's safe to staff up where when you're on this hunt and gather or project by project basis, it is harder to I think we touched on that in an episode before about retainers versus projects. Yeah, I'm definitely a fan and I think I've finally been able to make that retainer model work. 


I mean, in my opinion, I recommend it to everybody. 


I think it's far more steady and more like you can build around that with your staff. 




Because pretty much you're going to get this much level from that. 


Exactly. Now, the cool thing happened this week, spoke to a new friend who reached out, somebody that I've been following for a long time on Instagram and f****** in my opinion, the master of badges, a master logo work, just f****** incredible. Had a great conversation with Alan Peters, right? Again, the whole thing came up because of course I've been following him on Instagram. If anybody does not follow Alan Peters, get like, I mean, this guy's s***'s just unfucking real. Because again, I let Paul Rand is a hero. This guy's stuff is so mid century. It's so perfect. Everything is just so meticulous. He just masters. White space, negative space. It's just so jealous. He had a book, and it was just like very cool. I was just like, right away, I'm like, dude, bought it right away. I didn't even hesitate even though it's not coming up to October. 


I'm like, yeah. I was like, yeah, I already put in my order. And then he was like, dude know. Let's talk. Needless to say, that was really cool. Maybe we're going to talk more about him in the next couple of weeks. Really? Again, I had a great talk with him. We were on the phone for like an hour. We talked about everything, life and worked. And this dude has worked with Target. This dude has worked with huge brands, amazon and Walmart, like these incredible companies, incredible brands, okay? His work, in my opinion, impeccable. Just what he does and how he creates this s*** is just unfucking real. He is the most humble, nicest guy, I think. Again, Michael Jenner, nicest guy in my opinion. F****** Aaron Draper. 


Humble awesome guy. 


Again, it is amazing to know that these heroes of mine, I guess they want to call it that way in this space anyway, they're just so f****** down to earth, so humble. Then I have a f****** meeting. It was because I had to because one of our customers is involving another agency, probably f****** nepotism with a UX designer from the other agency, okay? He's presenting us a f****** logo for an event. First off, why the logo didn't come to us, I don't know. Little irritated, but no problem for my customer's sake. Whatever. Again, Nepotism. Again, he's just always talking about, here's the logo and bubble. It's like, okay, fine, whatever. It is what it is. It wasn't stellar. 


It wasn't wonderful yet, right? 


But again, whatever. And then I was like, okay, great. But it was wide. It was a wide it was a horizontal logo. I was just like, so then I'm like, okay. I was like, okay. So great. Good. Love it. Let's put it in some stuff and let's start building it out. Have you create a responsive version? Do you have it in a tall version or square? And then there's a pause. He's like, can you explain to me why we would need that. He said it in such a f****** condescending tone. Okay, right away, I'm like favicons social profiles. Mobile is going on a responsive site. Like, we need something that's going to work in a square environment, right? The f****** kid, okay, these f****** UX people. Sometimes he f****** has the audacity to go on and be like, well, it's going to tarnish the brand. 


This isn't good for the brand. I'm like, what's not good for the brand is you want me to jam a wide logo into a space that is clearly not made for that. You're thinking that's good for the brand? Like, dude, and the way he was talking about this, right? My blood is boiling. I just wanted to you're not a logo designer. You're not a brand guy. You think you're a f****** UX guy? You should know this. If you are, m***********, I would know your f****** role. I was just like I was just. 


Going to say if anybody, a UX designer, would be aware of the responsive design very seriously, your main priority, right? 


If you came from graphics and went to UX, that's fine. If you're in UX and you think you can do it, I don't f****** care what that is. His tone, his arrogance, he's trying to f****** talk brand to me. We've been brand guardians for this company for years. 


We've been in charge of this s***. 


So then that sets me off, right? Because here and that was like, literally like, compared to just somebody who deserves this kind of praise or nobody should act this way. Talking to Alan, I mean, again, who's amazing, nicest guy in the world, this punk who clearly has no f****** idea what he is doing. It's like all arrogant. Honestly, it just drives me nuts because this is the kind of s*** and then what? It just kind of got so many issues with it. 


Please, Mask. 


He has so many issues with this. Because again, and I remember for the longest time, I always felt insecure or like you'd second guess yourself because I genuinely when I was young, I love this space. I would often run into designers who were f****** a******* and arrogant. They wouldn't give you the time of day because I was new or a junior. I remember once having the balls to walk in randomly. I was at a Plaza out in Toronto and I saw graphic design agency was like, cool. I went in there and I was all happy. I'm like, hey. A girl comes to the front desk, right? And I'm like, oh, you know what? I just wanted to see what this place was like. Because I'm a student, I share it in graphic design. And she's like, great. And that's it. She didn't say a single thing. 


That was it. 


She just basically sat there and let me just talk. Talk. Didn't say a word. I was like, okay, obviously you're busy, so I'm going to go, yeah, okay. Thanks for stopping by. And I'm like, what? I don't understand when designers have this kind of persona, this arrogance, this whole aura about them. Dude, it is just so f****** it hurts everything. It hurts the industry. It's so counterproductive to everything that designers should do. It baffles me that these attitudes still exist in this space. 


That's crazy. 


F***, dude, I can go on like this. This is a topic that legitimately gets me f****** p***** off. We have angry designer, a listener or follower. And she's a fellow angry designer. She reached out and she's like, dude, like, I need help. I wish you guys could come in here and help work with our company because we're working with this creative agency. And they just f****** suck. She's like they just straight out. They flat out don't do what her boss asks them to do. Straight out. Okay? They regularly disagree with her director. They f****** try to then they try to include her on their side. And they're like, oh, come on. You know what we're talking about, right? You're designer. She's like, no, I've been listening to these guys. This is design, not the s*** that you're doing. They would just ignore the boss's requests, right? 


