22 February 2010

It's time to be a entrepreneur
A few weeks ago I attended the Graphex 2010 Judges Night. A diverse and talented group (Mark Randall, Louise Fili, Julia Hoffmann, Matt Warburton and Rolando Diep) presented their work and ideas about design over the course of the evening. And as I listened during the Q&A time and had conversations with various colleagues, I realized that the diversity of the judges equaled the diversity of thought around the role of visual communication.

From a small studio to the large corporate giant, one has the potential to embrace craft and/or commerce. Whatever side you lean toward, the point is to make information accessible to others. But if it doesn't win an award, how do we measure the value of communication design?

If you check out who I follow on Twitter, you'll notice I'm as intrigued by letterforms as I am lifesaving tools for someone in Los Angeles or Liberia. Because there is such diversity in how design is valued or measured, I'm suggesting that perhaps we now live in a time where we need a new title for the role that a communication designer (or any designer, for that matter) plays in culture (especially those who may never show his or her work at a design award event).

I'm opting to use the title "design entrepreneur" because this seems to help me frame the current state: consider what is needed in the future, act on what the system can handle now and do both all the while knowing that you're going to assume responsibility for the risks involved. According to research, it seems there are some are up for this challenge - and I'd say, it's come at just the right time. While it may not win an award, it could affect the way society functions (and I think Paula Scher might agree?). Some are even willing to fund it: Be Unreasonable.

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