Recently, we took part in Pecha Kucha Boston. Pecha Kucha is a creative lecture format/event that gives a handful of speakers 20 slides and just over 6 minutes to give their pitch. When it was our turn to take the floor, we unveiled not only a bit about or “number one hit single” project Anyone Can Swiss, but the concept of how designers can use “Our Design” to become the new Rock Stars.
Our Design – Working Theory
Our design simply means, all of us: designers, architects, painters, electricians, programmers, taxi drivers etc… Design is no longer limited to single fields of study. It can’t be. If designers are to continue to be meaningful and valuable to the world, they must multi-discipline themselves. It is already difficult enough to convince your clients why design cost money and takes as much time as it does.That’s why, with the Our Design method of working, return on investment is 100% a priority.
The key is to understand and communicate to your client, that design is more than just the planning, graphics, and final tangible object. It is the shaping and influence that you as a designer have over the entire project. From planning and production, to post quantitative and qualitative analysis. You know, the numbers that show your client what you did, actual worked! Otherwise, your just ‘pissing in the wind’ as the colloquialism states.
By first logically analyzing all the connections that come in contact with a project, a designer can find new or ‘un-orthodox’ resources for greatness that may have been overlooked in the past, due to a narrow field of vision and study.
By implementing the ‘Our Design’ method of working, and by learning and applying as much knowledge and skill, to all of the projects you work on, the more value you can bring to the table. The days of the ‘lone-gunman’ designer are over. One mind could make a project work, but many minds, working collectively, can make more than a splash. They can make every project a “Number One Hit Single”.
The Beatles were more than musicians. They were a machine. Turning out Hit Single after Hit Single. It was not the vision of one person, but a collective vision (even in the years after the White Album).
Designers are the new Rock Stars
Do I hire a designer that just does front end? Or do I hire a designer that does front end, back end, and understands social media?
Our design is not just a design process, it is a fundamental shift in the way things have been done in the 20th century. The web and hardware technology have not only opened up new avenues for designers, but have dramatically increased the rate and efficiency that people learn and absorb information. It has also, very quickly, changed the way and rate in which humans communicate.
The days of copy cameras, paste-ups, and type foundries (of physical type as objects), are extinct. We all know, however, that technology does not make you a better or worse designer. It can however make you a more efficient, well rounded designer, and thus, possibly, more valuable to a client.
Designers now have the tools to do a great job, fast. One could say that the availability of the tools to the world (Adobe Products, Typefaces, Etc…), has caused a transparency effect in the world of designer. Now, anyone can access the tools for free (legally or not. That’s an ethics question that is unstoppable). Of course, you have to know how to apply design thinking to the tools to make them work. But the point here is, there is less Magical Mystery to the end user.
Part of the magical secrets of the designer have been revealed, and so, some may say designers must work harder. Well, maybe, it depends on the designer. But one factor is true: Designers must work Smarter, Faster, and More Efficient to deliver a killer product every single time. The way to do this, is to be aware of trends, technology, and the way the world operates. We learn a lot just by watching someone on YouTube or Google something that we want to know. Its safe to say that someone out there has already covered the topic in question. Its free, so go get it!
Our culture is now running on a fast, and ‘in your face’ foundation. Text messaging has replaced phone calls and blogs have killed print news. Designers must constantly be making new connections that can keep their clients running 200% above the rest. “Hit Single” projects can be your fifteen minuets of fame, over and over again, each time bringing in not only notoriety, but new contracts and revenue.