As 2014 draws to an end, we’re taking the time to reflect on the year that was (again). The Sex, Drugs & Helvetica conference’s fourth year – its Goblet of Fire – found itself with seven wonderful speakers who showered us with a plethora of design/life wisdom and charm. To round out the year with a challenge, we took on the near-impossible task of choosing some of our favourite quotes from this year’s conferences for our final article of 2014. Enjoy.
“If you are saying something that feels really familiar, find a really really different way to say it.”
When you have clients and budgets and a board of directors to contend with, creative work can become overwhelming. Rather than reinventing the wheel, a far more attainable goal is to make sure that at least part of what you do is new. It could be in the way you write something, or the way you photograph something. Find a new way to do something that’s been done before.
Fabio Ongarato & Ronnen Goren – Fabio Ongarato Design, Melbourne
“Great intelligent clients and strong ideas always win via rationale.”
When you’re dealing with layers of management, getting concepts approved can be tough. Great work needs great rationale and a strong working relationship with the client. If you want your work to make it from concept to launch in one piece, make sure there’s a reason behind every choice you make.
“The time has changed where you lock down a whole identity and it will be that way forever. It’s now a time where, as designers, we begin a process and, hopefully, are able to just hand it on and allow others to be able to be part of that.”
Branding evolves. There’s no two ways about it. As designers, we need the branding we design to be flexible and timeless. Chris Maclean wrote a wonderful article on this topic.
“Unless you’re really doing something, you’re just talking about it.”
Having goals is great, it really is. But until you actively set out to achieve them, they’re just that – goals. This serves as a useful reminder and motivator to turn your goals into achievements. Set yourself some goals for the year ahead and get going. It is New Year’s Eve, after all.
“You need people to tell you what you’re doing has value, otherwise you’re guessing.”
Feedback is such an integral part of the creative process. We don’t design in a vacuum. Without feedback, objectively analysing your work is a challenge. You can’t be sure that what you’re designing is working. Find a circle of peers you trust and let them bring the noise.
“The tide is really turning, where a lot of really small studios are getting really big projects.”
Sometimes it’s in a client’s best interests to work with a small studio. They get to speak to the people behind the work directly. Fewer layers of management usually means faster response times. Michael believes this is the reason that more and more small studios are receiving briefs from larger clients.