Collaboration: It’s What Separates Smart Designers from the Apes

When we look back on human history, one of the defining factors for our success as a species is related to our ability to work together. Our capacity to put aside our self-interests and collaborate toward a common good allows humans to make incredible strides that no single individual could achieve.

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Our ape ancestors did not share this ability to cooperate and it wasn’t till apes started walking upright, freeing their hands that they could topple their Alpha leaders and begin to make decisions as a group. This collaborative ability helped evolve apes into more sophisticated hunter-gatherer groups, which would ultimately lead to human societies.
For designers, collaboration provides a creative boost through the shared brain power and experiences of clients and audiences.

  • Collaboration Breaks Free of the Limiting Structure of a Single Voice
    There is a common misconception, particularly in the creative field, that creativity is the providence of “sole geniuses.” But nothing could be farther from the truth. Consider that Michelangelo, Botticelli, or DaVinci had more in common with business owners than lone visionaries, often employing large staffs to help plan and complete the work.
  • Collaboration Builds Trust
    Relationship management is key for continuing the flow of work, and profits, from clients. Designers that form solid collaborative relationships, developing a deep understanding of the client’s need, their audiences, and the environment in which they operate, are more likely to maintain profitable long-term relationships.
  • Collaboration Acts as a Springboard for Designer Creativity
    By understanding how an audience perceives and interacts with the client’s products and services, designers gain valuable insight into which visual styles and messages work best to reach that audience.