They would sit there and they wouldn't even let her boss, the director, have contact with the design team. There's this f****** guy in the middle who c*** blocks the entire conversation, which again is just like, why are you even and I get this. Her boss, she says they struggle trying to find the right agency for fit, for creative and such like that. It's like, these guys are, like and again, they refuse that their account rep absolutely sometimes flat out disagrees and refuses to share and just lets them know, no, I'm just not going to take it to the team. Like, no. Like, this whole vibe of arrogance. He actually even said to her like, he once even jokingly went to her and he was like, designers never give clients what they want. And he's proud of this. Like, this is so bad for this space. 


Wow, dad, that's f***** up. It is so f***** up. 


Are they on a retainer agency? 


It sounds like it, yeah. 


In order, this person needs to extract themselves from this f****** relationship. Dude, if your agency is like that. 


You know what the funny thing is? How many times even and we've heard this recently from another, a colleague of ours who's like, yeah, so and so from that agency regularly yells at me. Here's the agency, prime is yelling at the customer. And I don't understand. Like, this is a stereotype that just has to f****** stop in this space. I don't f****** care who the really p***** me off besides this whole f****** topic. Do you remember when were talking aaron Drablin? 




Okay. Aaron f****** drablin. Okay. One of one of all of our heroes. 


The beast. 


Okay? The beast and the nicest f****** guy in the world. He said to us he was at an event. I think he was presenting at Adobe or something like that, right? He was backstage, and he was backstage with another famous designer. 


Is this the guy that we're thinking? 


No, the girl. Oh, the girl. Oh, yeah, the girl. Again, this is what he's like? He's big. He's friendly. He's funny. Right? He's just the nicest f****** guy in the world. He said he was trying to be nice and strike out a conversation. She snubbed him, like, to your f****** face. How does somebody even have the audacity to do something so ridiculous? Is this like, recognize the talent. The dude is wildly famous. He's got so much, and yet maybe she is in her own mind, and maybe she has people who fall over her bullshit. Again, it's just like, who the f*** do you think you are that he reached out? He reached out. We're the same. We're in the same space. Treat me like a f****** equal. Don't be an arrogant, pretentious f****** designer day. 


Yes, exactly. Something like that. It always strikes me as odd that you would go and talk to somebody like that, shut them down when you could learn something from that person. You know what I mean? Because Aaron Draplan and that other person who will not be named have very wildly well, not wildly different, but very different. 


Kind of, I think wildly different. Pretty close to beyond or at least style. 


Style wise. 




To me, if I was talking to somebody who was wildly different from what I was doing, I would want to kind of I would be interested. 


In what he's a f****** respect. Exactly. 


Just because we're always learning. 




This is the kind of thing you could always take something from a good conversation with anybody. 


Dude, it's just horrible. 


Doesn't make any sense. 


Not at all. These kind of people, whether or not they feel they're right in their own f****** mind, hurt the f****** industry. This is the kind of s*** that, like I said, I thought finished 2025 years ago. When I was growing up, I didn't think that this s*** still existed, but apparently it f****** does. Like, again, it hurts the perception of designers. I mean, as it is. People often have bad impressions of designers to begin with. They they joke about us all looking like Andy f****** Warhol with the big glasses, wearing black. Okay, I wear black all the time. You know what I mean? Regardless, we already have that impression to a lot of groups. Some people can't shake this. This is not what you want to keep going. Like, that's why I think the past few years, I've been surrounding myself more with, like, our vibe, the people we follow online. 


Our vibe. Right. I would be heartbroken if I ended up reaching out to somebody like a Beirut or a Carson and to find out that they're a*******. I mean, I'm almost hesitant, too, just in case, because, again, maybe they're of a different design generation or not. I don't know. I mean, that would be really heartbreaking. 


It would be crushing. 


Yeah, it would. Crushing. 


That's kind of the thing, is when you meet your heroes and they don't turn out to be who they are. Yeah, it kind of sucks. But that's what with Draplin, like yeah. I wasn't sure what to expect, but holy crap, I didn't expect that. 


Right? Prince of a f****** man. Amazing. 


Janda, same thing. And this Allen exactly. 


Right. Amazing. These are all amazing people. Honestly, think about it. This is the design industry, okay? Whether it's graphic design, whether it's industrial design, f****** even if it's interior design, right? We're here for our end user. Arrogance has no f****** place in this industry. Because this industry is about the end user. No matter which way you f****** cut it. We're supposed to be solving problems for people. How the h*** can you solve problems if you're unapproachable? 




If you speak in languages they don't understand, if you have all the answers and you don't even need to ask them, it all right. 


Yeah, dude. 


Like and again, and this is where, really, this whole industry is all about collaboration. If you have this whole wall ahead of you because you're arrogant and pretentious and a f****** douche well, yes, I said that. This is a f****** topic that just burns my blood. It has no place in the design industry, and that's what drives me nuts. I can't say for sure where this s*** came from or why it exists. I don't know why some designers are like this. I mean, I went and I searched in this. There is no concrete evidence of anything. There. Like, nobody knows. Our guess is as good as anybody else's. 


The only thing I could think of is and I keep going back to that story with Paul Rand and Steve. 


Jobs, but. 


This is the logo that you're going to get, right? It's kind of an arrogant thing, but also, you've got a lot of s*** in the rear view mirror, what I mean? 


It was funny, though, at first. I laughed about that, right? I was like, Paul Ray was just trying to be a bigger a****** than Steve Jobs. And he was like, you know what? I don't like this Steve character. Going to tell him to shut up and here you go. I mean, the more I've researched about it, the more we read and we talked about Paul ran quite a bit of weeks ago. He wasn't saying he's like, you have a problem, I'm going to give you a solution. You don't have to go with it, and if you want somebody, go ahead. If you want me, I'm going to give you a solution and take it or leave it. Right. Done. He arrogant, cocky, whatever you want to call it. 


