It has been a long time since I last designed anything. More than 9 months, to be exact.
Since I started work, I have not managed to find enough time to carry on this interest of mine. At the same time, there was intentional effort in distancing myself from design. I reasoned that since this was not going to be a key focus in my career, and also since I am honestly not the best or even among the very good out there, I might as well just not do it at all.
Well, this particular project changed that mindset and reminded me of why I started dabbling in design in the first place.
I first started out doing publicity posters for my secondary school’s Chinese Drama Circle. I was blessed to have learnt some Photoshop at my school’s computer lessons and managed to pick it up faster than most peers. Subsequently, posters moved on to T-shirts, logos, websites, etc. By university, I was freelancing frequently to supplement my income.
In some sense, my interest in graphic design also fuelled my passion for Marketing, making me more interested in how advertisements work and what was considered a good ad. At the same time, I got a better concept of what branding was all about. Looking back, it’s incredible to see how the different things I have done over the years are helping me in my current job.
A teacher friend of mine approached me, asking for advice on how he could create a poster for a CCA he was in charge in at his school. This was for a recruitment drive that they were having at the CCA fair. Since we were both in the Boys Brigade, I was more than happy to help out a fellow Company.
From the start, my friend knew exactly what he wanted.
The requirements for this particular design job was incredibly brief and simple
- Keep it really simple
- Have multiple colours to attract the attention of students – it doesn’t matter if it’s striking. In fact, striking is better since students tend to like things more colourful
- Showcase the activities that the 23rd Coy does
When the client knows exactly what he wants, it becomes really easy to just create something that suits the needs of the client. It can be really easy to get offended when the client requests for changes in a piece of work because I spent my time on it, and put my creative thoughts into it.
Over the years, however, I have learnt to feel less defensive about my design work. Thinking of it in another way, the client would best know the needs of his business. As a designer, you can best advise on things such as colours, layout, aesthetics, etc, but the final decisions should still lie with the client.
In this case, my friend knew exactly what he wanted and showed it to me in a layout, which I then created in Illustrator. Because the brief was so specific, I managed to do this up in 15 minutes flat.
Only 1 round of changes was required after he consulted with his fellow teacher-in-charge. Et voilà! Done.