I write this while on an airplane. Which is an apt metaphor for
where design has gone (and is going). Design is now a world without
defined disciplines, boundaries or restrictions. It is a world with
endless points, all interconnecting and leading to a greater
destination. Each one of these connection points is a chance to
build pieces of a greater story. You are the architect of your own
flight path: Create your personal journey by taking advantage of
every opportunity that arises.
Think like an anthropologist, a lawyer, a marketer and a
business owner. The design part is what you're taught in school. It
is a trade you will learn and grow along the way. But the way you
think is what will set you apart as an employee and as a partner to
a client. Think strategically and be a student of life. Look at
each design problem you're presented with as an opportunity to
solve a problem with every tool, experience and bit of stored
knowledge you have in that amazing brain of yours.
Look at the world around you as a personal palette that you can
draw from at any time. Design books, annuals and catalogs are all
great, but the most valuable resource you have is your own
experience and how you uniquely view and resource your
surroundings. The personal insights and experiences you bring to
your work will set you apart. They will lend a passion to your
projects that will result in creating the emotional connections
that we strive for as designers.
This essay originally appeared in the 2010AIGA|Aquent Survey of Design
Before founding the creative juggernaut known as Tether, Stanley was VP Global Creative of Starbucks where he oversaw all creative aspects of the brand – from new products,
packaging systems and seasonal promotions to brand campaigns and advertising. Stanley also spent twelve years at Nike as a Creative Director working on everything from product launches to the Olympics. After Nike, he moved to Denmark to join the Lego Company
as their Global Creative Director where he directed a total visual overhaul of the brand from top to bottom, including packaging, the web, retail and brand
As the largest professional association
of designers in the world, AIGA is committed to advancing the value and
impact of design, both locally and globally, and working together to
inspire, support and learn from each other, at every stage of our
careers. Whether you're an established designer looking to give back or a
student just starting out, there's a membership level for you.
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Vice President, Creative G&S Business Communications
Raleigh, North CarolinaMay 27 2016
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