For the last 2 days, I had the privilege of attending my first DesignThinkers conference in Toronto. I have never been surrounded by so much talent and creative energy, and the timing couldn't have been better as I embrace a full-time design career in 2012.
In the interest of the conference's theme - "Let's Connect" - I thought it important to try and share all of the information and inspiration I absorbed in the last 48 hours. Here's a brief summary of my favourite presenters:
George Lois, the "original Mad Man", whose work includes MTV, JiffyLube and multiple Esquire covers, et al.
- "creativity can solve almost any problem"
- "if you don't burn out at the end of the day, you're a bum"
- "design is playing with yourself"
- "intuition is more important than intellect"
- it is our job as graphic communicators to "capture the zeitgeist of the times"
- George's three commandments:
- Reject group grope.
- Reject analysis paralysis.
- Reject con, create icon.
Robert Wong, Executive Creative Director at Google Labs, previously with Starbucks, Apple, et al.
- happy wife = happy life
- 5 positive interactions cancels every negative interaction - be positive!
- surprise = (empathy + creativity) / expectations
- "designers will rule the world"
- "comp the future"
- "obsess the why"
- "whoever has the strongest WHY wins"
- your goal should always be to: 1) help someone, 2) delight someone, 3) or both
- Google is 90% science, 10% babytalk (literally)
- on success: "show up and be useful…make a dent…add heart…walk the walk…don't take yourself too f*ing seriously"
- "technology can empower people…the web is what you make of it"
- "give awesome powers to others…make others heroes"
- "mandate recess"
- "exceed your own expectations"
Allan Haley, Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging
- "if you're not failing often, you're not trying hard enough"
Rei Inamoto, Creative Director at AKQA, clients include Nike (Write the Future)
- "it's not the man that makes the medium, it's the medium that makes the man"
- "advertising is the price you pay for having an unremarkable product" -Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO
- transform storytelling into storydoing
- 5 tips for designing a culture of innovation:
- Do what wasn't possible 5 years ago.
- Solve the obvious in an unconventional way, or solve the unconventional in an obvious way.
- Specialization is the enemy of innovation.
- If you can't find a way, make one.
- Innovation needs a Hacker, a Hustler and a Hipster.
- "the future belongs to those who create it"
Chip Kidd, Associate Art Director at Knopf/Random House
- mantras are important; his current one: "B*tch, I don't know your life."
- "…so I put some sh*tty typography on it (c'mon, it was the 90s)"
- "figure out how to enjoy your process"
- "try harder, try harder, try harder"
- be careful what you wish for
Leland Maschmeyer, Creative Director and partner at Collins
- "we have a culture obsessed with our own demise"
- "when there is no vision, people perish"
- "how can design unite people in devise times around a shared future?"
- more technology is not necessarily better: the brightest light casts the darkest shadow, there are billions of big brothers surveilling each other
- in the commons age,"access trumps ownership"
- fill the world with fascination, with visions that compel us out of our limits
- "fear doesn't tolerate indifference"
- "although the world doesn't know what the world will look like - with [designers], they will"
Eric Ryan, founder of Method natural cleaning products
- "progress is more important the perfection" (best is the enemy of good)
- "if you can't be the biggest, be the fastest"
- "the entire day should be a brainstorm"
Jessica Hische, letterer, illustrator, robot?
- "don't think and execute on the same day"
- "advocate for the specializers"
- side projects ("passion projects") can be game changers
- "make things you like and wish existed"
- "technology can't (and shouldn't) replace everything"
Steve Edge, "madman, prophet, wanderer"
- "passion looks after you"
- "don't wait for that special day to put on your golden shoes"
- "dress for a party everyday, and the party will come to you"
I hope these ideas inspire you as much as they inspired me. Have a great weekend!