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The Circle of Trust Archive

The Circle of Trust is the paid subscriber content for listeners of the Adventures In Design podcast. Containing over 300+ episodes and 500 hours of design, illustration, printing and business tips n tricks. Hear every episode in it’s entirety! The Circle of Trust has the full Adventures In Design audio catalog, featuring every episode with bonus content added or you can choose to go straight to the bonus content. Every topic possible on following your creative passion as a hobby or career has been covered in this collection and we’re not even close to finishing the conversation adding another 200 episodes in 2016. 

615 - The Forefathers Group

David Defeo

It's time to revise how you think about design from a globe spanning team so confident in their work they don't allow revisions at all, The Forefathers Group. Kick Frankenstein-ing to the curb with Jonden, Matthew, and Emir as they walk us through how they approach telling a brand's story and how they have separated themselves in an undercutting, self-sabotaging market overflowing with designers willing to bend the knee to the whim of any client who thinks they know better. The Forefathers Group holds fast to a set of design principles that reflect their respect for the craft of creation that their body of work so perfectly exemplifies. It's so rare to hear a story like theirs and one we all need to remember to take back some of the dignity and reverence that we all know design deserves. Whether you met them at Creative South, followed them when e-cards were still a thing, or use their digital action sets, you need to hear what The Forefathers are up to now.

Talking Points

  • The power of the internet and Every Time I Die brought The Forefathers Group together from across the globe. 
  • Learning a division of labor the hard way. 
  • The responsive brand board that shows the whole universe being built. 
  • Flourishes, balance, and using all your pieces to effectively tell a story. 
  • The Declaration behind limited revisions and controlling client interactions for the best result. 
  • Website design in a post-Squarespace world that developed a premium tier. 
  • Taking your punk rock mentality into uncharted territory. 
  • Giant cups and concentrates. 
  • The saturated design market that undercuts and copies itself. 
  • Pinning down industry pricing. 
  • What it's like to work with the pros and Dribble's widespread effect on design. 

Circle Of Trust Talking Points

  • The Pro Path that separates you from Three Thirty Jones. 
  • Diving deep and bending the rules to arrogantly say "I told you so."
  • Multiple income streams and the pros of digital content over physical. 
  • Side hustles, life preservers, and the Whorefathers. 
  • New team members on the horizon, the heavy toll of increased responsibility, and accounting for accounting. 
  • The real Emir. 


This Shop Talk is a continuation on the pep talk most designers need to hear and further understand the value they bring. The Forefathers decided to take a stance against the backsliding market and Billy and Mark use AID 598 for the same reason.

As a personality, Jason Munn might be the polar opposite of The Forefathers, but there is just as much to learn from someone who is in his second iteration of design. How did he change from The Small Stakes to Jason Munn and why?

Another battle cry from the mouth of a man who holds the craft of creation at the same high regard as The Forefathers... just maybe a little more high. Skinner talks about our unique gift as creators and helps build up the confidence we need to be artists.