Reflections From ‘5 Secrets From 86 Notebooks’

Inspired by Michael Bierut

Listen First, Then Design

Before jumping straight into the design process, gain inspiration from everything the client tells you. As a designer, your job is to portray the ideas of others through your ability to think creatively. The client knows more about their product or service than we ever will, they have the vision of how they wish to come across to others. The client might very well have created their own solution without even realising, spot any motifs or physical patterns they have already implemented in their design process and use that to streamline the whole brand identity. Many ideas will form from simple drawings that you create simply from listening to clients whilst in meetings.

Don’t Avoid the Obvious

Not every idea has to be complex, sometimes the most effective designs are the simplest. By reducing the complexity, it often allows the natural product to shine through and be the main focus. This mind set, from a design perspective, keeps things looking clean and simple, not making the design overly busy and hard to look at. People in today’s society have a very short attention span when it comes to finding products, by making the product obvious in the design, it increases the chances of people understanding it and choosing it over other products that over complicate and confuse their product.

The Problem Contains the Solution

Often the solution can be as simple as following the exact specifications of the client. Usually designers look at a brief and see it as the guidelines or requirement of a job, however by implementing this idea of simplicity and giving the client exactly what they want, it can often produce a very clear and effective brand or identity for a product.

Indulge Your Obsessions

Every designer has a different style or flair they bring to each individual piece of work they create. Even when designs are for two very different businesses, they have a key feature that makes them similar. Whatever way you love to design things, whatever style, build on that and use it, as it’s going to be your biggest strength and therefore produce a high standard of work for your client. Whilst doing this, take the ideas that are working well for others and see how you can implement it within your design.

Love Is The Answer

Do the things you love to do. It was once said that if you find a job that you love doing, you’ll never work a day in your life. This is very true for designers, they find projects and clients that they love working with and they continue with that. This helps to create the best possible outcome for any piece of work. If someone pours their heart and soul into a product or design, it’s going to produce their most successful work. If you are in this for a particular cause that you are passionate about, all you have to do is remember who you are doing the work for and you can’t go wrong.

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