A Lesson All Designers Can Learn From Jay Z and Kanye West.

by Calvin Cox on September 2, 2009

Today as I was driving home, I heard a song on the radio by Jay Z. Just when I thought that I had heard every record Jay Z will make, and signed him off as a rapper that had his moment, he came out with a collaboration with Kanye West and Rihanna called “Run This Town”. A song and video that pulled me right back to bobbing my head to the music and feeling like Jay Z just got his swagger back.

As designers we have an advantage over many other professionals. We have the ability to completely lose ourselves in the imagination of possibilities, chase our creativity to new horizons, and seek new inspiration from the tiniest things. But even when that fails, we still have our creative colleagues to help us out.

Collaboration is becoming more and more important as we find ourselves surrounded by a world of talent. Yes, there are those that create genius by locking themselves away from the world and in 3 month produce miracles, but I’m guessing that they are in the minority. In my experience the best design work usually comes from the synergistic collaboration of the right creative design team.

As freelance designers, it can be hard sometimes to brainstorm when it’s only you and the voice in your head at the round table. Try to find three to five creative pros like yourself whose expertise is different from yours and start building a killer A-Team to work on new design projects.

Competition is fierce today. Customers have many options to choose from. With everyone looking to be successful, the demand for quality and the bar for perfection have risen. You have to be effective, efficient, and frankly… damn good if you want your customers to talk about you or continue to give you new business.

Creating that shortlist of your top talents can lead to many new opportunities and design projects that may not have been possible otherwise.


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