I love music, almost every genre. And I look forward to this time of
year, with all the music award shows. I watched the Country Music
Awards a couple weeks ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Country isn't
the majority of my playlist but I return to it regularly. I guess it's
because it does something to ground a person. It provides keen insight
into life and does it in a style that communicates from the heart. The
stories and sentiments cut an enormous swath across the cultural
landscape, speaking to real people about their everyday lives. Artists
like Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift appeal to people in almost every age
group; white collar, blue collar; rural, urban and suburban, in every
corner of this country and beyond.
That country audience is the one we designers need to "play to" if
we're going to broaden the appeal of our best work. Country music is
akin to beer, pizza, toothpaste and orange juice, the day-to-day
products that fuel this economy. What separates perceptions of these
basic products and speaks the truth about why one is better than the
other for me and for my family? Design. And, why shouldn't even
everyday products, basic household staples be things that even
designers look to and admire?
Great design needs to reach the masses if designers are going to be
considered business players vs. artists. It's also the only way to make
a significant shift in the way the masses appreciate great design. We
can't make a difference by speaking to ourselves. On many levels design
is still a cottage industry--small shops doing artful work for tiny
businesses or niche products. In order to have a place at the table in
the world of business, we have to prove ourselves as savvy business
people as well as first-rate creative thinkers. Contrary to the way
many designers think, the two are not mutually exclusive.
There has never been a better time in all the years that I've been
in business to reach the masses with design that you would also be
proud to hang on your studio walls. There's a desire for it everywhere.
Who doesn't want to bring a little joy to every aspect of everyday
life? What better way to do so than with design? Design for the
everyday moments that touch us all.
The appreciation for design is at an all-time high and growing
constantly. We need to focus on the basics in life and celebrate them
as a means to bring design to the masses.
I love Thelonious Monk and the opportunity to design a one-off
poster for a design event every once in a while, just like many
designers...but for my regular diet, give me Willie Nelson and a carton
of orange juice any time.
1. Willie Nelson (courtesy of Myriam Santos)
2. Minute Maid OJ redesign