I just got back from a weekend in Barcelona at the Offf Festival design conference.
It was three full on days of talks. By the end my brain hurt [creative overload] but in the best way possible.
In a nutshell, the festival is a series of presentations by influential creatives, designed to inspire and educate people from all design disciplines, from all over the world. Basically an opportunity for designers to geek out over beautiful typography and illustration, insane motion graphics, exciting technology and virtual reality roller coasters.
Aside from coming away with an insight into the way multi-disciplinary studios are run, interesting marketing ideas and a new found love for Mr Bingo, there were three concepts that stuck with me...
1. SAYING YES
Many of the speakers alluded to this in some way. A simple idea to encourage creators to be brave. Saying yes to new jobs/ clients, yes to new ventures and yes to change. It’s about exposing yourself to the unfamiliar in order to continue to deliver creative ideas and evolve ways of working. They also spoke about the value of taking the time to work on projects that aren’t for someone else - personal work. It’s in these unrestricted self briefs that we can explore and discover without a deadline, budget or design by committee.
2. NO EGOS
One speaker had a slide that read “JFDI; just fucking do it”. He talked about putting ALL ideas, even bad ones, out into the world instantly. We are very quick to shoot down our own ideas before they’ve even had a chance to come to fruition because we think we can do better. For me JFDI says take yourself less seriously, make mistakes and get over it! 'No egos' also means playing to your strengths while acknowledging your weaknesses. It's easy to become precious or protective over work but one of the most amazing things about working in a creative environment is the multiplicity in skills; we can learn so much from our peers if we ask questions, seek advice and have 'no egos'.
3. MAKE NO HARM
One speaker at Offf talked about “Make no harm” as a mantra to live by. He discussed the role of a graphic designer in society and how we perceive ourselves. “Make no harm” means creating art, advertising, marketing and design that has a positive impact on people. It means avoiding work that requires you to promote negative concepts and ideas - like creating an advertising campaign for an unhealthy product, or communicating an idea you don’t agree with. Ultimately it’s about finding a way to participate in design with relevance and significance. Lingogo is my opportunity to be involved in a positive project. A project that not only educates, but also celebrates culture and encourages diversity.
Amidst the inspirational seminars we did manage to squeeze in some cold beers, hot sun, spicy tapas and an epic after party that spanned 5 floors in a giant warehouse.
Our weekend at Offf Barcelona was hugely successful and truly awesome... bring on OFFF 2017!