At Shillington we have the great pleasure of working with, and learning from, some of the greatest designers in the business, from all over the world. To inspire our students, we welcome top creatives on campus to share their knowledge and passion for graphic design.
These industry insights are always a big hit on our blog, and over the past year we’ve accumulated an amazing pool of wisdom through the #IndustryTalks series. It’s a valuable resource for motivation and inspiration when we need it!
Today, we’re looking back over the best pieces of advice we’ve learnt from top designers during Shillington guest lectures.
“I think the fun of being a graphic designer is to do something original, to make images that nobody’s ever seen before. And the only way you’re going to do that is to avoid what the culture tells you is good. There is no good. The good comes from what does the job. One might be a sunset, which is beautiful, and another might be a dog turd, which is disgusting. But it may be the perfect image for what you’re trying to communicate.”
“Ask why. Ask why until it becomes painful, until you’re sick of the word.”
“And give it character — there’s enough ‘nice’ design in the world. Whether sublime, exuberant, minimal or maximal, give your work personality. Don’t be afraid to be awkward — what feels comfortable today, will be boring tomorrow.”
“The simpler the idea the better. It could break ground and it could defy physics but as long as the idea is super simple enough that I can tell my Mum, then that’s a great idea.”
“As designers, we are in the service industry, but that does not mean we need to be servile. Clients are looking to us for guidance and expertise. We should lead them and not be bullied.”
“The candlemaker didn’t invent the lightbulb. The Post Office didn’t invent the email. Don’t try and solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.”
“Always show clients sketches. If you show them Mac’d up pieces, you’ll back yourself into a corner. As the client becomes committed to that one idea.”
“Keep a tidy workstation. The design process is like meditation; if you want the good ideas to come through with clarity, you need to have your head and desk in order first.’
“You have power as a designer to change the relationship someone has with an object. Your challenge is to keep people looking. Build in those little details. To some people, they might mean a lot.”
“Someone once told me: if you ever build your own website, get your mum to test it.”
“Don’t have your blinkers on. Look for inspiration outside your client’s industry. Whatever is expected, identify that, then turn it on its head. Provide what the client has asked for, but add something unexpected. Challenge the brief.”
“Be remembered. I’d much rather have work loved or hated than not remembered.”
“Surround yourself with people that will give you honest feedback. They need to be able to say ‘this sucks’. That doesn’t mean you suck. But that feedback will make you better.”
“Remember we are not artists. We are designers. We have a job to do.”
We have even more inspiring speakers lined up for 2016. Stay tuned for more! And if you’re a quote lover, be sure to follow us on Instagram for a new design quote every Sunday.