Designers Speak!


Video Tours of Designers’ Studios

Problem to Solve

The 4th edition of Robin Landa’s award-winning textbook Graphic Design Solutions was about to publish, and my editorial team at Cengage Learning wanted to engage the design talent featured in the pages of the book in an innovative way. What do design students need to know before entering the real world? How can we give them a glimpse of what it’s like to practice design? How can we encourage designers to pursue their passion while still being real about the challenges in front of them?


As usual, budgets were tight. We couldn’t afford to send a video production crew around the US to follow designers around their natural environments. Likewise, flying the designers to Boston was unrealistic for both our timeline and budget. We decided that high production value was neither achievable nor necessary for this project. In fact, the more candid and personal the videos were, the more we expected students to relate to what the designers had to say.


[singlepic id=34 w=300 float=right]Designers are resourceful, creative people. And they love new technology. So I offered to send the designers featured in the text a $200 Apple gift card for a new iPhone or a flip video camera in exchange for creating a video create a video of themselves in their workspace, giving career advice to soon-to-be-designers. What do you wish someone told you before you graduated? What is it like to be a designer in the real world? How did you land your first job? These were just some of the questions to spur the creatives to speak out and be heard by students who really wanted to know how to get their career off the ground. As you might expect, each had their own take on the mission, yet all delivered interesting and thoughtful video responses. The videos were linked to from within the ebook and on the companion website for the text.


It took all day to gather the courage to send an email to design legends Paula Scherer and Milton Glaser. Yet the anxiety was worth it, as the results absolutely exceeded my expectations. Paula and Milton didn’t respond, but 11 fabulous designers from Chen Design, Oglivy, Pentagram, Mad Dog, and SpotCo among many others, were kind enough to create videos for the project.

Here are a couple of my favorites. Watch them for yourself, and laugh a little.


Wendy Constantine: managing media editor

Many thanks to my Editorial Team:
— Sharon Poore, developmental editor
— Clark Baxter, publisher
— Kimmy Apfelbaum, editorial assistant