Maybe not. Yeah. In that kind of this is what I can bring to you kind of thing, right. 


This is what you're going to get. 




Dealing with me. We do that in a polite way. I'm sure maybe his conversation with Steve was probably more polite than that, right? 


I would think so. Yeah, for sure. This person with this agency saying, no, this is the way it's going to be. Unless you're a Paul f****** Rand. 




You do not do that. 


And that one just blows me away. Again, why are they so we talked about this, I think, . Guesses possibly why designers are arrogant. Because, again, I couldn't find anything concrete online about why the arrogance happens. We can assume, number one, some of them are probably solo artists. They want their own gig. They're only looking out for themselves. They're not looking out for the team. 




We've hired one or two of those in the past, unfortunately. Although they were nice people, and I like them, their arrogance came in their whole designer persona. It was all about them, their choices. They didn't collaborate well. They didn't play well in groups. 




Right. Even though in the interview process, they all swore that they did, the practice was that they were in it for themselves. Right. And so that's f****** s*****. I think that has a lot to do with it, because everybody who I think and and you kind of pigeonhole like this, they are really, working on their own self, their own brand. They're trying to push this whole f****** I don't know what you want to call this plan of their agenda. 


I don't know what it would be. 


In situations like that, though, you don't want people like that on your team anyway. 


Well, they're not teammates. 


They're not you can't manage that. 




Right. Again, just because you have one person on your team that even if they're a f****** superstar, let's face it's more than about the design when it comes to a job, right? You've got to present. You've got to do production roles. If you've got an arrogant d*** who's like, okay, fine, they're a superstar or not, the rest of the team has to support that. If they can't get behind that person you didn't want, yeah. 


You're done. 


Horrible. Horrible. And let's face it, word spreads quickly. 




Okay. If you are that arrogant d***, right? 


Yeah. You're going to mention that to somebody because they're going to need references. This is the kind of stuff, if you are career centered and you're just trying to jump around to where they're going to contact you, the future employer, and say, what's this employee like? 


You're going to go, well, I don't know so much. 


I'm going to be polite. But you know what I mean? We've said this before. This is a tight click that we're in. Everybody knows. 


Everybody does, right? 


Yeah. You don't want to f*** with everybody. No, absolutely not doing s*** like that. Being arrogant. 


I think maybe another reason why some people are so arrogant, especially designers wise, okay. They have a very high perception of themselves. 




This is what I keep thinking about when Erin, when thinking back to Aaron Droplin's story, right. The person, the way she carries herself and acts and this and that. Yeah. I believe that in that sense, they have this self importance and they have their own agenda when it comes to design. They're like, oh, design is much more important than you give it credit. But, dude, it's not f****** medicine. You're not a doctor. Design isn't going to all of a sudden, we need help. Get the fibulator. No, get the logo. Start stomping the logo. Stomp it harder. Stomp it harder. 


I designed this white paper on how to save somebody. Look at it. 


Come to look at my word. The reality is I am more passionate about my space and this space than anybody I know. 




I know I realize that there is a limit to design, and I'm not a doctor. There is no design emergencies, which is, in general, why working on the weekends is kind of stupid. Stupid nothing. Absolutely. We need a logo, stats. 


We need it for Sunday. Come on. Give me a break. No. 


I do feel that some of these people put this unrealistic or absurd importance on design. Although I love what I do, I'm very realistic about this. Right. I get to do this for a living. It's fantastic. I am not putting myself above doctors or putting myself scientists. I'm not really changing the world so much. I wonder, maybe some of these arrogance actually starts off even earlier than we can imagine. Maybe it actually starts at school. What I'm saying is, unfortunately, I didn't have the best experience at school. I mean, I can say for a fact two of my profs were total douches. They were f****** arrogant, pretentious graphic designers. The way they would talk, the way they would carry themselves and half the class just fond on every word. It's like they follow them around, yes, you're the best. It's like, dude, you're teaching graphic design at a college. 


You're not that good. Don't give yourself too much credit. Just the bullshit that they would tell people that when you graduate, you should be looking for $100,000 as a junior. It's like, what? Where does this happen? How is that right? Junior, they start instilling this s*** at the college level. 


There you go. So, yeah, you start to kind of pump them up like that. In all fairness, too, when you're in school, it's not like the real world at all, what I mean? Come on. 


Oh my God. 


You get to do your own thing, whereas you never get to do that in real life. 


All the time in the world to get a logo project. 


Yeah, exactly. We have logos, and you can create whatever the logo you wanted. It's like, oh, I'm going to use this. This is going to be great. It's not some f****** rural tech company. 




You know what I mean? 


It's not realistic. Stop instilling this arrogance to these kids and kind of instead instill work ethic, instill teamwork and collaboration. This is the stuff you need to instill, not arrogance. When you're done, after you graduate, make sure you sign up for Rgd so you can be a registered graphic designer and be part of our special elite club. 


Don't see the podcast or listen to the podcast on our theory, feelings. 


On that kind of s***. Oh, that was no words. That's even worse. 


That was clubs. 


You know what else I find? I find a lot of the air. I don't know, I can't say this continually goes, but I said that this s*** existed a long time ago, right when I was young and upcoming and just learning the space. Now that I'm on Reddit and I'm on all these other forums just on a regular basis talking to people, I still see a lot of that arrogance, but it comes from the older designers on there. I wonder if the outgoing designers, the ones who are and again, how I feel about ageism. Again, that's nothing to do with ageism, but I'm wondering if there was something about late seventy s, eighty s designers that made them all of a sudden feel that they were above everybody else. Because the comments are always really high and mighty and they're condescending. They often try to use heavy words, and you can see the questions. 


