Bethany Plummer, senior designer at Baxter & Bailey
“Every year around this time, I add another note to my phone with a list of New Year’s resolutions, some small, some big and some that are often forgotten about by February. Looking at the year ahead with a refreshed outlook, I’d like to keep the list relatively simple. Next year I’d like to worry less about the small things and make braver decisions about the big things. Whether that’s going beyond the creative comfort zone, or making a habit of jumping in the sea before work. The world slowed down last year, and I’d like to make 2022 the opposite of that. Fill the diary with exhibitions, events and talks. Collaborate with exciting creatives. Learn from peers. And most of all gather as a design community in real life again.
“This real-life interaction has never been more important, and I think it’s safe to say we won’t take it for granted again. I’d also like to spend more time away from the screen. With the boundaries of work and home becoming increasingly blurred, it’s so important to get outside and be creative in other ways. Having just moved to Brighton, I’m already on the lookout for a new screenprint studio to get messy in. After the year we’ve had, I have a feeling 2022 could be the most inspiring year yet.”
John Glasgow, co-founder at Vault49
“To be braver and more provocative when speaking out on the subject matters that I feel passionate about, especially shining a light on diversity – or the lack of diversity – in our industry. We can use creativity and the design process as a tool to make things better. We can create opportunities to build bridges for people of colour who may not have had the option to study design at university level, or even know that a creative job could be a viable possibility for them, but who belong in our industry.
“At Vault49 we will be that active nexus for young black and brown creatives seeking guidance, experience and opportunities, but we also want to create allies from elsewhere within the design industry to drive this agenda alongside us. A richer, more diverse creative industry will bring about creative ideas and innovations that are yet to be embraced. Let’s make that happen.”
Max Ottignon, co-founder at Ragged Edge
“I want to make less mean more. In our work, where we’re striving to eliminate anything that dilutes the purity of the central idea. That’s hard in branding, when an identity system has to work so hard in so many different contexts. But in the best work that purity shines through. A beacon of glorious clarity.
“And – more importantly – in how I work. It’s so easy to get seduced by the industry’s insatiable appetite for new stuff. To look at everyone else and worry that if we’re not putting a constant stream of content out into the world – be it up-to-the-minute tweets or fully realised brands – we’re not doing enough. But in my saner moments I remember that it’s the quality that stands out, not the quantity.
“It takes discipline to ignore the noise, and even more discipline to intentionally do less. But I’m pretty confident the results will be worth it. I hope I have the discipline to find out.”
Cat How, co-founder at How&How
“Every year my resolutions always fall evenly between two camps. Doing more of something… or doing less of something else. For the former this coming year will (once again) most likely involve eating more vegetables, getting more sleep, playing more Guess Who? with my kids. With regards to the latter I will (once again) promise myself to do less wine-guzzling, less micro-managing and less time scrolling on my phone.
“But as a designer I’m then paralysed by the perennial paradox of ‘less is more’. The phrase gets batted around the studio often, and we try (sometimes successfully, sometimes less so) to keep it as our North Star. But how can drinking less wine, mean I’m actually having more of it? My mind is so blown by this notion, that by January 2nd I’m back on the rosé again. Roll on next year!”
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