While I won't dive into the debate of whether design is art or not, let's agree that, like art, design is a creative expression, for instance, of a brand. As a creative expression, design holds the power to influence emotions and ultimately shape perceptions amongst those who engage with it. For both art and design, that transformational moment occurs when the piece is being consumed. This moment presents a sacred opportunity. For art, the environment when this happens is usually more controlled, as people intentionally engage with it. However, for design, it gets more wild.
We like to believe that we know our audiences inside out and that we have total control over all their interactions with our brand. But do we? The truth is that, in a multidimensional world, people experience our brands through countless – and ungovernable – combinations of forms and environments. For example, the audience we most care about, the one that we may desperately need, might be looking at us through our website, their social media feed, or an advertisement. They might be on their computer, or their phone, maybe in an airport, or while watching something on Netflix. The possibilities are endless. So, when does the transformational moment occur for design? It happens whenever it happens, so you better be prepared for it.
A significant part of success lies in making the most of the opportunities we are given. Everything that a designer touches should be treated with the idea that, perhaps, just perhaps, their work may be the decisive factor for someone else. Designers own a big portion of first impressions and conversions, and with great power comes great responsibility. By default, always expect the unexpected, and care about every single output and each step of any process.