Making it happen since 1988

Good things come to those who wait

By Emma Chaplin on May 13, 2016

We live in an instant world. Just had a baby – Facebook it. Just had sushi – Instagram it. Just farted – Tweet it. Instantaneous is now the expectation. And there are those who believe that design should be no different.

There’s the old industry saying: you can have it fast, cheap or good – pick two. And with good reason. The best design comes from a place of question, interrogation and challenge. Stripping a brief down to its bones to find the real crux of an idea then building it back up into a solution that truly engages and speaks to its audience. For the best work we design, redesign then redesign again. And this takes time.

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This was reiterated to me again when listening to design legend Jonathan Barnbrook speak in Leeds last week about working on David Bowie’s ‘The Next Day’ album. When released it raised a few eyebrows amongst the uninitiated, with some questioning if he’d knocked it up in an afternoon. In fact, it was the result of a six-month collaboration with Bowie; through rounds of experimentation that ended up on the cutting room floor.

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And the result is triumphant; a perfectly subversive take on an artist that is constantly judged on his history with a wider commentary on identity, celebrity and how we engage with music these days. The design, although initially lambasted by some, took on a whole new meaning with fans engaging with the artwork, creating their own and sharing across social platforms, resulting in an international viral effect.

A bold idea with an arguably simple execution that proves that to create something that truly resonates, it’s best to have patience.