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Thursday, June 23, 2011

More than just a pretty (type) face

A recent article in WWD from the Abstract Conference in Portland, Maine got me thinking. The gist was that the near death of the magazine industry (and subsequent focus on re-design and apps) has shifted the spotlight from the editors to the designers. And boy, are they basking in the glow!

In the publishing race to blaze trails in unknown territory, the designer’s role has evolved from making the content look good to being on the leading edge where content, imagery, technology and consumer habits meet. In a brave new world, (where there are no precedents) it’s the designers who are leading the charge - figuring out how people want to view and interact with the content and making it happen.

While this story references the publishing industry specifically, I think it speaks volumes about the design industry as a whole. Yes, designers make things look pretty, but if that’s all you’re using them for, you’re missing out. A good designer is a problem solver, a story-teller and ultimately, the conduit between your vision and your audience’s connection to your brand.

So the moral of the story – hire good talent and give them a place at the table early on. Involve them in your strategy, give them the resources and let them tell your story.
You might just get more than you bargained for!

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