Objects have value not because of what they are but because of what they enable us to do.
And, as the people who make objects, we have a profound responsibility. A responsibility to not take for granted the limited time that each of us has in this world. A responsibility to make that time as beautiful, as comfortable, as painless, as empowering, and as delightful as possible though the experiences that we craft.
Because this is all there is.
And it’s up to us to make it better.Aral Balkan.
I annotate aggressively. If I’m reading a piece of really long fiction, I often find that there are these fabulous things I want to remember. I want to take notes on it, so I highlight it, and if I have a thought about it, I’ll type it out quickly. Then I dump all these clippings into a format that I can look at later. In the case of War and Peace, I actually had 16,000 words worth of notes and clippings at the end of it. So I printed it out as a print-on-demand book. In short, I have a physical copy of all of my favorite parts of War and Peace that I can flip through, with my notes, but I don’t actually own a physical copy of War and Peace. Clive Thompson.
Most design disciplines think in the long term. Architects design buildings to last for generations; industrial designers create products that will withstand endless hours, if not years, of use.
Graphic designers, whether we admit it or not, are trained for the short term. Most of the things we design have to discharge their function immediately, whether it's a design for a book or a poster, a website or an infographic, a sign system, or a business card. In school critiques, architecture and industrial design students produce models. Graphic designers produce finished prototypes. As a result, the idea that we create things that are unfinished, that can only accrue value over time, is foreign to us. It's so easy for us to visualize the future, and so hard to admit that we really can’t. That's what we face every time we unveil a new logo.
And so every time a major identity is introduced today, it's subjected to immediate scrutiny. Why not? It's fun. It's risk free. Every client wants to have an audience «connect on an emotional level with their brand.» And then when they do, it's not always what they hoped for.
Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, anyone evaluating a brand new logo at first glance is — to paraphrase my partner Paula Scher — reviewing a three-act play based on what they see the moment the curtain goes up. Or, to put it differently, they think they're judging a diving competition when in fact they're judging a swimming competition. The question isn't what kind of splash you make. It's how long you can keep your head above water.Michael Beirut.
An important part of working together is being humble with people who have a better or more interesting perspective than your own. Rob Giampietro.
I have two bits of advice for my younger self. First, I didn’t understand until later in my career how important it is as a designer to listen. That is the first thing I’d tell myself. At Project Projects, I had phone calls with new clients, and at one point I realized that my desire to please them and show them how much I knew wasn’t as important as allowing them to talk and become intrigued by the mystery of what it would be like for us to work together. Even if I had already started to formulate ideas, I needed to let the person bringing the project to me finish all of their thoughts before I spoke. Listening is so important, and I feel like a lot of new designers don’t understand that. It takes time.
The second bit of advice I’d offer to my younger self is to be patient with recognition. It’s important to ask for recognition when you need it and to have good support systems around you, but significant recognition takes a long time to earn and is worth the wait. It’s important to have realistic expectations and not let yourself become prematurely frustrated.Rob Giampietro.
The unspecific advice I would give to people is that your first job right out of school is extremely important, and it is not the time in your career to start compromising. Stick to your guns and do what you really want to do. There will be time later in your career to evaluate if you’re making enough money or being creatively challenged or what have you—but you’ll learn much more about what you want by going after your first choice. Rob Giampietro.
… although it’s more about growth and curiosity rather than advancement or progress. I need to grow as a designer, and in order to do that, I need to be multifaceted. There’s a tremendous fear that any artist or creative person feels. You have to make decisions in your life about what you can tolerate and what you can’t. I’ve found a good balance, and I’ve been happy to make changes in my career when I recognize the need for them. Rob Giampietro.
Each time I left studios I was deeply involved with, whether as a cofounder or partner, it was difficult and scary. It’s much easier to continue what you’re already doing rather than disrupt it and change. But something deep within me notices when I’m stagnating, and that voice lets me know when I need to find new challenges. Rob Giampietro.
… if you want to be successful and make a real contribution to the world, you have to be intrinsically motivated by the work you do, and you have to feel good about spending your days on it. Love might grow — and it’s a wonderful thing if it does — but you don’t need it up front. You can succeed just by wanting something to exist that doesn’t already. Jason Fried.
With Latin type, it all goes back to Roman lettering, Roman stone inscriptions, … This was an early form of global branding. You can’t keep an empire that size with military force alone. You have to have branding! Bruno Maag.