Do we take design seriously?

We’re in awe (and horrible shock) that something so hideous could come out of an iconic company. I’m talking about the new logo of GAP, the clothing company. Who would let this happen? Umair Haque, of the Harvard Business Review, takes a stab at the trainwreck in his article, “The Gap Logo Debacle: A Half-Brained Mistake“. Below is our response to his five questions to gauge whether you’re taking design seriously enough:

• Do designers have a seat in the boardroom — or just in the basement? How often does your CEO ever talk to a designer?

Counterintuity’s foremost goal in any endeavor we undertake is creativity. That means creativity in design, creativity in thought, creativity in writing and creativitiy in implementation. We are always having discussions about the look and feel of anything we develop.

• Are designers empowered to overrule beancounters — or vice versa?
Our most recent staff meeting included the importance of empowering everyone, including designers, by asking the question, “I don’t know, what do you think?” It’s played a key role in how we approach problem solving.

• Is the input of designers considered to be peripheral to “real” business decisions — or does it play a vital role in shaping them? Is design treated as a function or a competence?
The aesthetics of a website, of print material, of a logo are the first impression one has about a business. Since that is the case, design is key and we strive to create fresh material that reflects the businesses we represent in a helpful and meaningful way that is unique to them. No one business is the same, and no one look is the same. A cookie-cutter approach doesn’t work in this day and age. Counterintuity’s President, Amy Kramer, has often said to clients, “If you want to look like everyone else, then use someone else.” We approach each project uniquely because no one is the same.

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• Are designers seen just as mechanics of mere stuff — or as vital contributors to the art of igniting new industries, markets, and catgeories, sparking more enduring demand, building trust, providing empathy, and seeding tomorrow’s big ideas?
Take a look at our business card, you’ll realize that our design is much more than mechanics. We used our creativity in design and in actionable writing to create an effective business card that would start a conversation, drive business, and create a lasting impression.

• How much weight does senior management give to right-brained ideas, like delight, amazement, intuition, and joy? Just a little, a lot — or, as for most companies, almost none?
Creativity is key and the only way to produce creativity is to encourage it. In some way or another, we all get kicks out of the little things we see out from others and inside our office. Including… GAP’s new logo.

Does your business take design seriously?

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