20/20 Design Trends

While none of us had 2020 vision for what this year would bring, there’s no denying that – even in the face of a global crisis – creativity always prevails.

In lockdown, all we had to distract and entertain ourselves with our social media, streaming xservices, online shopping, gaming and video conferences. Our US Election campaign was forced online, movies were released straight to iTunes, and Amazon reported North American sales were up 29%.

So what are the trends that are emerging as of mid-year?

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Conscious Leaders with a Heart

You might think that crises tend to bring out the worst in people. But in fact, crises cause us to view leaders as more charismatic and effective than we normally do. The Harvard Business Review just shared in the article, “How CEOs Can Lead Selflessly Through a Crisis” that CEOs have been stepping up to support their employees during this pandemic.

For example, even though all of Patagonia’s stores are closed, CEO Yvon Chouinard has announced that the company will continue to pay all employees, leading some to conclude that the values-driven organization will survive the pandemic while other organizations will fail. Other CEOs who have committed to no layoffs include Hearst CEO Steven Swartz, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Visa CEO Alfred F. Kelly Jr., and FedEx CEO Frederick Smith, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins.

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The Cost of Bad Design

In 2003 Nokia designed the strangest looking phone, Nokia 7600 which looked like a teardrop. This phone had a standard size screen for that time but figuring out how to hold this phone or fit into your pocket was a great labyrinth. Single-handed texting on this phone was out of the question. Plus it had excessive weight with a very poor display. No doubt this product was a huge flop. Through the years Nokia has lost its market and this can be credited to designing such inconvenient handsets to some extent. Bad designs hurt your business. Maybe you don’t see the effects right away but in the long run, you will realize that you are losing customers. If the customer does not know how to use your product they will find an alternative to it. If your designers are not prototyping and testing their design that leads to bug fixes in the development phase or even worse in production which cost 10 times or 100 time more respectively.

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(re)ignite your Brand

Recently I spoke to a group of entrepreneurs at a 2-hour workshop designed to educate, inspire and help them understand how  to approach building a powerful brand from the inside out. This event was hosted by Marketing and PR expert Robin Samora.
Attendees learned . . . 

+ About crucial brand building elements

+ How to look at Your Brand Purpose and how you are different

+ How to imagine what Your Bold Vision may or may not be

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Mentor and leader

Laura is a great mentor to her students and pushes them to produce professional level work because she understands current trends in the profession.
Andrea Brenner — NEIA colleague

Teaching Package Design and Advertising Design this Semester

Teaching Package Design and Advertising Design this Semester
Although my career path began as a graphic designer in the corporate and NY agency world, I have been fortunate to integrate teaching at the college level the last 9 years along with having Agency Bel. As a part-time faculty member at the New England Institute of Art, in Brookline I have taught diverse graphic design-related courses (42+) and interacted with an average of over 700 students of unique backgrounds over that period.

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