What should designers resolve to do differently next year?

What New Year’s resolutions do you think designers should make for 2014?

Simon Manchipp

‘Stop listening to the people who say it can’t be done. The greatest compliment any idea can be given is when a client says “no way – you can’t do that!” When an idea is so bonkers, so batshit crazy that it blows the lid on the meeting and you are shown the door. We creative few are invited to the party because we’ve been to more interesting places, tasted weird things and learnt from a wide and varied catalogue of experiences that saying yes is far more interesting than saying ”actually, do you have it in vanilla?” Change is terrifying. The new can backfire. There is always a reason to say no to a truly innovative thought. But those who can ignore the misery-guts to go on and get the loopy ideas through are the ones that change markets and develop first mover advantages for products, services and organisations. And that’s what we are there to do. Stop worrying about people saying no and start devising ways for them to more easily say yes.’

Simon Manchipp, executive creative director, SomeOne

John Mathers

‘Believe in yourselves because 2014 is your time. Never before has there been so much momentum behind and belief in the role that design can play for the good of our economy, the good of society and just the overall way we live our lives. In 2014 the Design Council will be celebrating 70 years of the best of British design and working with the next generation of designers who can really make that difference. So be bold.’

John Mathers, chief executive, Design Council

Timba Smits

‘One thing I’d like to see is more designers disconnecting from the vast number of social networks their work has become attuned to (i.e. Dribble and Instagram to name a few) and become less fixated on comments about their WIPS, sketches and follower counts and get back to basics. That is… more time and energy spent producing better quality work that isn’t inspired by creative vanity or borrowed ideas from other peoples work. Make it. Finish it. Then show it.’

Timba Smits, designer and illustrator

Liz Dunning

‘Darwin said “It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” One thing we all know about the future is that it will be different. So designers need to resolve to do everything differently. Great design is about challenge, bad or mediocre design is about familiarity, comfort zones and staleness. So bring on 2014 and lets get celebrating every paradigm shift!’

Liz Dunning, partner, Dunning Penney Jones

Simon Ward

‘Open-source design is the way forward for 2014. Although the conception of design-based solutions may occur in isolation, it is crucial that specialists take a more collaborative approach to meeting the specifics of a brief. Designers must therefore think more laterally about how to source expertise and input from a number of different departments, to avoid the risk of missing out on key elements that could make a finished solution stronger. Marketing teams are obvious sources of secondary input. However, it is essential that time be taken to consider how more operational parts of a business could contribute ground-level insight, in order to make sure that a design is market ready.’

Simon Ward, chief executive, Holmes & Marchant

John Spencer

‘Be yourself. Don’t take no for an answer. Think inside the box. Listen. Mean what you say. Don’t be trendy. Learn to love words. Challenge yourself. Ask for more money. Don’t procrastinate. Be nice. Practice what you preach. Have an opinion. Don’t panic. Surprise yourself. Experiment. Stop pissing about. Set your sights higher. Push it. Defy convention. Whistle while you work. Have a reason. Tell stories. Steal like an artist. Say what you mean. Trust your instinct. Reinvent the wheel. Stop polishing turds. Hold your nerve. Be honest with yourself. Don’t look back. Be brave. Have fun.’

John Spencer, founder and creative director, Off the Top of My Head

Hide Comments (3)Show Comments (3)
  • Andy Barker November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Everyone read Dave Trott’s books. Then live them!

  • Shan Preddy November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Four 2014 resolutions for all designers and all design firms. Repeat after me. (1) I will never, ever devalue design (or go bust) by giving work away for free in pitches to clients unless it’s to a charity. (2) I will do my marketing better so I attract the right clients with the right work and the right budgets. (3) I will focus on my high-level creative skills; without them, I have no business being in a world-class creative industry.(4) I will recognise that I work in business and I will embrace business skills, recognizing that they are a darned sight easier than design skills. And (5)? I will enjoy myself. Time is scarce, life is short. I will make the most of it.

  • Simon Manchipp November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Shan — you rock. Spot on.

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