DWP: Fueling a Design Focused Ambition


It seems that as each year goes by, Design Week Portland gets a little more ambitious. Around 300 events took place across the Portland metropolitan area drawing thousands of bright-eyed design fanatics. With all the lectures, workshops, open houses, pop-up shops and interactive exhibits, there’s more design related activity packed into this one week than there is throughout most of the year. Whether you’re into graphic design, fashion, architecture, engineering or just have a passion for design in general, Design Week 2017 was sure to raise a few eyebrows and ignite some ambition. Here are a few ways to fuel that ambition as you set out to uphold the essence of design: ‘being creative with a purpose.’

Focus on the Experience

It's not the thing, it's the experience of the thing. Put yourself in the viewer's shoes. How do people interact with your work? Design is closely tied with emotion. Web designer Paul Jarvis makes the point that “Strong emotional Web design isn’t an afterthought or something you quickly add in right at the end. It’s factored into the entire process, so all functions, features, layout and language are designed with the correct and consistent feeling.

Become a Master Storyteller

Design is often a solution to a problem, but what is the meaning of the solution? A designer should be able to express the significance of their solution verbally as well as visually. One of the most important things you can do as a creative professional is to capture your audience’s imagination. A true storyteller has a narrative and can express their work in whatever way he or she can.

Take Complex Ideas and Bring them to Clarity

It was Albert Einstein that said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” If you have to teach your audience or explain what you’ve created with complex tutorials, then you haven’t done your job properly. The easier it is to explain your idea, the easier it will be to see from start to finish.

Communication is Greater than Decoration

Design isn’t solely about beautification and aesthetic, although both are important. More than anything, design is about solving problems and improving situations. Beauty and ornamentation have their place but they need to serve a greater purpose. It’s been expressed that design is not art, though there is art in design.

The creative community of Portland never ceases to amaze us! Though it’s a ways off, we’re already anticipating the new ideas, concepts, and solutions that Design Week 2018 will bring.