Beautiful Kinds of Stress: Pinching Pennies and Building knowledge Banks
Slowdown and Load Up
During this recession, advertising has been dramatically cut from many companies' budgets, and therefore design firms suffer. Then everything, in once sense, slowed down. The process of booking a project with a client slowed to a snails pace, not because there isn't as much to do, but because of the anxiety clients have when investing money into their project. It is penny-pinching time, and decisions that once seemed somewhat methodical have become more detrimental. Those people, who were not laid off by their design firms, have taken those unfortunate people's responsibilities. Does all of this slowdown and load up result in a negative outcome? There are many positive events that occur (believe it or not) during a recession. For one thing, hardship inspires and motivates people. According to the New York Times article Design Loves a Depression, an example of this kind of epiphanic boom occurred during the Great Depression, when an early wave of modernism flourished in the United States, partly because it properly addressed the middle-class need for a toned-down life without the luxuries of servants and other Victorian trappings (1). Stress can drive creativity, but by financially clearing the air can sometimes allow this to happen more quickly. Many corporate heads should now look at what their firms really need to have in order to get their job done, and then strip what is not needed (2). This can be from printing supply choices, to gourmet coffee in the break room. Anything that is unnecessarily hard on the wallet, could maybe head out for the time being. This financial environment creates stress, but a kind of stress that can essentially develop something amazing.
There is stripping, and then there is building. During the hustle and bustle of a booming economy, it is harder to keep up with what is happening in terms of communication just due to how fast the pace is moving in the workplace. During this time design firms must stop, and work on broadening their social abilities. Aiga states that one of the most important things that design firms and individual designers must do during this slow economic period is to update your skills (3). Our speaker Gwenyth, director of writing services at Larsen, demonstrates practices at Larsen that all design firms should do right now concerning social media. As technology increases people's attention spans decrease. It is important to invest in more traditional ways of advertising, such as bill boards and buss banners ( which no doubt will predominantly be digital soon) , and there is nothing wrong with defending those mediums, although investing time and money in more interactive and social means of communication is becoming the main way to reach people.
Create Clear Communication
As Gwenyth said, focusing on content and ways of delivering that content are elements that should be done during these hard times. Even when you create your own identity, just know that the way you describe yourself through not only aesthetics but words can determine how many jobs you could get, and thus how efficiently you can pay your rent. So, when you are sitting at your computer, stressed about a design project, getting a job, or a job you already have, just know that that stress can very well be your ticket to success. Stripping down to the essentials, practicing humility, creating priorities, and indulging in knowledge = Empowered Design.