I'm a junior, here's my portfolio, blah, blah. I need help. Even once. I remember years ago, I made a comment about whitespace saying I forgot what the comment I asked? I think I was asking for help because I was trying to understand whitespace at that time. Because it's one of those things that you can work lifetime on white space. 


You totally can. 


And this was about ten years ago. Every and the response I got from this douche was it's my favorite word of the day, apparently was. Was. Well, apparently, if you have to ask, you just don't know. 


Oh my gosh. 


And I'm like, I'm. Here for help. Right? Here, again, you want to reach out to your community for help. That's the response you have that you get. Honestly and literally. I think I was kicked out of that club because I actually told him to f*** off. Again, because I was like, how dare you? Like, people are here to look for help and that's the response you give me? F*** you. You're not even worthy being on here and I'm the one who gets kicked off? The F bomb is probably less offensive than the s*** when he said, yeah. 


Like, if you're supposed to be helping people, how am I supposed to learn if no one tells me how to do that? 


I do see that outgoing thing right now. Again, you almost can pick them out. It's just like I can tell that your husband, you were in print, you didn't migrate over, and now you're just crusty and holding on to all these old f****** principles and acting like when. 


I was a young designer, we didn't talk like that. 


I came up with campaigns for Kmarts and Zellers Beers. 


Look where they are. Wait, they're all close. 


That's a whole other podcast. 


There we go. That could be good. 


So I don't know. I don't know where that comes from, but I do recognize that. 




There is something else that I wonder if maybe certain people who carry this arrogance persona and I'm wondering if maybe they genuinely believe that arrogance is more successful if you're arrogant, you're more successful than if you're not. Or if you're humble or anything like that. This is why I wonder if and I mean, sadly, I've seen some modern day YouTube graphic design celebrities, if that's what you want to call them, talk that way, saying that I'd much rather be arrogant than humble. I'm wondering if they may be wondering if that actually brings more success. The funny thing is okay, so I don't think so. As I'm very strong advocate for being humble always. I think success comes with humility. And that's my opinion. That's fine because I think you need to be more confident to be humble. Right? Okay. Find my opinions. But this isn't about me, okay? 


I read okay? And I think this is brilliant. From the Harvard Business Review. Okay, so this is a f****** Harvard reputable. 




Little reputable. And nobody can look for this. The reality is there's evidence that supports that humble leaders outperform arrogant ones. Which is f****** incredible, right? This is a lot about high power leaders who don't think that they can be humble and ambitious at the same time. This is a great article, right? There is so much more material about that. It says, humility in the service of ambition is the most effective and sustainable mindset for leaders. Right? Again, so I went down this rabbit hole because, again, because I was sitting there thinking, well, we always hear about the top leaders in the world right now. The Elon Musk, the f****** bezos and all this, right? Well, let's face it, right? Elon Musk is really he. I don't think there's anybody in the world who's most popular arrogant person than him. Right. Again and let's see how well it's working for him right now, right? 


Like it's kind of crashing and burning. 


Yeah, totally. He needs to shut the h*** up. 


People don't really like this dude too much right now. And is he successful? Well, maybe, but at the same time, at what cost? People aren't following him. The thing is, will people follow an arrogant leader? They will to a point. 




They're not going to fall into the edge of the world. They're not. They're going to jump on the next train that comes their way. Right. And that's what this says. This actually says that the lion's share of world changing luminaries are actually humble people, not arrogant people. 




Again, if people are believing that this is what it takes to be successful, this is like you're saying it's clearly f****** wrong. It says humble leaders focus on the work, not themselves, which totally goes back to the whole idea about designers are about the end user, not about yourself. If you're an arrogant designer, it completely contradicts what the f*** that you're doing in this industry, in this space to begin with. So they seek success. They are ambitious, but they are humbled when it arrives. They feel lucky, not all powerful and mighty and entitled when they get it right. 


So that's the key. There you go. Yes. You've made it to the top of the heap. You should feel lucky. Absolutely. Rather than f*** you. 


All right. 


You know what I mean? 


Of course I'm here. 


Of course I'm here. But you're right. It's the first time the ambition drives you. You got to keep that humility as well. 




Keeps you to the top. 


That's what I think we're lacking right now, because you're seeing all the hotshot business leaders right now. And you know what? Very few of them seem very humble, very self centered. 


Especially Elon he's as selfish as they come. 


I'm not seeing many humble ones out there, which is kind of sad. I'm not sure even when you watch all those fun shows like the Dragons Den and such, some of them are more are more grounded. Some of them are still pretty f****** arrogant. I mean, I submit this is true. 


You're right. That's heavy. That's pretty cool, though. 


It is kind of neat. 


I think I'd be interested you have to forward me that article because I would like to. 


It is really cool if anybody wants to let me know. 


I think that's really good. And that's true. That's the difference between success and stomping. All over people on the way up. 




Yeah. And that translates to any job. You know what I mean? Like our job, our space. Yes, please. Or whether you're the leader of Twitter. 


The owner of Twitter, the leader, the owner, who even knows what this guy is doing. It makes me wonder why people actually started putting up with this, right? And again, there's nothing really out there. A lot of this was just like having to just scratch your brain. I like researching, but this whole topic didn't give me much to go with other than just my pure rage on the whole f****** topic. I mean, again, I'm thinking that maybe people will put up with it. One of the reasons if in fact you are talented and people hire ing you're arrogant, but they know you're talented, so in some ways they're like, well, I know he's an a******, but he's really good at what he does. Potentially, that old Steve Jobs thing, like, maybe that was legit, right? It's like, remember that movie Steve Jobs pixar that movie Ratatouille Raditouli, right, with like, the Little Chef with a big hat. 


