Words to live (and design) by

My father (Thomas J. Gough) was a psychologist by profession. Perhaps because of his quest to better understand and help people, and/or as a result of being the son of an award-winning commercial graphic artist, he had an acute sense of the power of words.

Consequently, my father chronicled much of his life’s discoveries, thoughts, and inspirations on little bits of colorful paper. These paper scraps, many of which were on Post-it Notes (after 1980), were stuck in books, his office, or carried about in his briefcase or wallet.


Above are a few of my favorites, with messages I find especially meaningful to my life and work.

1) A single word, compassion, scribbled on a well-traveled note, torn and repaired with scotch-taped

2) A quote from art-historian Aby Warburg, God dwells in detail

3) a note jotted down while listening to an audio tape from the library of Widener University, where my father taught in the ’80s, RE Words: the mythology…According to many ancient myths, when primordial sound took the form of words, our world was born!

Thanks Dad. I miss you.

Never underestimate the power of a planted seed: