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5 Lessons Learned at HOW Design Live

Authored by: Lindsey Goldstein, Creative Director & Logan Bingaman, Graphic Designer

HOW Design Live 2017 was a creatively powered event that brought some of the best professionals around the world to discuss the future of design and how creative industries are evolving. MonkeyTag Creative Director, Lindsey Goldstein, and Graphic Designer, Logan Bingaman, who attended, recap the top five lessons learned at the conference.

1. All ideas are bad ideas.
If you let go of the notion that some ideas are good and some are bad, then your fear of being incorrect dissipates. Without evaluation, you’re given the ability to challenge and break the rules and make something fantastic. Because at the end of the day, the only thing different between good and bad ideas is the craft. (Brian Collins, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder, COLLINS)

2. Values rule the visual realm.
Three conditions effect a strong color palette; value, hue and saturation. Value ultimately reigns supreme, providing form and dimension to an object. When building a logo, start with your form in greyscale, making sure value has been applied evenly and effectively. Once the logo greyscale values are perfected, adding color is as easy as using the eyedropper tool. Working with split-complementary color schemes is a thematically sophisticated way to build your colors, and a good starting point for logo color development. (Jim Krause – Freelance Designer)

3. Kill the devil’s advocate.
Think of this scenario – you are in a client meeting and everyone is loving a design, or everyone is contributing great ideas, but then that Senior VP of Fear and Doubt chimes in and destroys it all. This causes the group to silence their once favored opinions in fear of the Devil’s Advocate. Sound familiar? To counter this, designers can start each meeting by notifying the client that “we’re killing the Devil’s Advocate for this meeting. We are instead going to behave like artists rather than judges, and for the first 15 minutes of this meeting, we will only comment on what we like, rather than gravitating towards negative feedback.” This bold statement sets a framework for a positive creative discussion, allowing collaboration to unfold better ideas instead of tearing down one. By taking control of a meeting this way, clients cannot immediately shoot down work, and harsh criticism is replaced with constructive opinions that provoke meaningful conversation. (Brian Collins, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder, COLLINS)

4. Amazon vs. The Supermarkets
The food industry is seeing some of its biggest shifts than ever before. Last year was the first-time consumers spent more at restaurants & bars than at the supermarket. The supermarket is changing and with the addition of Amazon’s Fresh online food ordering system, the industry is facing new challenges. With a shift in online sales, designers, specifically package designers, must design product packaging knowing that consumers will be shopping for their products via online outlets such as Amazon. On top of the new online shopping features, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos thinks online shopping will soon represent 40% of the food market, potentially leading consumer brands to bypass stores and sell directly to Amazon. If consumer brands start to sell solely online, package designers will have to capture the brands product in completely different ways compared to the traditional route of a product shown on a shelf. Supermarkets may not be going anywhere any time soon, but now is the time for designers to start thinking of package design for the digital age. (Panel Discussion)

5. No one has the answers. Make them up yourself.
Success in the creative industry means not being a “Yes Man.” Designers shouldn’t expect, nor want, to be force fed a design. It is the job of a creative to never settle for “just do what the creative brief says.” It is the job of a creative to discover the problems the client doesn’t know exist, and to offer solutions no one else can. Designers need to stretch their ideas outside of the brief and understand that a brief is a guideline, not a blueprint, to what the finished product should look like. It is up to a designer, to read between the leading and come up with your own answers. (Stefan Mumaw, Director of Creative Strategy, Hint)

It is always important for designers, in fact, anyone in any industry, to never stop learning. As Lindsey puts it, “the HOW Design Live conference always inspires me to continue pushing creative boundaries and advises me on how best to lead my team to solve our client’s problems.” The conference brought to light rising trends and untapped areas that may soon revolutionize design – and MonkeyTag is glad that two of our creative chimps got front-row tickets to the show.