Yeah. Because, I mean, the reality is he was trying to be something he wasn't in the end. If in fact, you've got this arrogance about you and people hire you based on that arrogance, you better be prepared to put up. If you can't put up what their expectations are, what they're actually wanting, right. They're going to drop you pretty quick. Again. They're not going to be scared to be like, dude, not what I thought. Really not what I thought. This isn't what else you got? The funny thing is, it was like watching someone awesome like Michael Beirut. Again, I'm not saying in any way he's an arrogant person, but I watched his online YouTube about his whole MIT and coming up with the brain for MIT, right? He talked about the first thing that they showed, and they just weren't into it. Here is somebody that is incredible in this space. 


It's he went back to the drawing board, but what he came back with was even f****** better. 


And see, that's it. 


That's the key. 


I find that too, in my stupid little world and experience. It's like if you send something out and the client's like, well, this is not exactly what we want, can we try something like this? It's like rather than saying f*** no, f*** no, and stomach, absolutely not, it's like, okay, I'll try that. With that armored or with that knowledge, knowing that they weren't too keen on the last one, your humility says, okay, now I'm going to step. I'm going to get this m***********. 




So I think that drives you. 


I would think so too, right? Again, it's happened to all of us. 


If Michael Beirut can have to go back to the drawing board in the presentation. 


He wasn't a d*** about it. He wasn't like their idiots. They're wrong. 


He was like, okay. 


He didn't really like the first round. We and he didn't even have to mention that, which is cool. It makes me kind of, question. Like I think, like, he's actually probably a pretty stand up guy for being able to sit there. Because if he wanted to look like the high almighty, high and mighty designer, he wouldn't have mentioned that. He would have been like, yeah, first time we got it. And he wasn't, right. And I love the execution. Love it. I often go to his s***. He's really good with the rollout stuff. D***, he's good with the rollout. Needless to say. You know what? Maybe if a customer, they'll forgive the arrogance if they believe that you're talented enough to back it up. Again, they're going to be harder on you for that. You better f****** be good. 


Exactly. You have to earn that s***. 


Maybe you're a famous designer. Maybe you're a celebrity designer and they're using you as a trophy piece. They maybe be like, oh, we hired so and so. I can say for a fact. This happened to me 20 years ago. 




Right? We had somebody. We had a customer. To me, they were a big customer. When were just starting out. It was a really big deal. They had seven locations. We were three years in. It was f****** great. I was dealing with you at the time even because I remember I had to send you some stuff for the record, when you were with oh, no. It was just again, working here. Needless to say, it was great for us. He brought in a marketing girl who claimed that who claimed to be my friends, right? She was like, oh, don't worry. We're going to do some great work together. Great work together. At the time, there was this other agency in town that was all like they were the shiny new object. And she wanted to work with them. Literally, she is like, okay, I need a quote from you, right? 


I was like, okay, well, you just told me where you needed to be and no problem. So she told me. 


I was like, okay, fine. 


That's exactly where were. I'm happy. Well, then she's like she then goes to them. And she wanted to work with them. She wanted to do the job with them. Even though they were more money, in the end, she still found a reason to work with, which was really heartbreaking. It said nothing about her. Again, because again, I ran into her many times afterwards. Again, I didn't give her a f****** time of day thereafter. Even I remember once she came, like begging because she needed help. No, she had a marketing emergency. And I remember that somebody was lying. 


Somebody'S on the floor. 


Calling, and she's saying it's critical, she needs our help. Do you want us to bother? I was like, no, just f****** ignore her. And that's what it was. She sent a letter the next day. She sent an email the next day. She's like, well, it's good to know who I can count on and who I can't. I was just like, whatever. And you know how that went, right? 




She was a social climber. 


I didn't care. 


Again, the whole shiny object thing will only go so far. Right? Again, just like the other one, even though you're the shiny celebrity designer, if you don't live up to their expectations, they will not hesitate to be like, dude, I'm paying three times the f****** money for you. Give me what you're worth. And try to argue that one. Right? 




Another reason I think maybe people will excuse arrogance is I think it can be confused with passion. 




And I am guilty of that 100%. Okay. What I mean by that is, and I clear as day, I have an experience from, like, ten years ago. Again, I'm really passionate when I talk to customers and I'm really into stuff. The first couple of impressions, they thought I was very arrogant. 


Oh, really? 


Because I was like so I had the answers. They're like, well, can you do this? I'm like, F*** yeah, I can do this. Absolutely. I get it because I was really excited. This and that and this and that. The thing is and they even said straight up, they're like, first time or two we met you, we thought you were actually kind of arrogant, but we realize that you're just really passionate. 


About what you do. 


I'm thinking people might do it the other way. They might think that somebody's passionate about it, but then realize their passion is actually arrogant. Yes. Right. I kind of feel, like, flipped it the other way and proved that I wasn't arrogant, that I was just I loved what I did. Like, things like I would answer without even thinking, like, can you do this? Absolutely. I can do this. Do you know how to do this? F*** yeah, I can do this. Right? Everything was like so in that sense, ultimately, I just had to learn how to shut the h*** out. 


Have you kind of backed down on stuff like that because you're a passionate I was just going to say I don't know how you could take that out of you. 


No, I can't take the passion out of it. What I do is I try tone down my first couple of meetings. I do. I try and again, we'll talk about this. We'll definitely talk about this. The whole idea about like, you have two ears, one mouth, right? So you have to ask. You have to listen. Right? And I do. Genuinely. Sometimes people can see my excitement on the space, but I make sure it doesn't translate to, f***, I can do this, my eyes closed. Even though in the back of my mind, I'm like, cake walk that gets a f****** cake. Eyes closed. I can solve your problem. But especially now that we're niche, right? Because we're so niche, we're seeing a lot of the same problems over and over, which, sometimes it's like, not as exciting as it once was, but it's like, yeah, I can fix that, and I know I can. 


