The week aims to bring creatives and strategists from the marketing world and the design world together to share their ideas. This year’s RE:Solutions day was jam-packed with workshops, speakers and some serious design expertise.
Read on for a recap of what our marketing-focused design team learned firsthand from the impressive lineup of speakers!
An accomplished printmaker and illustration design professor at UCF, Ashley Taylor discussed her work in many mixed media, like traditional printmaking and illustration design and her artistic struggle to either choose one of the mediums or blend the two.
What We Learned: Combine Your Strengths
Our big takeaway: you don't have to choose different parts of your creative self, but rather, use all of your strengths to make unique work in any medium! Taylor herself went on to work as an artist at Real Thread and also design posters, T-shirts, scarves and more for the U.S. Women's soccer team.
Elias Martinez is the VP of Brand Management and Creative Strategy at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. His session focused on his past experiences at top agencies nationwide, detailing how he executed campaigns for Google, Kix and Betty Crocker.
What We Learned: Don’t Limit Yourself to Traditional Mediums
Don’t limit yourself to traditional mediums! As a designer, you can instead create well-planned, multi-medium campaigns.
While working with Betty Crocker, Martinez collaborated with his team to design an experience to rebrand the traditional Betty Crocker persona by attending Pride in New York and Minneapolis before big brands ever thought to participate in those events.
He designed tents so anyone could visit and get to know the brand, food trucks where attendees could bake cookies and photo and video booths where visitors could record videos about what family means to them. To top it all off, he then used those videos in further marketing campaigns to show the Betty Crocker brand being open to all kinds of families. He did that in addition to designing the normal posters, flyers and stickers for attendees.
Martinez used design to create an experience that transcended normal marketing, just by being creative and pushing the envelope of what a creative marketing campaign really meant. With this multi-medium approach, he was able to completely rebrand Betty Crocker for their target audience in a single campaign.
As the creative manager for retail at Walt Disney, Mariana Martinez shared the biggest lessons she learned in her last decade of being a designer and letterer. Along with sharing her experiences in the afternoon, she shed light on her technique for brush-lettering and showcased some of her work in the earlier half of the event.
What We Learned: Let Go of Your Ego
Beyond seeing some amazing examples of lettering, we learned all about ego—more specifically, why you should let it go as you make waves in your professional career as a designer.
Her perspective: letting go of your ego means always being open to continuing to learning from others! As designers, we shouldn’t be scared of speaking opportunities or going out, exploring and finding your fellow designers as she did at Creative South.
Aaron Draplin—designer, author and entrepreneur—was the RE:Solutions headliner and final speaker of the day. He discussed being creative with your resources and building things on your own for less—like his iconic wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling record collection's furniture in his design studio—just by getting your hands a little dirty and being resourceful.
What We Learned: Design for What Matters to You
During his session, Draplin covered designing for good and bringing awareness to issues that mattered to him and his community, like his work for President Obama and now Bernie Sanders. In that same vein, he discussed doing free design work for good causes to bring awareness for people you care about—because those are the things that really matter.
Our biggest lesson learned? That as designers, we hate when we spend so much time making small little changes and tweaks for hours for a client that we don't care about. So if we can do that, we should be able to make a poster to raise funds for a friend/family member's health benefit.
Design can be used as a means to help cope with tough emotional experiences. As examples from his own experience, Draplin designed a casket for his dog that passed away because no off-the-shelf box would be enough for his dog. He also designed the materials for his father’s funeral and sent them to others to help cope with his passing too.
Design can be impactful not just in what it presents, but how it made you feel during the creative process!
RE:Solutions was a fantastic opportunity for our team to learn more about pushing the limits of design for clients and ourselves. We got to hear from fantastic designers at the top of their game and got a firsthand look at how we can change the rules of design and creativity.
Until next time, RE:Solutions! We can’t wait for next year.
Hearing about growth-driven design for the first time? Learn more about the three pillars of GDD and how this methodology can help you solve your greatest marketing challenges.