Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic.  In this “up close and personal” profile, we feature Guy Schum. Photography for this series is by Cade Martin; wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson and Janice Kinigopoulos for THE Artist Agency.

Guy, please provide us a short bio.

No academic or university schooling in design; “autodidactic”.

1966-1967, Junior art director, English Creative Floor, McKim, Benton & Bowles Advertising, Montreal, Canada

1968-1970, Conscientious Objector Service as Hospital Orderly during Vietnam War, Washington, DC

1971-1978, Graphic Designer and Art Director for several firms

1978-1981, Director of Design, National Archives, Washington, DC

1981-2015, Owner and Creative Director, Schum & Associates, McLean, Virginia

Currently, design consultant, writer, author, lecturer on English garden history and design

Are you involved in any other organizations?

German-American Society

British Vintage Lawnmower Association

The Oliver Cromwell Association

Sons of Union Veterans

Sons of The American Revolution-pending

What are the things you are most proud of?

Gratitude to God for:

A loving, patient, and godly wife; our marriage of 48 years;  4 very creative children; 4 delightful grandchildren; love of our German heritage; our little cottage on Nantucket

Who were your personal role models?

For their Character: George Fox, English Quaker; Margaret Thatcher; Robert E. Lee.

Did these role models offer advice that helped you in your career?

A multitude through their examples, too numerous to number.

What professional advice do you have for others?

Professor Philip Baxter Meggs said, “A good designer can turn shit into gold.” In 45 years in the business I’ve seen this done by a few gifted people, and even done it once or twice myself.

What advice do you have on what’s appropriate attire for business?

Dress yourself so as not to bring disgrace upon your employer or yourself. Do not let anything you wear to the office, or a presentation, upstage your work, or distract your clients.

Buy a really good full-length mirror for home and the office. Check yourself. Wear deodorant.

Where do you buy most of the clothes you wear to the office?

Any place except Joseph Banks. I like the cut and array of late 19th century English clothing. Vintage. I was once in an antique store in Schleswig-Holstein, and got a fabulous dark blue pinstriped vest off a dead German!

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

Sage words about business, advertising, and design:

“When opportunity knocks, it usually shows up in overalls and looks like work”—Thomas Edison

“Advertising is like rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket” —H.G. Wells



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