Why I WSJ’d my face.


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I recently helped a friend develop the brand for his new business. With 35 years in the construction and insurance industries, he didn’t need any help identifying ways to serve Clients (ie, make money).


He did need help distilling his core message and creating marketing materials.


So we worked with my graphic designer to develop a primary and secondary logo. We made business cards. We met with my copywriter to craft the language on his website and marketing materials. We created a cohesive lineup of business documents (Invoices, Expense Reports, Proposal, etc). We established his online monthly newsletter.


We then spent a lot of time thinking about his Bio.


My friend frequently delivers keynote speeches at industry functions, so we wanted something unique.


Then it hit me – we should figure out how to WSJ his headshot. My friend’s resume was certainly WSJ-worthy. We should find the software program the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) uses to create their grayscale pointillism-ish portraits in the newspaper.





After doing a bit of research, I was surprised to learn WSJ doesn’t use software for their portraits.

They use humans.


Better said, they employ artists… who use pencils.


So I contacted Kevin Sprouls, the WSJ artist, and received a quote.


After seeing the price tag, my friend with the WSJ-worthy resume didn’t want his WSJ portrait.


But I did.



I loved the idea of a business newspaper using art to differentiate itself.



We need more art in business.

We need more artists sharing their work in the business community.


At Red Angle, I’ve learned to trust the artists we work with.


The graphic designers.

The videographers.

The copywriters.

The animators.


They’re all artists.


And like any talented workers, you articulate your goals clearly and get out of the way quickly.


Let them do what they do best.


On occasion, the artwork is off the mark.

It doesn’t work.


That’s part of the process.

That’s part of the investment in art.


You pay for it.

You junk it.

You start the communication process over again.



No one said corporate branding has to be boring.

But most is because we sacrifice art for efficiency & lower overhead.



We sacrifice art for consistency.


The irony is as more companies issue 200-page brand standard kits forcing uniformity, they often minimize the goal of a brand: to stand out in a sea of sameness.



So why did I really WSJ my face?




I think it’s cool.



I haven’t yet brought Red Angle to the pages of WSJ, so I might as well bring a little WSJ to the pages of Red Angle.





Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish (and a bit of Polish…) language gap in the construction industry.

To check out our Safety Spanish program for yourself, click here: https://gumroad.com/l/OeTH


Categories: Jobsite Leadership

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2 replies

  1. Only you, Bradley. And that is a compliment!

  2. Love it! Is your friend someone I know? 🙂

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