So you think you are not an artist? Not surprising, according to one of the top designers at Hallmark Cards. Gordon McKenzie tells a story about visiting schools and getting the same answer, over and over, when he asked students to raise their hands if they were artists. In kindergarten and first grade classes, EVERY hand went up. By second grade, only about three-fourths raised their hands. By third grade, only a few held their hands high and by sixth grade, NO ONE had a hand in the air.
This does not omen well in a world where designers are key to the transmission of messages.
Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind”, says design is a combination of utility and significance. He says, “A graphic designer must whip up a brochure that is easy to read. That’s utility. But at its most effective, her brochure must also transmit ideas or emotions that words themselves cannot convey. That’s significance. A furniture designer must craft a table that stands up properly and supports its weight (utility). But the table must also possess an aesthetic appeal that transcends functionality (significance)."
Two graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design took this awareness of significance to a whole new level when they founded www.airbnb.com In five years, their startup has grown to a company reporting $500 million in transactions. It allows homeowners to rent their spare rooms and has been called the world’s hottest hotel chain.
They did many thinks “backwards”:
So if you are NOT a designer like Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia and Paul Graham, make sure that the designer you hire is someone who “gets” your vision and your product.