How should designers be approaching their work in 2008 to ensure creative success? Is there anything right now they should be seeking to avoid?

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It seems like things might get tight in 2008, but the value of effective design to the UK economy, and to world resources, has really sunk in. There’s only one answer to creative success – keep doing good work. It’s what gets the next job, and better and more worthwhile jobs. Listen to the client, hear what he or she wants. Then work out what they need. Don’t leave them thinking, ‘I could have done that’. Leave them wanting more.
Brian Webb, Founder, Webb & Webb Design



Things to avoid for 2008: corporate brand straplines; e-mails that start with ‘this is really funny…’; viral games that end with the corporate logo; brand identities with an ‘Innocent drinks’ tone of voice; using the word ‘innovation’ to describe your business; corporate responsibility departments and misguided global warming initiatives. I got a Christmas card from Michael Johnson this week, a Christmas tree punched out of the spine of recycled magazines. If everyone has just one idea each like that next year, 2008 will be a very lovely new year.
Marksteen Adamson, Founding partner, Arthur Steen Horne Adamson


With the global economy in turmoil, 2008 will be tough for design consultancies that don’t have the confidence to sustain the true value of their creativity. Big ideas build brands and in tough times the most valued clients will capitalise on adding value through creativity. Don’t react to a client’s needs – be proactive and work with them as partners. Build a vision for their business and forge the relationship in a holistic way. With creativity and strategy intrinsically linked we’ll all be winners.
Glenn Tutssel, Executive creative director, The Brand Union



The benefit of the Christmas and New Year break is that it allows us to review our progress as a creative business. This time for reflection also allows us to search out the work of other disciplines that we may not have so much time for during the year. The speed of creation and production in other fields often yields really interesting outcomes. We will try to avoid the natural impulse to embrace all new technologies, which usually results in more speed rather than true efficiency or quality.
Jonathan Clarke, Director, Universal Design Studio

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