A Different Kind of Interview with David Caldwell, Balance Creative Principal, Advertising + Marketing Services, former AAF president and current AAF District 5 Governor
Article: Lisa R. Kindel / Photography: Shaun Ring
Above the creatively colorful coffee shop Third Street Stuff on North Limestone sits a creative force to be reckoned with—Balance Creative and, one of its guiding forces, sits David Caldwell.
AAF: How’d you come up with the name?
David Caldwell: I was running one night, thinking about potential names and landed on creative balance and then I flipped it. Balance Creative = creativity and problem solving with a balanced approach.
AAF: How did Balance Creative come about?
David Caldwell: After many years working in public relations and communications, I had a strong desire to return to my original roots of design and problem solving. Plus, to fully embrace digital and social media professionally, the way I wanted, I needed to be in a different atmosphere that was pursuing new technologies.
AAF: So Balance Creative was born and Jim Edmon is your partner at Balance Creative?
David Caldwell: Jim and I complement each other. Jim is more of a traditional media and creative guy. I embrace new media, and shore up our digital side. Jim is the behind the scenes one… and I’m the relationship guy. Overnight we [Balance Creative] offered a deeper bench of services and expertise than Jim’s firm did before.
AAF: How did you and Jim meet?
David Caldwell: I first watched Jim’s illustration class as a freshman at EKU in 1982. He says he doesn’t remember me.
AAF: What was your degree in?
David Caldwell: I have a BFA in Graphic Design. My goal was to always work in advertising or design.
AAF: What was that program of study like?
David Caldwell: Back then everything was done by hand. There was a strong emphasis on color, photography, typography, layout, drawing, and textures— creating a visual solution to communications problems. It [education] gave me a full arsenal of creative tools and knowledge of how they all work together.
AAF: So what gets you up in the mornings now?
David Caldwell: Providing for my family, obviously, and striving to help our great clients. Each client has its own set of objectives, attributes and goals. We tackle each set of criteria and hopefully make their lives/jobs better by helping them to solve those challenges.
AAF: What’s your epic fail?
David Caldwell: Not sure how epic it is… or if I’ve failed at it yet (ha ha), but it challenges me each and every day. There are a lot of similar firms in the region AND we all do really good work, while striving to differentiate ourselves from other firms in the area. At Balance Creative, we are still discovering that unique selling point that makes us different. In this business, if you can differentiate yourself, you may get recognized and possibly rewarded with great opportunities.
AAF: So what’s your beverage cycle?
David Caldwell: Coffee, diet soda and sweet tea at lunch. It’s a southern thing.
AAF: What’s your first concert?
David Caldwell: KISS at Rupp Arena in 1978. I was a card carrying member of the KISS Army. I still can’t believe my mother let me go.