👀 Tips for developing a proactive design team
A newsletter about design and creativity, and how they contribute to a better world.
Welcome to Edition #41 of the Creative Currents newsletter!
Hey, welcome to another edition of Creative Currents. In this issue, we are thrilled to showcase our work for Farmless, a company dedicated to producing planet-friendly proteins. Over the past few months, we’ve had the privilege to channel our creativity and design expertise into helping Farmless make a positive impact on our environment. And as always, we have scoured the depths of the internet to bring you the most inspiring and innovative design discoveries from this week, as well as elaborate on a major trend we’ve been seeing online. Finally, we’ve compounded our best tips and insights on how to develop a proactive design team.
In summary of today:
Unlocking the Potential: Tips for a Proactive Design Team
Our work for Farmless: Planet-Friendly Proteins
Our current creativity and design finds from around the internet this week.
Trend Analysis: The Puffification of Everything
Orelsan and designer Reagular are shaking up the music industry.
Unlocking the Potential: Tips for a Pro-Active Design Team
Recently at Wonderland we've been looking at how we can make our design team members more effective and how we can help individual members grow and make the most of their careers.
In my opinion, initiative is a big part of any designer's career progression and is one of the key attributes I look for in high-performing team members when it comes to who in the team I can develop and who is willing to drive change.
Initiative can be described: as The ability to judge and initiate things independently, to use one's own initiative, imagination and common sense. An action or strategy designed to solve a problem or improve a situation; a new approach to something.
When it comes to creating positive change, your employees don’t need to be told to take initiative. Research confirms that, compared with their more passive counterparts, proactive people are better performers, contributors, and innovators.
So soon to be pro-active people. Here are a few tips for you on where and how to be proactive in your team:
Check your team / organizational goals for the year and see what is not on track.
For example: You see that your design team's goal is to win an award or 2 and you are currently working on a project that, with some extra love from you and your team members, can be submitted for an award. Initiate an approach to your manager on how you'd like to achieve this, if he's up for it, given the team's goals.
Identify an area where your team isn’t active in that can play a role in attracting talent for your organisation. For example, you see that your design team isn't active on are.na and you think it would be a good idea for your company to get active there, as a lot of creatives are using it. If done right, it can serve as an inspiration for creatives and therefore inspire/attract talent to work for your company.
Collaborate with other team members in making your process more efficient.
For example: You're working closely with motion designers on a project, and you think that by using certain plugins in Figma, you and your motion designers can work in one file to create UI animations faster for the project you're working on. You come up with an approach with your motion designer, try it out on an internal project and show your manager that it works so we can use it for client projects.
But be careful; being proactive can also go wrong. Other research suggests that if proactivity is not channelled correctly, it can backfire and have unintended negative consequences for you and your team members so keep that in mind.
When you initiate a new idea, ask yourself whether the situation requires change and, if so, what kind of change is appropriate for the context. Avoid change for change's sake. Think about how you can implement your ideas effectively, given your team and/or organisation goals.
Written by Martijn van der Does
Do you have a design or creativity-related question that you would like to have answered? Mail them to us at email@example.com and we’ll take it from there.
Farmless: Planet-Friendly Proteins
We have spent the last few months building the Farmless branding and website. In doing so, we conceptualised the Farmless mission of planet-friendly proteins; a future where food production is free from animals and farmland; a world with more nature and fewer farms. We are thrilled to have been part of this process, helping the Farmless team to create a future worth being excited about (case coming soon).
This week’s interesting design, creativity, and green initiatives finds from the web.
Adobe’s Generative Fill AI feature lets you extend images and insert objects using text. Should come in handy for, well, basically anyone.
Here’s what happened when I let AI design my life for a week.
Creatives share their advice on how to navigate the industry as an introvert.
A Possible Future of Wide-Scale Volumetric: NeRFs, AI and Experiences
Designing with Fluff: Puffification's Creative Response
Amidst the global economic uncertainty, the phenomenon of puffification is taking the design and branding world by storm. We're talking about blowing things up, not literally, but by ramping up proportions and traditional design elements to create a pillowy and squashy shock absorber effect. It's like giving yourself a cozy and cushiony hug in the face of all the chaos happening right now.
Just take a look at Acne Studios balloon-filled Valentine's day campaign, Prada's inflation fetish collection, or the recent collaboration between Camper and Ottolinger. All these brands are diving headfirst into the puffy trend and exploring its possibilities to drive brand relevance.
Why is it happening?
It's no secret that art, fashion, and design often mirror the social and cultural issues of our time, acting as a reflection of our society. Given the current circumstances, it comes as no surprise that the popularity of puffy aesthetics is on the rise during this economic crisis and looming recession. The notion of puffiness symbolises comfort, coziness and extra layer of protection, providing a comforting sense of security in a time when uncertainty pervades our lives.
What are the takeaways?
Keeping your finger on the pulse of contemporary culture and understanding dominant moods in society is key to building brand relevance and designing visual communication that hits the right note with your customers.
Don't blindly follow every trend that comes along; instead, carefully select the ones that have the potential to last for a while and make sense for your brand. Visual trends with staying power often reflect the current economic, social, and cultural landscape.
Want to see more examples and learn more about the cultural climate driving the trend? Check out the links here: Mandy Lee Puff-ification Trend Analysis , Moschino's 'Inflation Chic' Collection , BAM Puffy Identity Exploration.
Our data and strategy team will cover trend insights on a biweekly basis. See an insight or trend you'd like us to explain? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll take it from there.
At a time when streaming platforms like Spotify rule the music industry, the original concept of Orelsan and french designer Reagular is shaking up the digital world for the release of his album Civilisation, with a physical release of 15 discs and 1 vinyl.
"People buy CDs but most of the time they don't listen to them, so we thought we might as well make something nice," says the artist.
On a collection model, they seek to create a sense of surprise and satisfaction when the album is unwrapped. With the transparent case, the record is presented as the most valued element within the object, in contrast to the platforms and their feelings of not owning anything.
The two artists decided to offer 15 different CD designs, each corresponding to a song from the album. Created by the graphic designer Raegular, the creations represent elements from the rapper's universe. Each CD being issued in a limited edition of between 1200 and 30,000 copies.
But the ultimate product, the one that all fans of the artist dream of having, is a very simple-looking CD, in homage to the engraved discs "from the era", and hand-dedicated by Orelsan himself. A limited edition of only 500 copies that echoes the artist's first demos.