25 March 2009 - 5:10pm | posted by

Why tough times might bring out the best in web designers

Uber tells The Drum why difficult times are breeding creativity for web designers.

These are “interesting” times. The next few months and even years will certainly sort the wheat from the chaff in this proud industry of ours. Little hot shops will stoop to the lows of designing leaflets, not brochures to pay the bills and the bigger agencies will have the harder task of maintaining a brand’s presence and quality on considerably smaller budgets. Well, in the words of a testosterone-filled, keg drinking, American football playing pubescent college jock... “Bring it on”. What we need to get round these issues is some creative people. Oh wait a minute, we’ve got some of them! Just because the budget is smaller doesn’t mean your brain has to follow suit. Any decent designer will think round it, make it work to the brand’s advantage and hopefully be forced into a situation that creates something new, something better, something you would not have done under normal circumstances. Necessity IS the mother of invention. It’s bloody easy to design something good with a great budget. You don’t even have to design it – just stick it on a great stock, use an unusual ink, lots of white space, black space, a bit of minimalist typography you stole off the internet and Brody’s your uncle and Carson’s your aunt. So stop moaning.... yes it’s going to be harder work but it will make you a better designer and a better person. Bring it on. Passion A designer’s greatest asset is also their greatest stumbling block... passion. Who would want to employ a designer that wasn’t passionate about design? Certainly not us, but ask any account handler and they will tell you that at the 11th hour during the 13th set of client amends the last thing you need is a designer saying “I’m not bloody doing that!” And in these “interesting” times these situations will be more frequent and test your belief to its extremes. But you can’t lose your passion. If you do all is lost. Fighting for your design is admirable and clients should appreciate this. But if we are all to get through this “interesting” period, clients and designers need to work together like never before and understand what each other is going through if you are to come through the other side with the best job possible. Clients and designers discovering a new understanding for each other? Bring it on. Maybe, just maybe, these times will bring out the best of us and some amazing things will happen in design. The global climate is pushing car designers to their limits, forcing them to think differently and heralding some amazing results. They know petrol heads who are passionate about car design are not going to give up their screen saver of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage for a GeeWiz. So they are making renewable energy cars not only sexy but an exciting vision of what is to come. This not only changes the mood of one of dread for when petrol runs out to one of excitement at the dawn of a new age. Bring it on. I think it’s about time graphic design was given a kick up the arse anyway. Compared to product design and fashion design, graphics sometimes moves at a snail’s pace. Luckily for us we are again being forced into change. You can no longer be a print designer or a digital designer, you need to integrate. Stop treating them like they are different! This is a fantastic time for graphic design. Your images and your type is lifted off the page and animated across the globe in a limitless world of media. Software is making our job easier and quicker, global trends and talent are now instantly accessible. Individual undiluted creativity is influencing the corporate world more than ever before. Stop waiting for things to get better and realise they ARE better. Bring. It. On.

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