18 September 2006

No rules, great design.

1. Find inspiration in everything.
Graphic designers can't operate in a vacuum any more. Gone are the days when you could sit in your room creating beautiful layouts in wonderful isolation. So collaborate; meet illustrators, ad agencies and film makers. Make friends with a copy writer. Visit an architect. Listen to product designers. The more interesting people you meet, the more interesting you'll become. Hopefully.

2. Present passion not perfection.
20 years of Mac means we've lost a lot of energy from graphic design, so let's try and get it back. Turn the computer off, get up from the desk, draw, sketch, make roughs, present your roughs. Always remember a sketch sells an idea better than a finished visual, because the client uses their imagination to buy into the idea. We recently did a whole presentation on post it notes. Present passion not perfection.

3. Create and understand content.
Everyone is talking about content these days, from ad agencies to brands. In fact they've been talking about it for ages and it's starting to filter down to graphic designers. Communication is getting more complex and more varied and looking less like sales pitches and more like stories, so you're going to have to understand great content. Or at least know where to find it.

4. Understand your clients and their clients.
Read lots and read everything. Understand your audience and how society consumes media and design. Never forget that not everyone likes Big Brother or the World Cup. Think about the end user, which leads me nicely into...

5. Understand usability.
Great usability is the ultimate in good design. This is so obvious, but we're only just starting to talk about it. There are so many examples around us everyday, the Underground map, the BBC News website, almost all Apple products. As David Ogilvy said, "You can't save souls in an empty church".

6. Realise that design is the new management consultancy.
An odd one this, but it's an idea that's starting to get a lot of airtime. Who better have an impact on a business than the problem solvers? The ones who can generate ideas from a blank sheet of paper? The ones who create new ideas all day, every day. The designers. You will hear a lot more about this, trust me.

7. Remember that ideas will always transcend stuff.
The world of communication is changing as I write this. Who know what it will look like in 10 years time? Maybe one day you'll be designing an animation for a 1 pixel square screen? Maybe you'll be putting a logo on the roof of a building so it's visible on Google Earth. Whatever happens you'll still need ideas.

Many thanks to Snow, Mr.Maeda and the Ad's (anonymous designers)
Blog on corporate changes and more
Maeda on SimplicityBlog

Check the latest Snow project :: ontsnapaanmigraine.be
A clock? Timing ideas.. now!

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