Design

What will the future of our industry look like? We asked the experts for their predictions.

Faster thinking and doing
By Mikey Richardson, co-CD/partner, AmoebaCorp

I started out by googling “next big thin in design.” Google was helpful in pointing out that I probably meant “thing.” Thanks. Apparently there’s a design firm in London called Next Big Thing, but for the first time in recent memory, Google was unhelpful so I decided to think for myself. Maybe that’s the next big thing. Ha.
After rolling up my sleeves and putting in serious thinking time, I believe the next big thing is “Proliferation vs. Consideration.” Designers have always had the ability (and need) to switch back and forth between the ideation and execution phases of the creative process. Designers think and make, and this is something that as a group we’ve been trying to stress for some time, to no avail – until recently that is, thanks to the rising celebrity status of “design thinking.”
So Proliferation vs. Consideration is a move towards a streamlined process where those who come up with ideas are also part of the team that executes against them.
This is a collaborative team whose ideas can proliferate and go to market rapidly vs. the over-processed, over-staffed methods of consideration (a.k.a. over-thinking). I’m not just talking about communications; I’m talking about the very creation of brands and products.
Our world moves so quickly, to keep up you’ve got to tap into new methods of rapid prototyping and manufacturing, both physical and digital. We’ll need to get used to letting the market decide early, throwing our ideas out to the masses and adjusting them on the fly. We’ll have to stop hemming and hawing and get on with it.

 

The true hybrid designer
By Dave Watson, CD design, Taxi North America

As with traditional advertising, design has gone through massive change recently. The entire graphic design industry is at a crossroads. One road leads to reinvention and redefining what it means to be a designer, and the other leads to extinction. I recently heard the term “designasaurus” and felt that it hit the nail on the head. These are the designers that pine for the days of handset type and silkscreened posters. But, we really need to wake up, hold hands, and say it out loud: PRINT IS DEAD. A cliché? Absolutely. A truism? Damn right.
 If designers want to remain relevant within the marketing landscape they are going to become much more hybrid in their thinking and abilities. They are going to be asked by their employers, and in turn, their clients, to solve a wider spectrum of business problems. Sure there will be a fairly steep learning curve, but the good news is that the skills that traditional designers have are transferrable to the other forms of design.
 From my perspective, this is great news. Coming from a person that gets bored rather easily, it has been great becoming involved in all of my clients’ design needs. From product design to digital design to the entire in-store experience, clients in this country are realizing that their brands are being judged by the consumer at every touch point. Because of this, design and designers will always be needed.

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