Hey everyone! Gabe here from CCD. I’m totally excited to start launching the new content that will include a lot of design theory over the next few weeks. Let’s start with some simple things you can do today to start having a more successful career in design! This is focused on industrial design, but you’ll be pleased to know that most of these tips can help out everyone from interior designers to graphic designers to students that are still finding their way. Let’s jump in!

10 Secrets


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  1. Avoid collecting gallery (coffee table) books. It can be really easy to assume that by surrounding yourself with great examples of design, learning the theory behind great design is going to serve you faster! Aside from inspiration, they don’t offer wisdom. As an alternative, here are five books to get you started:
  2. Embrace the fact that there are about six common goals when you are working on a project in business and more than likely, whatever you’re working on is to answer one of those six goals.
  3. At the end of the day, you are being hired to solve a problem and communicate a solution. Nothing more, nothing less.
  4. Designing an infrastructure is ultimately more profitable than designing the things within it.
  5. “Stuff” doesn’t equate to “Solution”. Sure there are things that help the world, no question about it! But often times, symptomatic design comes into play and companies try throwing manufactured goods at the problem in hopes of making it go away.
  6. It’s not enough to makes something look good, you have to be able to execute. Make sure that the designs that you convey can be executed upon and only make the promises that can be delivered upon.
  7. Dollar stores are never going to be hurting for inventory. Take on projects that make a bigger difference. Look at social causes, activism, and humanitarian aid as a starting point. Once you go down this road, it becomes exceptionally difficult to make that next egg poacher or toilet brush selfie-stick.
  8. This isn’t a guild. But by the way that egos run in any industry, one could understand how it might appear that way. Industrial design, graphic design, interior, etc…it’s all people just trying to plan and execute desired outcomes. Once you get past the media-driven rock and roll lifestyle that is portrayed in design, it is people doing a job. The sooner you get this, the faster you’ll rise.
  9. If you want to see the errors on a model you are making with your hands, paint it black. The black will pick up all the errors. High gloss = lots of contrast on all those errors.
  10. Invest and explore the media that it becomes most easy for you to communicate your ideas and thoughts. At the end of the day, you’re trying to tell your thoughts to your team and client. Make sure that you’re not just buying software because you want the latest and greatest. Make those purchase decisions have intent and meaning! We talk about this a little more in A to B.

What sort of tools and techniques do you use to become a better designer every day? How do you get motivated and stay passionate about design? What other problems do you have in your career that just don’t seem to go away? Let us know in the comments and we’ll look forward to seeing what everyone has to say.

By the way, are you on Twitter or Facebook? Yeah? Us too! Follow us for regular content on design theory, ProTalks, and technical videos that will give you even more ways to #beabetterdesigner. Stay tuned!



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