Lessons of Failure
Presenters include Matthew Clark RGD, Peter Pimentel, Fidel Pena RGD and Cai Sepulis RGD.
Four designers share their experiences of a project or situation that didn’t go well, lessons learned and offer their best advice for your future success.

Topic: Planned to be a doctor, never went to design school, became a designer. Lots of embarrassing examples where I tried my hand (badly) at t-shirt design, gradwear, architectural renderings, cheesy ads, working at a quick printer, etc.


Matthew Clark RGDSubplot Design Inc.

Matthew is an internationally-recognized Creative Director and Designer based in Vancouver, Canada. Founder of Subplot Design Inc., he is also an author, mentor and public speaker known for his opinionated take on branding, design, and the world of marketing and advertising. Matthew’s work, which focuses on retail branding and packaging, has been recognized with over 250 local, national and international awards; has been published in over 75 articles worldwide; and is part of the permanent collections of the Chicago Athenaeum Museum and the Design Exchange. He is also a drawer, painter, and sword-play-dance-party-pantomime dad and husband.



Topic: A failed creative pitch for Pirelli, a failed attempt to ask out a girl, and their parallels.

Peter PimentelEngine Digital

Peter Pimentel is a designer and karaoke enthusiast. As Design Director at Engine Digital he works hand-in-hand with ambitious organizations to build highly strategic products, platforms, and experiences. His seventeen-year career has spanned children’s book design, corporate identity, and interactive experiences for admired brands like Toyota, Adidas, and Pirelli. His work has been recognized by The One Show, Communication Arts, and TIME Magazine’s Design 100. He has lived and worked in Seattle, Buenos Aires, and his hometown of Vancouver where he currently resides with his wife and dog.



Topic: A failed book design for a local organization – an absolute disaster in communication.

Fidel Peña RGDUnderline Studio

Fidel is a graphic designer, creative director and the co-founder of Underline Studio. Underline develops branding, print and digital projects for a number of commercial clients, including Google, the University of Toronto and the National Gallery of Canada, as well as self-initiated projects that deal with humanitarian and political issues. His work has received numerous accolades from across Canada, the US and Europe, including from D&AD (UK), the ADCC and the Type Directors Club (NY). Fidel has lectured on design topics in Europe, North America and Latin America and is a former president of the Advertising and Design Club of Canada.



Topic: I’ll talk about failure as opportunity; some situations where putting myself out there and cold-calling (or losing on a bid) turned into more work by staying in the client’s good books and not taking rejection badly.

Cai Sepulis RGDToque Ltd

Cai is Partner at Toque Ltd. With a background in philosophy and architecture, Cai is a firecracker of ideas and creativity, specializing in branding, packaging and illustration. Her youthful whimsical style has caught the attention of numerous big brands and she’s worked along side the agencies/teams behind Second Cup, Nordstrom, HotDocs and numerous breweries to create unique packaging, campaigns and graphics.