22 / 11 / 13

5 things I've learned as a designer

This is a big year with big numbers: I'm about to turn 50, I've just celebrated 30 years marriage, 20 years as a professional designer and Lennon Design blew out the candles on it's 5th Birthday cake. In my 5 decades I've picked up a couple of nuggets, here's 5 things I've learned along the way.

It’s important who you work with

Surround yourself with good people who's judgement you trust. Appreciate their honesty and opinions and don't encourage sycophants. Empower people to show their capabilities rather than just doing what you tell them. Learn from them.

Bring something to the table

Don't just tick the boxes and meet the requirements of a given brief. Making the copy fit is just the start. Always reassess the objectives against what you've been asked to do. Look for gaps in thinking and opportunities to add value. Be more than just a MAC monkey and become a valued part of your clients team.

You need to keep moving

Our design world is every changing. As we watched the evolution of our beloved Macs from grey boxes to things of sleek beauty so we too have had to mirror this, embracing new technologies, more design role responsibilities and communicating with a market that has changed beyond measure. Stay relevant, keep on learning, look around and adapt when necessary - build on your experience but don't be a slave to the past.

Fads come and go - good design lasts

Have a concept, a strong idea, not just a fancy photoshop trick to try and impress. "An ass in an ass though laden with gold!" Be aware of trends but be aware that they are just trends.

It's not all about the money

Success doesn't have to be equated with financial gain. Our communication skills can be a powerful tool that can do good. Knowing that you were able to contribute to something worthwhile or offer guidance and help with no cynical motive counts for so much more.