RGD's Top 10

Love What You Do

by RGD


December 18, 2017

Speakers at DesignThinkers Toronto 2017 share important reminder for creative professionals



Over 1,700 creatives gathered in Toronto this November for the 19th DesignThinkers conference to hear from an inspiring line-up of industry leaders. A common theme across keynotes, trends talks, strategy sessions and panels emerged: to succeed in the creative industry, you have to love your work.


The conference kicked off with designer, illustrator and art director Timothy Goodman presenting his talk, "You Gotta Make a Lot of Stuff Before You Can Make Stuff Like Yourself." Sharing examples of projects he has worked on throughout his career, Goodman emphasized the importance of finding your own voice in your work and being unafraid to try things that are new and personal, even if they haven’t been done before.


Timothy Goodman


Delegates also heard from Design Army’s Pum Lefebure on "Mastering The Art of Seduction," where she illustrated how marketing design can be compared to the act of falling in love: "You have to flirt with, romance, and seduce your audience.”


Pum Lefebure


Beyond loving design as designers, speakers also explored how creative professionals might employ strategies to spread this passion to other parts of our organizations. In "Non-Design Design," senior user experience manager at Sony Playstation Reena Merchant discussed how designers are earning a seat at the strategy table and becoming essential for helping businesses determine what comes next.


Reena Merchant DT2017 from RGD on Vimeo


In her presentation "Building the Love," creative business consultant Emily Ruth Cohen highlighted 14 strategies for achieving long-term success in business, by creating a culture where creativity can thrive and where partnerships are built on honesty and mutual respect.


Emily Cohen DT2017 from RGD on Vimeo


Jeff Greenspan, founder of SideProject, touched on similar themes in his presentation, "Make What’s Important To You Important To Others," reminding us that designers have a unique opportunity to share our own vision of the world and get people thinking and acting in more positive ways.


Jeff Greenspan


For New York Times contributor and author Paul Sahre, the foundation of a successful career in the creative industry came down to the fundamental question: "WHY." His presentation explored the creative professional’s ongoing struggle with this question and how his 30-year career as a graphic designer has taught him what it means to be constantly questioning, inventing and making.


Paul Sahre DT2017 from RGD on Vimeo


The final keynote presentation of the conference came from chief creative officer of i am OTHER, Mimi Valdes, who reminded delegates of the power of authenticity. Sharing projects and defining moments from her career, Mimi illustrated how remaining true to her own perspective helped unlock a flow of creativity that continues to serve her work.


Mimi Valdes DT2017 from RGD on Vimeo


Other highlights included an exclusive In Conversation presentation with Scott Dadich and Ralph Gilles, head of design at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a discussion of some of our favourite title sequences from Pentagram’s Emily Oberman, and many other inspiring insights from speakers on the current state of the creative industry and what might be coming next.


Follow #rgdDT on Twitter and Instagram for more quotes, photos and videos from the DesignThinkers conference.


DesignThinkers Vancouver 2018 will take place May 29 & 30, 2018 and featuring speakers Aaron Draplin, Randy Hunt, Bob Hambly RGD, Ellen Lupton and many others. For more information, click here


The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) promotes professional standards in the graphic design industry and authors a quarterly column on the Applied Arts website.


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