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When you look back at your childhood can you think of a time when you would get completely engrossed in doing something which you can now see is related to your career?

Like how your best friend’s bossy older sister would round up all the younger kids and make them sit still and listen while she wrote on a chalkboard and handed out assignments, and sure enough she eventually grew up to become a school teacher.

In the 60s and 70s, when we were little kids, my brother and I used to fly to Kansas in the summertime to visit our extended family in Dodge City. (Shocking to think of it now, but we flew all by ourselves with only one busy stewardess assigned to keep half an eye on us.) Since this was looooong before the age of laptop computers and electronic games, in order to keep us busy during the flight, the stewardess would give us a variety of books and small toys. By far my absolute favorite was the box of Colorforms. I can still remember sitting there with my tray table down peeling and sticking the thin, pliable vinyl shapes into different configurations of patterns, animals and people. I’m quite sure this alone kept me busy for the majority of the flight (I should probably also mention I was a really well-behaved kid). Those Colorforms would stay with me throughout the weeks we spent in Kansas and then make the flight back home when the trip was over.

Design is really about organizing information and I do think this was my first taste of organizing shapes and colors and looking at different ways to make them visually pleasing and recognizable. Surely it was the budding of my love for logo design and branding!

I was super excited to find out something recently that I didn’t know. Interestingly, Paul Rand, the father of graphic design and someone I greatly admire, was commissioned to create the original Colorforms logo, which is still in use today. He also gave his input on the creation of a “signature set” of Colorforms. A man after my own heart!

In later years I bought Colorforms for my kids but I’m not sure they ever felt the way I did. These days I have a 2 year old grandson. While I will leave it to him to follow his heart to find what interests and excites him, it surely can’t hurt to keep a box or two of Colorforms on hand for a rainy day… or a long trip. 😬

Can you think of something that you do today that has deep roots in an activity you did as a child? I’d love to hear about it!