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If you want to make an impact, you must look beyond the external problem.

July 7, 2020

What makes for a good superhero movie? A dastardly villain, yes, but there's something more there.

The most impactful villains are those who break the foundation of what we deem to be right in the world. Those who go beyond annoyances and challenge the makeup of our existence. Thanos, the villain in Marvel's Avengers, is a ferocious opponent and he can dish out a punch, but he becomes menacing only when he says that life is not valuable and that it doesn't deserve a chance.

By attaching the villain to a bigger, philosophical problem, he becomes someone we as viewers are invested in defeating.

If you want to rally people around your brand, find a common enemy. Not just the schoolyard bully either, find a big one and go after them.

More you say?

Rebels Are Confident

Key pillar number two.

2.18.2020

Be sure to read pillar one before diving into this article:

Rebels are Honest

Being honest opens the door to a hidden superpower: confidence. Because of their honest nature, rebels exude confidence. Why is that? When you consistently tell the truth, you get really good at it. Unlike their deceptive counterparts who constantly have to watch their words to make sure the lies add up, an honest person can speak the truth with the same effortlessness as drawing a breath.

Furthermore, because of their willingness to accept the truth that things are imperfect, rebels can be themselves without feeling the need to impress other people. It's confidence that allows a rebel to say, "I don't have a Ferrari, I don't have 50k followers on Instagram, and I'm not a millionaire, but it doesn't matter to me. I'm still going to get out there and make a difference."

As the old adage goes: confidence is not having everyone like you, it's the ability to be yourself whether people like you or not.

Rebels are honest.

Rebels are confident.

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"Do You Like it?" is a Stupid Question

And you should use this method instead.

5.7.2020

When doing design work, it's important to get feedback. However, the kind of feedback you get will make all the difference. Without beating around the bush, getting feedback that is entirely subjective is gonna end poorly, especially if you're trying to be different. The key is to be objective.

For example, when designing logos for clients, a client will often ask someone close to them: "which one do you like?"

Chances are, the respondent won't like any of them (for irrelevant reasons) or they mask the truth out of fear for hurting someone else's feelings. Either way, the feedback to this question is shit. Always.

Instead you have to think about the goals you are looking to achieve, such as aligning something like a logo to your brand. The best way to do this is what I like to call the binary method. If you know what you want someone to feel when they look at your company, then you can also define the opposite. If you want someone to feel edgy, modern, and sleek (you should define these in your own words, mind you) then the opposite of your goal would be to have them feel safe, nostalgic, and rough.

At this point you can ask, "does this feel more modern or nostalgic?"

Following up with "what makes you feel that way?" since the reasons might be extremely personal. Granted, a logo needs to be contextualized with other branded elements to get feedback on something like its alignment to the brand.

This goes far with getting valuable feedback that you can actual improve from and makes subjectivity less prevalent. Regardless of what design project you're working on, knowing what your goal is and the ability to articulate the opposite gives you framework for getting concrete answers.

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