Earlier this year when two travel businesses I looked after design for were on the ropes, I was the first to go.
Design takes a back seat when the economy is down. To continue the car analogy – no one’s trying to perfect the line into a corner when the car’s spinning out of control.
Many businesses are now focused on staying alive, not making incremental improvements to the design of their products.
Quality suffers. Fundamentally quality is a designer’s job – to make things work better. Design is quality, and a luxury for the time being many can't afford.
So for freelance designers, finding buyers for quality is much harder. The upside has been an explosion of people producing side projects, innovating their way to a pay check. I love that.
I’ve been so busy expending creativity on commercial projects till now the optimist in me sees this as a blessing in disguise. Every day since May I’ve been at my desk from dawn, creating things without the constraints of other people’s money, which has been a fantastic change.
"Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, stressors, risk, and uncertainty.” (author unknown)
If you’re a designer whose circumstances have changed during the pandemic I’d love to hear how you're handling it.