Monday, March 26, 2007

There is a Light That Never Goes Out

Are we designing in our sleep?

Our design company relies on Jill and I for most (if not all) of the concept development and creating. We have an employee, a designer, and rely on a lot of freelance folks for the development, photography, animation, programming, etc. This means we have to be 'on' to design when it's time to concept-- the light that never goes out!

I rarely sit at a desk with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper and say, "Alright now I have to come up with a super great idea to rock this client, shine the best light on their product or service." Mostly I go through the day (and evening) thinking about the project all the time. It is always sitting in the back of my mind. Everything I see in magazines, online, on the street, on television is influencing the design conception process. So in turn, all design is influenced by other design. It is almost as if nothing is new-- design-wise-- anymore. Everything we design in influenced by other design, our experiences in design and our experiences in everyday life.

So are we designing in our sleep? I can tell you we are designing in the shower, waiting at the bus-stop with the kids, driving in the car, walking the dogs, cooking dinner, eating dinner, washing the dinner dishes, we are designing while we trying to fall asleep, etc.-- you get the idea. Lots of times, while at dinner, Jill will start to discuss something about a project we are currently working on, and I will try to stop her by saying, "Can't we just eat dinner without working?" The answer to myself should be "No."

Concepts that arise throughout these life experiences are quickly jotted down to be expanded on a later date- in the office with that pencil and that blank sheet of paper I mentioned earlier. I never go straight to the computer to design. If you look in any of our job folders, they are filled with pencil sketches, bits of magazine clippings, website screenshots that have been printed out... sometimes these are inspiration for typefaces to use, a color palette, or a graphic element that has caught the eye.

Being an artist, a designer, is a 24-hour business and influence is everywhere. It's finding the right pieces of the puzzle- that are out there, in everyday life-- and fitting them together to form something truly unique, something visually exciting, something that makes people remember that ad, that logo, billboard, TV or radio commercial of however the message is being displayed.

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