In 1998, the United States War College coined an acronym that seems to ideally describe our world today: VUCA, or “volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.”
VUCA was meant to describe situations that military officers might encounter in the field, but it feels particularly appropriate to international relations, domestic politics, civil discourse … and, according to award-winning global creative director Ande La Monica, to the design profession.
Design is a dynamic business: Visual styles constantly shift, of course, but also disciplines merge, strategies evolve, new channels arise, tools get more powerful yet complicated. Design never sits still.
For more than 25 years, HOW Design Live has examined the complex and volatile state of affairs in the industry and helped creative professionals adapt their careers in response. The 2018 event in Boston is again shaping up with this forward-looking vision. The programming team has identified key trends that are driving change in design now and in the near future, including the following:
As the retail landscape shifts and consumers are increasingly buying online, packaging stands in for the in-store experience. Brands recognize that a well-crafted box or wrap can surprise and delight the customer when it’s delivered to her doorstep. And high-quality packaging can catch a buyer’s eye in the ever-more-crowded retail environment. Packaging may be the new environmental graphic design.
Marketing and Design Collide
Design and marketing serve the same goal: to communicate to consumers about goods or services and convince them to buy. But the days of those functions working in separate silos are ending. Marketers and designers are working side-by-side to develop strategy, choose platforms, marry words and images, and track results. But because these colleagues come from different disciplines, they need tools to help them work more effectively together.
Design Means Business
Design has gone from a little-understood, under-appreciated discipline to an essential business function. Research shows that design-led companies outperform those that overlook design. As ‘design thinking’ spreads throughout the organization, designers also need to expand their understanding of key business challenges and metrics to create truly effective work.
Our industry is in constant flux—frankly, we wouldn’t have it any other way—and HOW Design Live is your ideal opportunity to engage, learn, get inspired and prepare your career for what’s next.
Registration is now open for HOW Design Live 2018, featuring The Dieline Conference, along with the all-new event for marketers, HOW Marketing Live. Check out the emerging list of speakers (stay tuned—more speakers and the full program will be announced in the coming weeks), and get ready to shape your creative career.