Ruge's entire career (except for a brief foray into advertising design) has been happily anchored in the social expressions industry. He has worked as a humorous illustrator and Art Director at Gibson Greetings, Inc., as Creative Development Manager and Freelance Art Director at Current, Inc., as Senior Creative Director at Sangamon, Inc., and presently, as Creative Director for Olympia Sales, Inc. You might think someone with that much experience has a secret formula for success, and you'd be right.
"I simply picture the customer standing at a rack of cards, picking up a particular design, reading it, smiling, thinking of the recipient, and then making the decision to purchase the card. It doesn't matter to me if it's a card that I would personally buy or not because I still appreciate and understand and respect the customer who would. To me, respecting the customer is the most important part of the creative process."
Don's range of experience is impressive, not just in his soup-to-nuts background in developing the product–planning the design, directing artists, working with production, editing/writing copy, determining lettering styles, approving color proofs, okaying press runs–but also in the various styles he has directed: cute, humorous, alternative, traditional, juvenile, photography...you name it!
of the product allows him to manage an entire project, keeping "big picture" essentials such as budget, schedule, production logistics and marketing directives in mind while still keeping an eye on the "smaller" details that contribute to making each design a good seller.
Don brings years of experience, as well as a true love of the greeting card industry, to every product he directs, designs and/or edits.
"For almost 30 years now I've
successfully combined words and images to create products that help people
to better express themselves and it is a process that still delights me."