Inspired by the contagious energy of Design Week PDX, take an inside look at what design means across the teams at Adpearance.
What do Design Week PDX and Albert Einstein have in common? The famed mathematician is known for his words, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” And last month, the creativity bug took Portland by storm in the annual Design Week PDX. The weeklong event consisted of shops, studios, and workspaces opening their doors to allow people to connect, eat hors d’oeuvres, and learn about the ever changing state of design across disciplines in Portland.
This year, Adpearance hosted an open house during Design Week, and celebrated design the best way we know: with Mario Kart, foosball, cold beer, and some great company. We enjoyed sharing the #NerdHerd culture with our guests and answering questions about the evolving state of design in our industry.
One of the greatest outcomes of DWPDX, was that it made design tangible, inspiring, and above all shareable. From fashion to website planning, product design to furniture creation, all the way to sidewalk construction, DWPDX taught us that design is more about the strategy, the engineering, and thought that goes into the process.
Inspired by the all-encompassing state of design, we played a game of tag, and asked our talented team to do a little introspection by sharing their two cents on design. Check out what they had to say:
Where do you get your design inspiration?
As a web designer, I still look for inspiration outside of the web. Package designs really interest me because they have a limited amount of space to convey their information and they’re displayed next to their competition so they have to standout.Jeremy Silver, Designer
What does design mean to you?
Design on its own is empty, lonely, misguided—too hipster for its own good. Design needs a buddy. Pair design with function, you have the '69 Westphailia pop-top camper, the iPhone, the Craftsman Bungalow. As a person who considers myself an artist despite having no tangible artistic talent, design is a loaded word. Tying design to aesthetic is too simple. Can we design a business? A culture? A process? Design is about caring not what you do but how you do it.Dave Steinberd, Co-Founder
Design is the opportunity to create functional beauty.Noel Jarosch, Graphic Designer
What is your favorite website and why?
This site is for an Australian VOIP provider. It’s purely informational and has almost zero image assets. What makes this website stand out with its design is the thought that was put behind user navigation and what the transition between pages looks like. There is almost no jarring page reloads or waiting, its flow from one area to another is pretty seamless and fun. Not to mention their bold use of colors and how they transition from one color to the next is just fun to watch.Mandi Vernoy, Project Manager
What is the hardest thing to overcome in design?
Redundancy, in my experience, is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome in design. It is really easy to get into a rut and end up producing a design that strongly resembles a design, either layout or style, you did for another company the month before.David Henry, Senior Designer
How do you think design will change by 2020?
Is that only 6 years from now? We may be considering how best to design for smart-glasses, watches, or any other new-fangled contraption, but the design problem remains the same: given a medium, how best do I convey the message?Philippe Moore, Developer
How do you design in your role?
I design new ways to approach and analyze data and then apply that knowledge to the construction of our digital campaigns. Properly designed account structure gives us maximum visibility into how our accounts are performing, as well the best data to optimize and continue to further improve our marketing services.Cam Nilles, Senior Marketing Specialist
Do you have a designer you follow? What’s special about their work?
My favorite designer would have to be Chip Kidd. I love following his work because he almost exclusively designs book covers, and he does an amazing job of creating timeless work that isn’t dictated by current trends. His designs always seems fresh and inspired while never overshadowing the content they are promoting. Some of his most famous covers include: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, Intensity by Dean Koontz, Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, Naked by David Sedaris, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy.Dave Alston, Senior Designer
How are design and client relationship management related?
Information hierarchy and content design principles are a part of my everyday communication with clients. When I'm writing e-mails, editing reports, or creating agendas for meetings, I ask myself, does this put my most important message at the forefront? Is it clear what I expect to get out of this? Does this align with my/the client's goals? Will we come away with a shared understanding of what is to be done next? When the answers to all of those questions are "yes," I feel my communication has benefited from good design.Kacy Rodriguez, Account Director
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about design?
That although there are overarching trends and fundamentals that will appeal to the majority of people at any given time, design is ultimately subjective. Go with your gut for what feels right, then A/B test to confirm if necessary.Eva Wong, Project Manager
It's about all of us. Together.
The answers above provide great insight, but one of the biggest takeaways we can draw is that we are all designers in some way. We are constantly thinking, collaborating, and creating in our thriving city and we can draw inspiration from the work we do across teams, businesses, and industries. As the DWPDX’s motto echoes, “It’s about all of us. Together.” At Adpearance, we keep the momentum going by designing websites, digital campaigns, content marketing strategies, and more to help clients pass on their ultimate design: their brand.
Tag! You’re it. Have a question for one of our agency experts or want to share your own design tip? Spread the design contagion and comment below or tweet @adpearance.