Hallmark's Creative Leadership Symposium

Letters Are Lovely | Hallmark's Creative Leadership Symposium


On Tuesday Hallmark hosted their Creative Leadership Symposium and invited the entire creative community to attend! The day long event was filled with amazing speakers, and I have so many notes I knew I needed a blog post to process all the amazing tidbits I scribbled down. Best of all, it took place at the beautiful Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Here are some takeaways from my favorite speakers:


Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations
General Manager, Kansas City Royals

  • You have to have a vision to win. 
  • The habits that you have off the field can lead to a broken focus.
  • We have to manage failure, and the will to win for one another must be first. You win with an undying passion for something bigger than yourself. 
  • Share the glory together, settle disputes quickly, lead with hear



  • If you want to write, write. Trust in your own weird voice.
  • It is easy to follow the market, but that is not always the best route.
  • Creativity is 99% work.
  • It is important to buckle down, have discipline, and if something isn't working get rid of it. 
I have no muse, if there is one she does not care for my company.
— Gillian Flynn


Chief Design Officer, PepsiCo

  • The world has radically changed in the past FEW years. 
  • Brands have competition beyond their direct competition and need to be part of a two direction dialogue.
  • In this new (elevated) competitive landscape technology will touch everything. And customers are savvy, smarter and connected. 
  • People don't buy products anymore, they seek out holistic solutions, meaningful experiences, and authentic stories. 
  • People consume content at the speed of light and brands now need to become the topic of conversation, and they must earn this right. 
  • The brand experiences then becomes even more important. What will buying the product communicate about ourselves to others?
  • Products must be relevant to people's lives. Purchases are either visceral (impulse), interactive (satisfaction & loyalty), or expressive (communicate something).

Art by Amber Goodvin for Hallmark CLS

Art by Amber Goodvin for Hallmark CLS



  • Brevity is the soul of wit.
  • Great writers aspire to make an impact as quickly as possible.
  • Electricity is being around others who want to make others laugh.
  • Choose joy, choose happiness, choose laughter. 
  • Humor, honesty, and sincerity from those you love never goes out of style. 
  • His goal in life is to make someone happier because they came in contact with his life's work.
  • Comedy is not about overwrought perfection, it's hunting for the joy. 
You turn folded card stock into joy grenades!
— Rob Riggle


Vice President of Talent Acquisition, HBO

  • Live with purpose. You already posses the power to change your own life. 
  • It takes a personal transformation to make a leadership transformation.
  • Life presently. Passion is for you, purpose is for others. Purpose provides motivation.
Nothing will keep me from living the life I imagine.
— Carla Moore


Designer / Animator / Letterer / Art Director

  • You can't let your fear hold you back from the things you really want to do. 
  • Life is never quite what you expect it to be.
My work is not satisfaction from all the people I’ve proved wrong...
It’s a tribute to everyone I’ve proved right.
— Raul Alejandro

Thanks, Hallmark, for the inspirational day!