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ESSAY: Inspiration Has Many Benefactors

Inspiration has many benefactors...

For most of us, life is a very visual experience, and there are many ways to bring your bright idea to light. Whether it be through the Internet, or on posters, direct mail pieces or t-shirts; as Marshall McLuhan famously stated:

“The Medium is the Message”

Whether the medium is electronic and digital, or fixed and on high gloss stock, what matters when creating successful design is to expertly leverage the friction between the message and the medium of display. The medium, in this formula, informs the message.

Collaboration provides the Key

Collaboration resides not only in the interaction between Client and Designer; collaboration also resides between the Stakeholders and the Viewer or User. Whether it is the creation and distribution of a brochure, or the roll-out of a Web strategy, the primary goal of the designer is to facilitate communication.

As with every form of marketing and promotion, the intrinsic goal of any promotional outreach is to inform and assuage, that is, to communicate information in a way that alleviates the intrinsic Human instinct to resist the unknown; while, also, appealing to our Human attraction to Novelty. Reinforced messaging, when properly presented, creates familiarity. Familiarity mitigates our Fear of the Unknown. Novelty adds attraction.

Our habit for Human Nesting creates the opportunity for the marketer to put a product or service into the context of a customer's Life Experience. It is no coincidence that there is a Home Management product called Nest. In fact, the best marketing programs incorporate the same methodologies that are formulated into every great novel. From product introduction through each product's lifecycle, ingratiating first into the mind, and then into the lives of the customer is the ultimate goal of every product introduction, and therefore, the goal of each product's design portfolio.

Your message, your personality...

The best way to manage your message… the best way to lead the designer to the best result… is to be crystal clear as to the purpose, desired outcome, and character of the message. Most of the time, your corporate character has been established, a part of the identity work you continue to refine. The first collaborator, therefore, is an organization’s  image in the marketplace. On top of this layer lies the management group, the product group, the product, the marketing gurus, the advertising alliance and there, near the top, right under to icing, which is the actual produced material, is the designer… responsible for the final shape, the first impression, and the anticipation of satisfaction. It sounds like a heavy weight, and I haven’t met a designer who doesn’t thrive under this same pressure. As for the cake? Well, unlike most hierarchies, the power comes from the bottom up, and every layer coming up must successfully complete their tasks for this cake to taste as good as it looks.

So, what does this have to do with inspiration?

Where creative artists can find inspiration anywhere, the baker must find inspiration from within the ingredients available. In the same way, the designer must take in all of the facts, figures, ideas and opinions, and find a way to make from those ingredients a composition that can be mixed, and nixed, and formed into some configuration that will communicate their client’s message in a form that is palatable to an intended customer. So, perhaps I should refine the title of this essay from the statement “Inspiration has many benefactors” to “Inspiration MUST have many benefactors”. That may better describe it.


BRIGHTIDEADESIGN has it's foundation deep in the roots of fundamental communication. Whether it is understanding the graphic styling represented in Soviet-era posters or street-art; or, keeping current in the latest trends on "the Interwebs", we delight in understanding the methods of effective communication and putting this knowledge to work preparing your message... and generating the interest you are seeking.

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