By Matt Smith

If you want to see some really good work, wander up to Baltimore and pay a visit to Spur Design.  Their stuff is so cool it would be worth the trip even if you had to drive up in rush-hour traffic during a pounding rain storm.  Or you could just visit their website at http://spurdesign.com/.  Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Spur Design is a group of highly talented designers, illustrators and photographers who create posters, book covers, websites, et al, for their impressive client list, which includes Capitol Records, The Economist Group, MTV, Warner Bros., and the Maryland Institute College of Art, among many others.

“We build identities and define styles that make our clients get noticed,” according to Spur’s website, and it’s not hard to believe.  I’ve seen their work for years in Illustration annuals and covers, but to be honest, I never made the connection.  I certainly won’t make that mistake again.

Spur’s design work is deeply conceptual, not just decorative trendy stuff.  The work is unique to the company and its fearless leaders, Dave Plunkert and Joyce Hesselberth, who founded the shop in 1995.  Their work not only raises the art form of illustration and design for our region, but also for the entire category.

Their work is so outrageously distinctive. In a time when so much so-called creative output is actually homogenized into a vat of sameness stock crap, it’s refreshing to see a group that is 100 percent unique and and has the ability and courage to stick to it. Which by the way is a true art form in and of itself, in my opinion. I applaud that, I envy it and deeply respect it.

This is exactly the sort of work I was hoping “Oh, That’s Good” would help promote here in the D.C. metro area. Thanks to Dave and Joyce for making our planet more fun!  Here is the link if you are not in the car yet on your way to Baltimore to stand outside their door waiting for one of them to go to lunch.  Check it out: http://spurdesign.com/

Also a huge thanks to Dan Gerlach from Storyfarm for reaching out to me to share the news about all the goodness to be found at Spur. It makes me believe my concept for this column is beginning to work–a good guy from another company shares the work he admires. With no self interest. The formula is simple: Good begets good. Pass it on!

Matt Smith is founder of SmithGifford, and has close to 40 years’ experience as a creative and agency leader at the nation’s top agencies.  SmithGifford is a Capitol Communicator sponsor.

You can find Matt Smith’s earlier columns at Oh, That’s Good.

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