I’m pretty much stuck in the last millennium when it comes to music. While I’m open to listening to new artists (well new to me at least) I don’t really go out of my way to discover them. Give me Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti and, dare I admit it, Elton John’s Honky Chateau and I’m in business.
But that all changed ever so slightly this summer when a new designer, Rich, joined our team. I’d pretty much describe Rich as the strong silent type. He’s generally quiet but certainly gets along well with the rest of the team, and he’s very focused on his work.
I don’t recall how we got started on the topic of music, but when it turned to groups I really didn’t know about, and specifically The Foo Fighters, Rich perked up. Actually, he became quite animated and earnestly began to delve into the inception of the band, their commitment to pure rock and roll and how they recorded their newest album in a garage, albeit a garage filled with state of the art recording equipment.
It really wasn’t what Rich said that got me to download the entire album Wasting Light, the Foo’s newest collection of music, it was HOW he said it. His passion for the group was so compelling that I had no choice but to seriously give them a shot. Not coincidentally, the band clearly embodies an incredible passion for their music and I now place them squarely in the same league as Zeppelin, The Who, Dave Matthews and Aerosmith.
My point here is that, as in-house designers working in a world of design philistines, we had better communicate that same passion for our profession and the practice of design as Rich expressed about his favorite musicians. Without passion all our design platitudes and rationales will ring false and hollow. With passion, we’ll be able to change the very way our companies perceive of and value what we love to do every day.