Try pulling your creative heads out of the tunnel

Designers are victims of their own making. As a freelance design and art director experienced in multiple disciplines, I find that it is the design consultancies I present to that try to do the pigeon-holing.

How can you design for corporate identity when you have packaging design in your portfolio? What is your major discipline? What are you, a designer or an advertising art director?

And recruitment consultancies are no better. They are guilty of pandering to the design consultancies.

In the 1970s, before design groups became credible businesses, it was the advertising agencies that did everything; new product development, packaging and branding, following through to the advertising supported by point-of-sale and design for print.

Clients valued this because everything was under one roof and they had one brand guardian to look after their business. Now there are many, all arguing about whose strategy is the correct approach.

Working as an independent directly with a client I know they are more than pleased when I can work on their new product development project and follow through to packaging design, corporate identity and advertising.

They have only one brief to produce at the very beginning and do not have the problem of trying to keep on track with their original objectives.

And I certainly do not consider it a problem convincing clients of the value of a wider design point of view. But then again, I started in advertising back in the 1970s.

Maybe the design world should make more of an effort to cure the tunnel vision and take its cue from the world of advertising as well as architecture.

Currently, I only know of one design consultancy that is presenting itself as a master of all trades and doing it with credibility.

But then again, the principals also cut their teeth in advertising in the 1970s.

Zygmunt Zdziebko

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