Douglas Davis (@DouglasQDavis) is a graphic designer, professor, consultant, and author of the new book Creative Strategy and the Business of Design. The book, which follows his recent talks and workshops, explores business issues that face creative professionals, especially those which may not even seem apparent.
In this conversation, we explore the business culture exposed creatives, the shortcomings of our design education system, and how Brooklyn is becoming the home for creative thought.
Check out Douglas’s book, Creative Strategy and the Business of Design, now available where fine books are sold.
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- Download The Busy Creator Podcast, Episode 93 (MP3, 1:00:56, 22.1 MB)
- Download The Busy Creator Podcast, Episode 93 (OGG, 1:00:56, 33.3 MB)
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Show Notes & Links
- Douglas joins Prescott at his home-studio in Brooklyn. Douglas too is a Brooklyn resident and former neighbour.
- Douglas describes himself as a Professor, among other things
- New York College of Technology, Communication Design
- City College, Branding & Integrated Communication graduate course
- Nancy Tag
- The Davis Group
- “In The Arena”
- DCRIT – MFA in Design Criticsm at the School of Visual Arts, now MA in Design Research
“Everyone has that story of when they were first taken advantage of.”
- Creative Strategy and the Business of Design by Douglas Davis on Amazon
- Pratt, Communication Design MA
- Creative pros spend the first ten years of their careers “face down at the desk”
- NYU, MS in Integrated Marketing
- “In The Trenches”
“Design school doesn’t teach business, and Business school doesn’t teach how to inspire designers.”
“Clients expect us to answer their problems with creativity that's on-brand, on-strategy, and on-message.”
“Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan.”
—Russian proverb (or maybe Tacitus c. 98 AD)
“Do it right or do it thrice.”
- The in-house design team of yesteryear was almost like a Kinko’s
“Business is annexing design. Our design jobs are more important because of that.”
- McKinsey & Co. “Building a Design-Driven Culture” article
- IBM has been acquiring digital advertising, marketing, design
- The New York Times also has been acquiring
- Deloitte, other consulting companies
- GoPro is becoming a content/media company
“Design is the spoonful of sugar that makes marketing & business palatable to the public.”
- Apple’s invested in design and beat Sony. Sony did that previously to beat Panasonic.
- Dr. Marjorie Kalter, NYU
- Direct Marketing Hall of Fame
“'I love it' is not a compelling business rationale.”
—Dr. Marjorie Kalter
- RIP Flash, Actionscript
“We're here to inject art into commerce.”
“It’s almost a rite of passge to make every mistake in the book.”
- Bryce Bladon, editor of Clients From Hell, was on The Busy Creator Podcast, ep. 78
- “Trial By Frying Pan”
- Fred Nickols, Strategy Is Execution (PDF download)
“Begin with the end in mind.”
“Think like they think to do what we do.”
“The short hand comes later; first you have to use the long hand.”
“I've seen ideas die on the table because creatives weren't able to set the context.”
- Adams Media/HOW Books
- HOW Design University
- Creative Strategy began as an online course. It earned $17,000 in 9 offerings
- Tony DiSpigna, typographic illustrator
- How to Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy on Amazon
“Some people are better at other things than I am.”
- Art Director can mean many different things
- General Assembly
- The Narcissicm of Minor Differences
- September/October 2016 issue of HOW Magazine
- Revision Path with Maurice Cherry
- Obsessed With Design with Josh Miles
- Douglas Davis on Twitter
- Douglas Davis on Facebook
- Douglas Davis on LinkedIn
- Learn what keeps your client up at night so you can speak the same language
- Divide a project into smaller pieces so your clients can see the process unfold
- Consider how you “Frame” your solution. Often that’s the point of differentiation.
- Banish words like “right” or “wrong”, in favour of “it works” or “it doesn’t work”
- Practice with co-workers to use better, more instructive language
- Start with the story, then teach the lesson. This helps you write chapters in a book, for example.
- Keep a desktop folder called “desktop dump” where pretty much everything goes.
- Work to maximise the “trust in the room”
- Take a moment at the beginning to write a “problem statement”
- Add a physical activity to your routine, such as boxing
- Take time to travel, perahps 2x per year
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