Ken Cooke is a creative graphic designer and branding expert based in Atlanta, Georgia, serving clients all over the world. He welcomed us into his studio for a glimpse into his creative process. Ken believes that every brand has a story, and it is his mission to help them tell that story through their logo, website, and overall brand image. He and his team are doing just that, through K. Cooke Designs. A Jersey boy at heart, love is what brought Ken to the South. Read his interview below to find out what fuels his creative spirit!
Name and age:
Kenneth Cooke – 31
Fair Lawn, New Jersey
What brought you to (or kept you in, or brought you back to) Atlanta?
I moved down to Atlanta in July 2012. After 8 months of flying back and forth from JFK-ATL to see my girlfriend, I decided to make the permanent move. The decision was pretty easy with her business just starting down here, and me being a freelance designer, I could set up anywhere. Plus the food is amazing and the people are friendly and supportive. The local community support isn’t like anything you see in NY/NJ. The opportunity to start, grow and have a successful business in Atlanta is made easier by the fantastic community of creatives.
How do you pay the bills? What is your “slash”? (i.e. teacher/ amateur cupcake baker)
What do you create?
What do you collect?
Your favorite artist now and as a child:
My interest in fine art didn’t really spark until college. But looking back, I think everyone’s favorite childhood artist is Shel Silverstein. My favorite current artists are James Jean and Jon Contino. My favorite historical artists are Warhol and Rothko.
Last memorable home-cooked meal:
Bacon and Eggs. It is memorable because I make them every morning. I have been on a paleo diet since the beginning of the year
An only in Atlanta moment:
Only in Atlanta will 1 inch of snow bring traffic to a standstill and make a 30 minute commute take 9 hours.
1A favorite local business:
OVR cafe in Cumming, GA. Their Organic Vegan Raw philosophy puts a spin on the neighborhood coffee shop. Plus their pourover coffee is unbelievable and all the baristas are friendly and knowledgeable.
Favorite way or place to unwind:
TV marathons. I rarely sit down to watch TV regularly. I also hate flipping through the guide. So when I do get a chance to relax on the couch, I like to have multiple episodes in queue. Currently watching Breaking Bad on Netflix.
What occupation did you want to do as a child?
The first thing I can remember wanting to be was a paleontologist and then an architect. I feel I landed somewhere in the middle.
What is your favorite dessert?
All of them. Dessert is my favorite meal.
What is your favorite artifact, heirloom, or art piece in your home?
A box of coins my grandfather collected while in the Navy.
What song do you love most (or what’s on your playlist now)?
Top Artists on my Spotify account. The Lumineers, Fun., Jay Z, Kayne West and John Mayer.
What are some of your favorite websites?
Sweet or savory (or your favorite brunch menu item)?
Blueberry pancakes from Buttermilk Kitchen in Buckhead.
A lesson you’ve learned the hard way:
I thought for a long time about this. There have been many lesson I have learned the hard way. Something that may be more interesting is something I learned the easy way. As an intern at Sony/BMG the Creative Director at the time gave me a piece of advice that is still stuck with me: “Don’t be lazy.” So many designers are lazy and miss deadlines and it leads to bad work and bad reputations. It is so true. I learned that early. I think it has been a big part of my success as a designer. So, just don’t be lazy.
Favorite dog breed:
Weimaraner. But don’t tell Lucy, our Chihuahua.