Sometimes that comes out as arrogance, right? I'll talk about why and what, certain arrogant behaviors to be aware of. Yeah, but yeah, like, I mean, it's interesting that's, but 100%. I remember, and I remember clear as day, like, the owner of this company, and he had his marketing person, she was taken back, and then he was like, don't worry, he's not bad. That's just the way he is. I was like, what the f*** did you just mean by that? That's when I was like, Holy s***. Maybe he thought I was a d***, but now we realize it's just the way I am and I'm excited. If I can tell you blood, let. 


Me tell you, it's hot. Maybe. I think that's kind of what we've talked about with Chris Doe, too. He's kind of like that. Like, I've seen videos of him, and it's just like he's kind of slicing . Yeah. 


Sometimes he pushes at work, but he noises, s*** like that dude is so smart. 


He's so smart. 


So f****** smart. And he's calm. His composure is just cool, you know? Maybe I wouldn't mind more humility. 


Just a bit. 


Just a little bit. 


I don't get that from him. 


Yeah, I get that. 


If you hired him, he would get. 


The f****** job done. As a client, I'd be scared to turn anything back, though. Exactly, Mr. Doe. 


I don't know if I like this. I don't even think he would yell. 


Dude, I've never seen that guy raise his voice. 


I know, but he's amazing. I could see where that would be the opposite of well, and here's. 


The thing, because he's passionate. He's really confident. Okay, so then his confidence arrogance, right? Or can arrogance be confused with confidence? Right? I think clients always want to deal with a confident designer big time because they want to make sure that the person they hire will get the s*** done. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, right? Confident people, they're open to ideas. Other people's ideas, right? They're open to they're secure enough in themselves that they can receive input and they can collaborate, because it's not just about them. They realize that while they might be the lead or the lead facilitator, they don't necessarily have to have all the answers. They just have to be the meister to put it all together. Where I think arrogant people believe that they know it all right, and they have this exaggerated sense of what they're capable of and their own abilities, and they don't want to see anybody else's opinions and ideas. 


They just want yes. People around them. There is a difference between the two. It's a fine line, and I think you can carry one or the other. I can see how some people would think someone like Cristo is arrogant and not confident. But, I mean, the reality is he's very confident. 


He was very confident. 


It's funny, I was watching something from him from today that was almost ten years old, and it was literally on this topic and how it was something that his friend at the time, Jose, was going on about how, like, he said, you always were confident. I always remember. He was very humbling the way he talked about himself, saying he was more open. I think he lost of that later, where it's like, maybe he sees that as weakness. Maybe some people will see that as weakness. I know that there's many sites that dude have been following him for years. 


Super smart. Yeah. 


Okay. Needless to say, I'm calm. Got some bourbon in me. Okay, so now I'm feeling good. One thing is for sure, and I can say this without a doubt. I don't think that there's any f****** arrogant, pretentious f****** designers that listen to our podcast, because I don't think it's what our podcast embraces. I don't think. I've talked to so many of our followers, and I don't even want to come followers so many of our angry designers, and everybody seems to be down to earth and happy and thankful and give and take. It's a great community. With that being said, because we care about everybody who listens to this show, I got a list here of arrogant behaviors to be aware of. 


He's good. 


Okay? This is s***, because I want people to pay attention to this. I'm guilty of a lot of things. I am. This was a really good exercise for me to kind of bring things together, right? Like, number one. Okay, so being self aware is very important. 




And that's why I created this list. I was like, F***, I'm guilty of a lot of things, and I want people to be genuinely self aware. Does it make you weak? Does it make you s*** a**? 


It doesn't. 


This is not legit. 




Okay, so things like arrogant behaviors to be aware of. Right? Like number one snobbery. Okay, f*** it. I'm 100% guilty. I'm a car snob. I'm a design snob. I am a snob on a lot of things, right? In a lot of ways, right? When we start talking about being a snob, about poor fonts, poor white space use, right? It's okay if we do it amongst our peers. 


You always bashing me for impact, right? 


F****** impact people. 


It likes impact snob. 


You have to admit, right, it is a little pretentious to talk this way, especially if you talk about it when you're talking to a potential customer and you're like, oh, yeah, that font looks very dated. You're better than that, right? It's like, maybe there's better ways to so this is where we have to pull back on the snobbery. It's okay to do it amongst our peers because we razz each other about it all the time. Totally, totally impact. But again, remember, right, the idea here. 


Is, right, one does not simply do a meme without impact. 


It will forever be known as the meme fond. Okay? The thing to remember about Snobbery is you don't necessarily know how the customer's logo got to where it is, right? You don't know how their website got to that point. You don't know if it was their kid, if it was their wife husband, if it was something that they slaved over and were proud of. You, unfortunately, just don't know that. Again, I've been guilty about slamming people's stuff and being like, S***, sorry. Now I'm a lot more conscious about that, right? Even the processes that got to these people, right? So be careful and empathize very carefully. When you talk about their current work, their marketing material experiences, people that they've worked with in the past, okay? So again, that's Snobbery number one. Number one snobbery right. Okay. Arrogant behavior swatch out for number two, you use technical jargon without explanation, or you use design jargon to describe something that is completely straightforward and simple. 


Oh, God. 


This is one of those people who always use those fancy words to be like, instead of past the butter, it becomes this giant f****** elaborate Shakespearean poetic sentence, dude, just pass the f****** butter. People are so guilty of this, okay? It's important to communicate in a way that's understandable and simple and straightforward. Again, to all parties involved, you shouldn't have to be a designer to understand a designer. And that's key, right? Especially if you're a customer. 




Okay, so again, that's big arrogant behavior, right? Yeah, arrogant behavior to be aware of. Number three, you're condescending in your communication. This is to customers, to coworkers, or even to people, especially to people who aren't on the same level of expertise as you are often students sometimes, I'm going through this right now, Sean, I'm irritated. And it's just like some little hot. 


