Inspiring Design Thinkers

I attended the Design Thinkers Conference for two days straight. I was so enlightened and felt extremely rejuvenated after these informative, mind-blowing sessions from some of the most inspiring speakers.

Here is a summary from some of the speakers from Day 2, they focused on more of their design and work process behind, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

'Inspirations' by Christian Schwartz

Brian Collins & Leland Maschmeyer – talked about giving constant challenges in today’s world, because the future is unknown, nobody can tell what is going to happen so we should always fill our work with fascinations and design the future. The future is up to us to create.

Eric Ryan – an entrepreneur who makes soap (you might have seen them on the racks at Shoppers). His presentation was mainly about his bumpy journey of his start-up company and how its packaging design, ingredients, sustainability changes the industry. He also wrote a book with his partner called The Method: 7 Obsessions that Helped Our Scrappy Start-Up Turn an Industry Upside Down

Deborah Adler – She impressed me with her thesis project. She designed a system for packaging prescription medicine since the old prescription labels are poorly designed. Information is not legible, misleading and hard to decipher for the patients especially for the seniors. They died from taking the wrong medications. She then started experimenting with packaging, information architecture, and focused on creating the right experience to have a positive impact on people’s lives. She brought her design/idea to Target and from there, they developed the ClearRx System (I wish we have that system in Canada).

Next, Bobby Martin Jr. and Jennifer Kinon talked about the Life Cycle of a Brand, mainly concentrated on the history and development process of Girl Scouts. The new logo was adopted and based on the old logo way back in the 70s, using the shape of the clover leaf. “Brand finds iconic imagery from history to create new unique icon”.

After lunch, there was Todd Simmons, who gave insights about storytelling. He thinks that each client story is different and each requires a different approach/design to do the job right. Hence, “One size fits none”. I think his speech particularly makes sense to me, because often in times projects have different purposes and serve a different client, that’s why sometimes I find myself struggling when thinking about what is the best or most appropriate approach for that specific job.

Jessica Hische – She makes me laugh. A very down-to-earth topographer and illustrator. She does lettering and type designs. By the way, for those who don’t know, there’s a difference between lettering and type designs. Lettering is illustrated or hand drawn while type designs are designing fonts. She showcased a lot of her past jobs and book designs, very nice stuffs! She also thinks that type designer and web designers are related, because she does web designs on the side. Actually, she has done a lot of side projects for charity and for fun, such as Daily Drop Caps, Photo lettering, Mom this is how Twitter works, Don’t fear the Internet etc. A quote from her, “Make things you wish existed”. She made me feel really lazy in comparison….There’s also an article on her in the Communication Arts Issue 52.

Also, her word of advice for those who want to become a successful illustrator, “just draw dogs doing human things” – best quote of the day.

Steve Edge – Talked about his movement, Laterialism. It is the foundation of his designs. Lateral = “sideways”, which means a new view or innovative way of thinking and challenging what is normally being accepted. He went on and recommended that, “Dress for a party everyday and the party will come to you”.

Besides, having my Design Thinker origami bag filled with swags broken in the middle of the street, it was a great and very inspirational experience.

A design that fails.

One thought on “Inspiring Design Thinkers

  1. Pingback: 2 Days of Thinking for Designers – Part I «

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