DESIGNER NEW YEAR RESOLUTION
I am considering to quit my Facebook and Twitter account, do you think I will be completely out of touch with what is going on in the design world?
Creative Designer, Rotterdam
A friend of mine recently became a vegetarian but funnily enough she still knows what a cow looks like.
WHAT IS COOL DESIGN
I really can’t tell when I look at a piece of design whether its cool or just badly designed. Do you have any tips that I can at least make sure I am on the right track.
Dear Confused Designer,
Look at it this way. Its your summer holiday on the coast of France, and you are enjoying your second Martini in the late afternoon as you gaze at the bikinis passing by. Two weeks later the holiday is over and you are back in your studio flat, and you make yourself a Martini just to remember the good times, and you stare out of the window into the neighbors back yard at his underpants waving back at you on the washing line. How does the drink taste now?
LEADER OR DIRECTOR
I have been promoted and I can choose between 2 titles Creative Leader or Creative Director. Which one do you think carries the most weight and gives me the authority that I need.
For you I would definitely pick ‘Leader’, this title can bring you a long way, such as ‘Leader of the Gang’, ‘Leader of Industry’, ‘Leader of the Country’ to eventually ‘Leader of the Free World’.
Whats the difference between using a cliché idea or stealing an idea, as both ideas have been done before?
Stealing is using someone else’s good idea in a bad way. A cliché is using someone else’s bad idea in a good way.
HOW LONG SHOULD I WORK IN A DESIGN STUDIO
I have been working in a design studio for 3 years, and a few of my colleagues that started at the same time as me have already left. How long do you think one should work in a studio before they start changing jobs?
Junior Designer, London
Working in a design studio is like living with your parents at some point you just know you have to move out.
SEARCHING FOR AN IDEA
I have just started working in a prestigious design studio and have been briefed with a new project. But its been a week and I have been struggling to come up with an idea. Do you have any tips?
Clueless Designer, New York
There are hundreds of ways to come up with an idea, such as sketching, researching, reading, looking, registering, brainstorming, staring at a blank piece of paper, staring at the screen, thinking of clichés, thinking of opposites, Google, over exaggerate etc… You could also go for a walk during lunch and if you haven’t come up with an idea by the end of lunch time just keep walking.
THE CLIENT DESIGNER
Recently one of my clients while giving me the design brief also included a sketch that he had made to go with it. The sketch also specified typeface, colour and style of design. I was in such shock when I received this that I didn’t know how to react – I am afraid if this happens again and I say something it will be extremely rude. How can I tell him in a polite way that I am the designer.
Designer in Despair, Greece
I think you have answered your own question. But as an alternative see this as a great opportunity. Next time you have too much work and need a freelancer you can always call him.
PICK A DESIGN STUDIO NAME
I am looking for a name for my new design studio. I am ready to start but I can’t decide what name to pick. Do you have any suggestions?
The name you pick will instantly define the type of studio you have.
For example there are several categories you can choose from:
One to four letter words or initials
(most common with the young and upcoming studios)
Words longer than four letters – either a noun or an action
(also quite commonly used by the hip and trendy if they can’t find a four letter word)
Your last name
(either you are a one person studio or have a large ego or have no idea)
More than one last name or very long initials
(if you think you will go into advertising this could be one for you)
A descriptive sentence
(if all else fails)
After you finally decide on a name you will have to immediately buy your domain name, don’t worry if your name is already taken just add studio or buro or design to it and your problem will be solved!
HIP AND TRENDY DESIGNER
I am the 30plus type, hip and trendy graphic designer from Amsterdam. I have designed several typefaces of which some have been published. As of late I seem to encounter a lot of problems with legibility. Everybody presented with my typeface designs complains that they cannot read them. Of course I could change it and make my designs more accessible for the greater public, but I do not want to loose my reputation as a hip and trendy designer. Should I just ignore the criticism?
May I remind you that illegible typography was hip and trendy 15 years ago.
I work in a design studio and I feel my colleagues are not critical enough when they design or when I ask their opinion about my work. 9 out of 10 times they say it looks great, they don’t even make a comment on the colour, they just love everything I do and although I know I am rather talented, should I say something?
Great Expectations, The Hague
If you didn’t have colleagues like that you wouldn’t be so perfect.
I am working in the design industry for the last 7 years. I set up my studio 3 years ago and I have a steady flow of interesting clients. Every year I win at least 1 award or at least receive a nomination and I even have work published in a few magazines. Even though everything seems to be going fine, I have complete doubt. Every time I look through a design magazine or book and see the work of famous designers, I know deep down that I will never reach their stature, I will never achieve the creative excellence these designers have achieved. I am seriously doubting if it is worth to continue my profession as I will never be good enough.
You are the best judge of yourself, and if you say you are no good you must be right. Therefore take your suggestion and stop immediately. Sell the business. Get rid of the clients. Maybe keep a couple of business cards as a souvenir.
My son has just applied to an Art school as he wants to become a designer. I’m very unhappy as I’d rather he choose for a proper and lucrative career such as an investment banker or corporate lawyer. Design is all very nice and ‘creative’, but I can’t have my son growing up to become a penniless bohemian. Could you please suggest some arguments I can use to change his mind.
Thank you, A concerned mother
Dear Loving Mother,
Immediately submerge yourself in the subject of ‘Design’ by reading every magazine and book you can get a hold of. And with your determination you will be a ‘Design’ connoisseur in less then a month.
Encourage your son as much as possible to choose for ‘Design’. Give him tips on what he should read. Come up with ideas with things he can design. Just simply shower him with your knowledge!
You will notice a change in him within the next couple of months.
I recently came to the conclusion, that I am addicted to Googling myself. It started with my promotion to Senior Creative, in a nationally known studio then 2 years later I was approached by an international studio to become an Associate Director and since 3 weeks I have been offered Partnership, which means my Google entries have soared. In 5 years I went from 12 entries to 24.200. I am in the top 50 designers with the most entries and I know because I have Googled all AGI members. But I have a feeling all this is getting out of hand. I Google myself at least 3 times a day and if I see my entry numbers decrease by even a couple I start panicking and sometimes it crosses my mind to change jobs in order to increase the entries. I think I need a solution to my Google addiction.
Partner, New York
Why don’t you try Yahoo for a change.
CREATIVE MUSICAL OUTLET
My colleagues at work have the worst musical taste ever, it is the same music we played at High School… its soo eighties. And not only do they play music incredibly loud but they sing along at the top of their lungs. I have complained several times, that it hinders my creative out let and I can’t think clearly with such passe music. And to make it worse they try to encourage me to sing along with them.
Music lover with taste, USA
Just because you didn’t get laid during your high school years it doesn’t mean you have to hate the music.