S***, little UX designer comes and rolls up on you, dude. 


It's just you want to and you want to be it's hard not to be condescending, your communication of this, but it's like, again, it is bad behavior, okay? It's arrogant behavior. You don't just you got to remember, you don't have all the answers. You absolutely don't. Right. You're human, and everybody else is f****** human that you're dealing with. You have to remember that you didn't start right from where you are today. You had it yesterday, and you're going to have it tomorrow. Just because somebody else on your yesterdays, don't p*** on them for that. Right, exactly. You got to keep it calm. Right. Explain. This is where the humility comes in. Right? Exactly. Somebody else's. 


And see, that's the thing. Back to your little UX designer. It's like immediately he goes on the defensive 100%. This is wrong. This is arrogant behavior. Right. Like, you're just oh, well, why would we need that? 


Instead of you're just, like, doing this for 20 years. You don't know what you're talking about. You don't know. 


Instead of, oh, that's a great point. Boom. 




There you go. 


We're there to learn from each other. 


You've opened the door yes. To a good idea, which is a valid idea. This is a necessity. And again, the logos. How many times we talked about the Disney logo? Absolutely love it so much how it just pares down. 


It has to. The smallest possible owns a brand as good as that. Right, exactly. 


This is just like so you have. 


No business saying, yeah, absolutely. 


This why would we need anything else? 


All right, arrogant behavior number four. You're unwilling to make a design change that meets the client's objectives or changes. Right. This is sad, and we're all guilty of this, but the reality is you have to remember, okay, that the client might have a different vision for their project than you do. That's all. Doesn't mean you suck. It doesn't mean you're wrong. They hired you to help bring out their vision, not yours, not your vision. So don't be unwilling or be difficult. If I can go down that road and help them achieve what they hired you for. Okay? Again, we got to remember that what they hired you for. 


Yes, that's exactly. 


Arrogant behavior number. You prioritize aesthetics over functionality. That's a huge arrogant behavior. Right. Again, you got to remember that aesthetics are important. And I love it. Of course I love it. I want everything to look great, but it doesn't trump functionality. If something doesn't function properly, if it doesn't deliver that message, it's failed. It doesn't matter how good it looks. You could have the hottest f****** car in the road, but if it just sits there because it doesn't drive, what f****** good is it? You're going to invite everybody over to look at your car. 


It's got those sexy square wheels that are really hip nowadays. It's not a real comfortable ride, but it looks good. Look at those square tires. Yeah, you're absolutely right. It's got to be functional. 


Has to be functional. 




Keep that in mind. 


Fit in the flavicon. 


Yeah. Right. It has to be responsible. Arrogant behavior, number six. Okay. You're dismissive of client feedback. Okay, so dismissive. Now, we're not saying you're not willing to do it. You're dismissive of it. Okay. Again, I think we all are, actually. Again, you believe that your design is right the way it is. Okay. And that's the wrong part. Again. Right. You've got to remember that effective communication involves collaboration. Okay. We have to understand the clients needs and we have to help achieve that. Right. So don't be dismissive. There's always going to be a negative information in there that we need to address. Absolutely, yes. Okay. Number seven of arrogant behaviors be aware of overemphasizing the importance of a design or implying that design is the most critical parts of a project or a business. Okay? 




Again, people, it's so common to get wrapped up and how important a logo is and how important visual communication is. The reality is there's so much more of a business. This is just one part of it. We've had customers. We have customers now that they've been operating for 30 years. They are worth $100 million and have really s***** branding. Again, because there's other parts of their business that work. Again, to go to them and be arrogant enough to be like, design is important. It's going to change your business. Really? It going to change our 100 million dollar business already? I mean, again, it is important, but design alone isn't going to f****** save the world. And that's what people have to remember. Right. Or through the process of design, we may uncover huge solutions that might save them a ton of money. The thing is, it's not necessarily always going to be the answer. 




Okay. People need to remember that it's a process. Through that process, we'll get to a f****** great place. But it doesn't mean it's everything. Okay. I'm not discounting what we do. 


No, it's very important, but it's not the be all. 


There's more to and again, think of every one of our customers. If their brand slipped or this or that, chances are they've got 30 other things to worry about on a daily basis. It's not going to shut them down tomorrow. 


Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Very few businesses closed because of their brand. 


The logo fail sucks. 


Let's tank them. 


I think the worst one was what the brand when the Gap rebranded, it was so bad that, like, two weeks later they went back. 




If they could make they managed to do it. They survived over that brand fiasco. Sure. Everybody else. 


Good point. 


All right. Arrogant behavior to be aware of. Number eight, you are way too overconfident. Okay? What I mean by this is, and I don't mean this in a bad way, okay. This goes. Exactly to what I was talking about, right? I'm like, You've done this so many f****** times. You're like, I can do this with my eyes closed. Don't worry, don't worry. The reality is, every customer wants to feel like they are the first time that you are doing this. They almost want to feel like this is a virgin experience every single time, right? The thing is, the fact that you can help solve this problem, that you can deliver this f****** amazing and you will be here at the end of the project. Every time you start that project, don't discredit their problem and say, I've done this a thousand times. I've got you covered. 


Don't worry, I got you. I'm your guy. That's what I mean by your overconfident, right? They always want to feel like you're there first and you want to give them the attention and that they hired a person that's going to through this miraculous design process, regardless if it's the first or fifth time you've done this, are going to help them achieve this. Remember that, like, overconfidence, it's great internally, especially big time, right? You can portray the confidence that you're confident, you can help them achieve their goals. Remember, to them, they're not just another number, right? 


Keep a lid on it. 


Yeah. Let it simmer. Let it simmer. Or just my case. Just shut the h*** up, okay? Calm the f*** down and shut up. Mom, stop getting so excited. 


I would love to have seen you that everybody going, what the h***? 


