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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,
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This initiative develops AIGA's commitment to empowering women
designers and advancing the vital discourse on issues facing
professional women today.
Section: Tools and Resources -
Womens Leadership, professional development
Join Michael Lejeune, Metro’s creative director, in this session to learn about
building a lively and effective in-house studio, winning over skeptical
clients by successfully tackling key campaigns and instilling a new attitude toward mobility that will
affect generations to come.
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