Learning from Designers at Adobe MAX – Part 2

My journey to Adobe MAX gave me the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest modern minds in the design industry. For part 2 of my key takeaways, I will share some of my favorite points presented by design idol, Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co.

Aaron Draplin – “The One that Got Away and More”

Aaron Draplin is one of the most prolific modern designers in the industry and one of my biggest inspirations. I had the incredible chance of meeting him and listening to his talk, “The One That Got Away and More”.

Don’t assume clients know how to use technology – We often take our understanding of technology for granted. Draplin spoke of an instance in which he created tons of excellent logos for a client, only to have the response that they loved “it”. But which option did they love? The client only saw the first page of the pdf, not knowing to flip to the tens of other options.

As designers and marketing experts, we must over-explain what is provided and how to use files.

Don’t fill your portfolio with only client work – Draplin emphasized the importance of working on projects that you want to create, even if the work isn’t for a client. Recently, he created a logo for pretzels. Why? He likes pretzels. Some of your best work can serve no purpose other than to be something you like. Personal passion projects may inspire others to approach you for similar work for their own goals.

Facilitate ownership and over-exceed furiously – When designing for a client, especially identity systems and logos, it’s important to help guide a feeling of ownership. Surprising clients with drafts early and openly displaying your excitement for a project helps form the bond between design and client. Your ultimate goal as a designer is to help those you’re creating for feel a genuine connection with the work.

With three days worth of inspiration, I still have much more to share about Adobe MAX. Be on the lookout for further blog posts about my experience and future updates!