Drive-By Design

Jay Owen Business Tips Leave a Comment

Vrrroooomm! That is the sound my car makes as I pass a local bike shop on my way back home. As I glance out my window I notice that this store could use a design upgrade. The signage out front is disheveled and worn, and the logo is portrayed as a simple block-letter typeface. I could just chalk this up as a loss for local business and continue jamming out to my radio…but it’s too late. My mind is already working to provide a solution that will enhance their logo brand. With my gears in motion I start the problem-solving process with a few questions:

1. Is there room for improvement in the overall design?

2. How can this store better communicate what they offer?

3. Is there a more effective way to appeal to their target audience?

This exercise is really a great way to keep your creative mind sharp. Many times, I will follow up my thoughts by recording ideas onto my mobile phone and then putting them down as sketches when I get home. Obviously, this can be practiced anywhere you choose to roam..like the grocery store, the mall, or just out at a restaurant. I have also found that the more I practice this method, the more improvement I see in my everyday design work.

There is a massive need for better design, and it can be seen just about everywhere. But wait, the fun doesn’t stop here! I would also encourage you to reign in those drive-by ideas and bring them to that business owner’s attention. After you have finessed the design mockups, have them ready to present with a price in mind. This is your creative work, after all. Some owners will have the attitude that they don’t need your design, and they have been “getting by” with what they currently have for quite a few years. If you have already defended your work and explained how it could improve their brand, then just smile and walk away with the knowledge that you earned some valuable practice. Trust me, if your design work is solid, then you will eventually meet the business owner who is impressed enough to not only buy your new and improved design…but will also have you do all their future work, too. So keep your eyes open…and your eyes on the road (if you are behind the wheel)!

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