This guy's attest man. Bouncing on the walls, man. Yeah. 


What is this, Tuesday? Of course he is. Yeah. Oh, s***. 


Last but not least, arrogant behaviors to watch out for, refusing to collaborate. Okay, so I should have with that f****** UX print, okay? I should have been like, no, but right from the start, I was like, okay, I'll listen to what he has to say. This feels like it's the third time in like three weeks. Remember, we just had this with a website from a couple of weeks ago with the other kid who's slamming everything. 


Oh, this is a different kid. 


This is a different kid, dude. I know. It's like you're there for your customer, and if they want you to collaborate with somebody, then you have to step up and do it, right? The s***** thing is, one of our customers this week of all things, was like, hey, we need to have a talk about SEO. And I'm like, we don't do that. For this one customer, I've been doing it, right? I have been doing it, and their demands are getting more and more and more, right? And it's just like, you know what? I can't keep up with it. I saw that email, I was like, what? I know where this is going. Don't worry. We don't have to have a meeting. Did you find somebody? They're like, you know what we did? And nothing personal. I was like, Dude, don't even explain. I will do whatever you want. 


I will help them. I will collaborate. They were like, wow, that was great. We don't even have to have a meeting. That's exactly it. We were scared that you weren't going to want to collaborate with I was like, no, I would absolutely want to collaborate with whoever you got. Because the reality is I couldn't meet their expectations. I couldn't live up to their expectations, and I knew I couldn't. I was the one who said, Look, I'm falling short. Because the reality is we don't do that anymore here. I am the only person here so busy, and I'm falling short. Right. 


It's one of those jobs that you pass on to the professionals that do. 


This stuff for absolutely. 




Especially to the level what they want. 




So I was happy to collaborate. Right? Unfortunately, the other two offers of collaboration didn't work out so well, and I was a little pissy about that. Maybe it has something to do with UX people. 


It was them working with you was the collaboration stall? 


Yeah, it was the same thing. It was just kind of get together. We want you to talk to this person and whatever. 


This is what I don't understand. That company should say, hey, you play. 


Nice with Zfa, right? 


They're playing nice with you. 


Yeah, the one we knew is the f****** co op. They came back and they said, what? Yeah, he doesn't really know too much. Don't take his s*** at heart. This other one, f****** Nepotism 100%. It was nepotism 100%. Again but the reality is you don't know what they're asking you and who they're asking you to collaborate with, right? You need to take a deep breath and be open to it. Just with one of our other customers. We often collaborate with sign install shops all over the Midwest. Okay? And again, we're collaborating. They're like, hey, we deal with this person. No problem. We'll work with you. How can we make your life easier? We created a brand book. We created something that something simple to follow. Everything's exactly the same, and it's seamless. Right? We have to be willing to collaborate with all these people. 




It's to the benefit of the customer. 


Exactly. Because they'll be like, that was easy. 


Yeah, exactly. 


I know these guys. They can help. 


As opposed to you being like, no, shut up and listen. We're the agency. Look at me. I'm the designer. I am the designer. 


I'm Kardashian, and you're going to listen to me. Yeah, you're right. That's how you do that. You collaborate. 


These are arrogant behaviors that we genuinely want you all to be aware of. Honestly. Because again, it's okay to have them, right. Again, I think I'm guilty of everyone to some point. 


You have managed them over time, right? 


You realize it. 


I'm aware. 


Right. Because nothing hurts us designers, our industry, more than arrogant f****** pretentious designers who don't even actually, in my opinion, after meeting the superstars that we've met, nobody deserves to be this way. Nobody does. No, I don't f****** care who they are. Nobody deserves to be this way. 


If Aaron Draplan can spend 3 hours right f****** to us, I mean, that's f****** cool. 


He talked to us for so long that near the end, I was really drunk, for the record. And he knew that. 


I mean, he didn't have to do that. 


He didn't. Absolutely. He was so open, and he wasn't putting on a show. He was who he was. No holes barred again. You know what I mean? That Alan Peters, people who just we've been meeting, I give you Janet is incredible. Martin, reach out. Star there. Oh, my God. Like, it just keeps going and going, right? Like I've got so many wells. YouTube. Dude, you again. It's just like, wow. It's like, fun. 


Yeah, it's great. It's great. And that's a humbling experience. 


This is a very humbling experience. 




All right, well, I feel better. Yeah, I feel better now. Thank you for letting me get that. 


Off my yeah, this is the Moss Venting Hour. 


It happens to all of us. Yeah, this I had some rage that I had to get out. 


You did. And you did. 


Thank you for this. 


It was all the wiser for it, too. 


All right, everybody. Well, I really hope you got something out of this, even if it was just a couple really good laughs. Please, by all means, share us with anybody that, that could benefit from this. Plug us if you can, give us a high five. Give us a review on whether it's Apple podcast or Spotify, whatever. This is ever growing. I mean, heck, were, like, number one in Egypt. 


This Egypt. 


How f****** cool is that s***? I know, right? 




We're f****** in there with the mummies, yo. They're f****** playing the podcast in the pyramids. Well, I don't know if that's how it works, but in my mind it does. 


Yes. That's great. 




That's incredible. Very cool. I know. 


I thought that was really cool. Again, we're there, and we're thankful for every single person who listens. 


Totally, right? 




Very much so. 


We've got some exciting stuff coming up in the next couple of weeks, so stay close. We're going to be talking to some people. We might have a guest on this show, but yeah, stay tuned for that. And I think that's it. 


Yeah, that's great. 


All right. 


That was really good. 


Let's not dittle Donald anymore, okay, buddy? Because we tend to do this. We never want to say goodbye. 


So how are you doing? 


Oh, by the way, we love you all. My name is Mossimo. 


And my name is Sean. Stay creative and stay angry. Peace. 

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