Thus far, I’ve written fairly intense do/do not articles dealing with social etiquette and social business best practices. Going forward I’ll be adding social design to my “topics covered” and thought it might be refreshing if I lightened up a bit. Thus, my intention to share five of my favorite design listens.
People who design, be it graphics, web sites, furniture, even appliances and hardware, tend to draw inspiration from a variety of mediums that surround them. Visual cues would be the most prevalent, but, for me, audio often triggers undeniable impulse. I often incorporate music into my actual articles and it’s rarely silent while I’m working.
So, here we go:
#5: “Why I Cry” by Best Coast
Let’s face it, working with clients isn’t always sweetness and light. Being completely honest, sometimes I’d rather bang my head against a wall than deal with one more revision, so called “minor” tweak (translation -complete redesign) or another question about the color scheme. Instead of pounding my head against the afore-mentioned wall I listen to this song. Your clients truly don’t understand your frustration, why you cry, in these situations. This song is both a gentle reminder to me to calm down and explain again why we can’t use yellow text on a white background and a fun listen with its sludgy,almost retro, beach guitar sound.
#4: “A Question of Time” by Depeche Mode
I listen to this one when I’m stumped during the RFP (proposal) process. It’s got that Penelope Pitstop “nab him, grab him” appeal. It forces me to get back on track and dial that proposal in, ensuring I’m on the short list for the job. It’s just a question of time before the darned thing’s due and I don’t want to miss out on the opportunity!
#3: “Superstar” by Tegan & Sara
Sometimes a design or project takes every last ounce of your creativity, skill and ability. At those times you have to reach down deep inside and harness your hard core superstar. It doesn’t need much more explanation than that. Get your superstar on!
#2: “Cannot Get Started” by Handsome Furs
Just like authors sometimes get writer’s block, designers get creator’s block. We’re unable to start or take the next step on a project. It’s often the reason our own web sites and marketing materials suffer from the “cobbler’s children with no shoes” syndrome. We pour all our energy into client projects and we’re left empty with nothing in reserve. I’ve suffered from the way those “hours move slow” and it isn’t a fun feeling. This song’s a reminder that this too shall pass, especially if I engage in a little dancing with my cat/office mate.
#1: “Living In Colour” by Frightened Rabbit
Designers have to work with color, but they must also live in color. Potential clients often expect designers to be outwardly and immediately vibrant, daring, cutting edge and, yes, even hip. While I am a bit of a music hipster, like any small business owner I can sometimes fall into homebody behavior – chained to my desk, chained to projects and deadlines. This song reminds me to step away from the desk, step out into the world, start living in color so I don’t miss any inspirations and ideas that aren’t housed within the four walls of my office.
Hope you enjoyed this little trip down listening lane. Let me know if you like any of the tunes!