Last Friday I had the privilege of presenting to the in-house community at the gracious invitation of AIGA Houston. Before I touch on the topic of the talk, I have to thank the Houston chapter for their Texan hospitality. They did a wonderful job of promoting the event, securing a great venue at the Museum of Printing and taking great care of me (a major shout out to Andy Rich my personal host!). I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge AIGA Houston’s commitment to in-house. It quickly became obvious to me when speaking with April, their president, that her passion for design and designers extended to the in-house community as well. Frankly the ball is in the court of the Houston-based in-house design community to join AIGA Houston and accelerate their in-house outreach and programming (yes you, Heather!)
I spoke to the 45+ attendees about all the screw-ups, blunders and goofs I had committed in my career (it was humbling how many there were). It didn’t become obvious to me until a day later that I could pat myself on the back for avoiding the most obvious and critical mistake – letting the fear of failure stop me from taking the risks necessary to be a successful in-house designer.
The stakes are high when, as right-brain problem-solvers who eschew corporate niceties and politics, in-house designers challenge the status quo. It’s very easy, when the overwhelming majority are moving in the wrong direction, to hide behind a monitor and just focus on doing what the client asked. But the rubber meets the road when designers become agents of change and promote the objective, collaborative, rigorous process that is embodied in the practice of design.