Monday, August 12, 2019

33. What's Your Story?

Current trends are for designers to avoid, at all costs, being a pair of hands.

As I noted to a friend who can make/sew/build/cook anything but who withdrew from a project when she realized the client wanted to dictate every aspect of her sewn object, without any of the "flavor" of her work, one of the worst meetings I've ever had involved a potential-but-no-go client who looked at the office's work and then said, "So, they tell you what they want and you put it together." In short, the guy (I'd say gent, but he was so patronizing I'll call him a guy) considered me/the studio the dreaded "pair of hands.'

I'm culpable, though, because years after that horrible meeting, I devised "What's Your Story" as the headline for the office website. Of course, the gist of the site is that the office provides publishing support along with design. We help tell the story through typography and images. However, helping with as opposed to shaping a story can be soulless or can lead to being a "glorified order taker" without an active engagement—or even active selling of talents. Even helping someone tell a story involves crafting a story of one's own.

Designers with large followings who speak at conferences or garner hundreds of comments on their work or posts all put across a compelling story filled with great work and, simultaneously, vulnerability as a person. It's an art and craft in itself.

To be continued.

(For August 11, 2019)

No comments: