4 of BIGEYE’s most creative minds spill favorite design advice
We’re about to let you in on a BIGEYE exclusive. Four of our Orlando marketing agency’s most creative minds dish on their favorite design advice. Whether you’re a designer, a business owner, or a production specialist, their advice speaks to the challenges we all face in our fast-paced, marketing-driven world. So sit back, relax, and soak in the good stuff.
Seth Segura, Creative Director: Solve the right problems.
Our Creative Director Seth brings a lot – and we mean a lot – to the table. His experience ranges from copywriting and design, to thought leadership and brand strategy. But at the end of the day, he always leads with results-first, which is why his favorite design advice hinges on solving customer or business problems. As a designer, it’s always tempting to lean into what is aesthetically pleasing; but as a creative marketer, you need to think about what problems you’re solving for your customers through design. When you look at a print ad or a web page: yes, it should absolutely look visually pleasing. Color balance, line, and composition are always king (unless you’re talking to the content folks on our digital team). But, your design must also enable customers to experience a new emotion or help them accomplish a specific task. For this reason, designers who specialize in user experience (UX) creation and page layout are some of the most highly sought-after talent in the marketplace. In addition to having a strong creative eye, these types of designers are trained to think about how customers will interact with their work. For them, that webpage button isn’t just red because it looks good … It’s red because it draws the customer’s eye to your business call to action and signals how they can complete a task. Fashion, meet function.
Rhett Withey, Lead Designer: Be up for the challenge.
Rhett has amazing intuition about what creative elements will work, and which will fall flat. In addition to having a natural sense of design principles, part of his success stems from tackling challenges head on. When thinking about his favorite design advice, he knows that chasing new design trends and emerging media every time something new comes out can turn a designer into a jack of all trades and a master of none; but that getting stuck in a rut, or resting on your portfolio’s laurels isn’t enough to stay on cutting edge of the design world. Rhett balances his own deep expertise against stretch goals and challenges that cultivate his leadership and design skills. To do this in your role, spend at least 15% of your time experimenting with new design media, raise your hand to lead a challenging new project, add research spikes into your work flow, take a class to explore new techniques, or partner with other creatives on your team. There are literally hundreds of ways to polish your skill set without compromising your current projects once you commit to doing it. While it’s always tempting to stick with the status quo, taking on new challenges fine-tunes your intuition and will make your work even sharper.
Dani Alfonso, Designer: Value your work.
One of the best pieces of design advice we can offer is to be passionate about and value your own work. Dani’s passion for her work shines through in both her professional output and in all areas of her life. Whether she’s traveling, enjoying time with her miniature schnauzer, working at her desk, collaborating with our team, or finding inspiration in the world around her, Dani lives with earnest passion that embraces creativity around her. And that is critical when designing for a living. As Chris Spooner, design blogger and theorist once said, “the clients aren’t always right. It’s okay to disagree with their demands if you can back up your own opinions with professional theory.” There will be times, as a designer, you will need to throw away work that you love, or defend work your clients hate. The trick is recognizing those situations when they arise and handling them with grace and confidence. Designers are one part creative expert and one part translator, charged with interpreting their clients’ business needs against the background noise of opinions, deadlines, and resource constraints to create something beautiful and functional. To do this, a designer needs to be confident in their knowledge and skills — and not afraid to share them.
Matt Hutchens, Video Producer: Manage the madness.
As a video producer, Matt needs to manage crew members, wrangle environmental factors like lighting and weather, anticipate unexpected snafus, capture the perfect angle, balance timing, and weave together tone and messaging … to just name a few. It makes sense that his design advice is about having a design process that inspires creativity and ensures quality work. To help manage the madness that inevitably arises as business needs change and situations evolve, have a design “Q&A checklist” that covers the basic checks and balances necessary before signing off on a project such as spacing, spelling, contrast, and color in line with your brand guidelines. Designers often bear the brunt of the creative burden, so don’t be afraid to consider time savers such as collaborating, outsourcing, or finding good ways to use stock photography or video (when appropriate). Strategic time saving techniques free you up to do your best, most inspired work. Put some space around your creative process so your ideas stay fresh and your focus on point. Whether that means creating a design den for your creative team or letting people work from home once a week, figure out what your business needs to thrive and don’t be afraid to do something unconventional to enable your most talented minds.
Still want more from our star-studded team? Check out examples of their work here, or give us a call to discuss how we can add a little inspiration to your creative process. We are always eager to share design advice with our customers, but would love to hear what works for your team as well. Shoot us a message or share a comment on how your design team works best. Two heads are more creative than one!