Nathan Hendricks’ Message to New Designers: The World Needs You. Now.

07 Apr 2014
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Every system has a tipping point—and designers have a unique opportunity to influence critical mass.

This was Nathan Hendricks’ message to design students at The Ohio State University and the Columbus College of Art and Design this week. Speaking at events at both schools, Nathan rallied students to upend the adage of Sturgeon’s Law, coined by American science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon, that “ninety percent of everything is crap.”

“What if just 89% of everything was crap? Weird stuff can happen in 1%.”

It doesn’t take a rock star designer to push that 1%. If all designers pushed to elevate their effectiveness just a little bit, we could impart enormous change. Sometimes we’ll fail, but occasionally we won’t.

To inspire the pursuit of a tipping point, we asked a few LPK designers to share ways to stay motivated in the pursuit of designing for positive change.

Lauren Kemnitz, Design Director:

“Who and what are you designing for? Find an image that represents what compels you to create and keep it on your desktop. It can be inspirational, or galvanizing, but it should remind you why you come to work each day.”

Kenzie Elston, Senior Designer:

“When I design for a commodity product, I never let myself forget my need to make things beautiful. Even though the product might be something that people HAVE to buy. If we can make that experience delightful, then that adds greater meaning to something that is already functional.”

Danielle Abel, Design Director:

“Take the time to understand who you are designing with. When you understand where your client is coming from and what’s motivating them, what you create together will be more meaningful.”

Tommy Sheehan, Master Designer:

“Surround yourself with the right people. People with common beliefs and people you aspire to be. You have to seek them out, you can’t clack away all day on your computer. If you want to be a good designer you need others. Then aspire to be a rock star.”