We have a responsibility as designers.
To make a difference.
Design matters. It is the manifestation of a sound strategic direction bringing a brand or product to life. At its best, it reaches out to an audience and connects on an emotional level. At its worst, it gets tangled up in visual clichés and superficial representations that mire a brand or product in mediocrity.
So how do ensure you keep your design (and thinking) on a higher level? Here are some considerations.
Are you talking to me? It’s simple: Know your audience. Who are you talking to? What are their hot buttons — their points of pain? What makes them tick? Interview them. Respect them. Get to know them on an intimate level — professionally speaking, of course.
Be a hunter and gatherer. Step away from your computer. Go out into the world and get to know the environment of your client’s product or service. Dive deep into the subject. Look at it from every conceivable angle. Discover that fresh perspective.
Be a sketchy character. Work loose. Stay away from the computer at the start of a project. It’s not necessarily a great place to generate a lot of ideas. There is great thinking to be had with a Sharpie and sheets of paper or a white board.
Bring on the drama. There is inherent drama in everything. It doesn’t matter what the product is. Get to a product’s soul and look beyond its obvious function. Look at how it can make a difference. What makes it unique?
Check your briefs. As our illustrious creative director wrote in our last blog posting, the creative brief is essential to an effective start on a project. But it’s also an indispensable reference during the creative process to make sure you’re headed toward that common goal and not straying off target.
Go for the heart. Connect emotionally with your audience. Anyone can present the facts — and the facts are important — but wrap them into a compelling story that creates a deeper connection between product and customer.
There is power in design.
Tap into it.
Use it to your client’s advantage.
And design like you give a damn.