Let’s Get in Good Shape

This is the time of year when loads of people join the gym with the sworn intention of getting into shape. New year, new start and all that. It set me thinking about how design agencies could shape up for the challenges 2010 will bring.

For one thing, we could all do with losing a few inches from our agendas. Yes, we all have our creative approach. Most of us have a certain style. Some have such a well defined look that their work is instantly recognisable regardless of the product. It is about time that we all focused more on what the clients’ brands need rather than what we would like to do with them. I’ve worked for clients in the past that leave you with lots of scar tissue by the time they have finished compromising the validity of a design by death by a thousand cuts. It is hard not to embark on their next project without an agenda, I accept that, but the agenda should be to educate them and to accept that sometimes they know best – no matter how unpalatable a fact that may be.
waste time
Perhaps we should think about slimming down. Less is more, particularly when it comes to meetings. We don’t need meetings about meetings and we don’t need everyone in the agency in meetings. Let’s all promise to be swifter and sleeker. Briefings should be brief – there’s a clue in the title.  Let’s get decisions made and have more time to get on with the real business of design: designing.

While we are at it, we should think about making creative presentations slim and gorgeous: fewer, better concepts (and be willing to fight for the right to do fewer rather than the half a dozen or so routes clients often request).

Then there’s balancing the scales. Wouldn’t it be nice to achieve a really good work/life balance? To work smarter so that we shave off a little more time to spend with our loved ones?

Let’s do it. Let’s get in great shape as an industry and as a discipline.

By Martin Grimer, Executive Creative Director at Blue Marlin