Joe: Our Worst Design Nightmares

October 13, 2020

At Aquí, we take our cuppa Joe very seriously. Rest assured, because the same applies when it comes to design. As avid coffee drinkers, we often ask, “How do you like your coffee?” And as a creative boutique, we like to ask, “How do you like your design?” Joe is a blog segment where we - #TeamAquí - share our design inspirations.

“If something can go wrong, it will,” states Murphy's Law. The adage is not something you choose to believe in, but one that you are forced to come to terms with at some point. The worst things in life have their way of creeping up to you and catching you off guard, no matter how meticulous or prepared you think you are. Today, we explore our worst nightmares - the time bombs that have yet to go off as well as those that have.

It's Never Just a Print Job

“María, just get it printed,” they said. It was a bustling day in the studio and everyone was preparing for an important client meeting. A junior designer then, María was being tasked with a print job at the eleventh hour. You must be thinking: “It’s just a print job!” Well, no print job is ever just a print job. Mind you, it wasn’t your usual black and white printing on A4 paper - it was A1 poster printings in colour.

While everyone had their heads deep in the big event, the last thing she wanted to be was bothersome. María trusted her gut and clicked on the ‘print’ button. “What’s the worst that could happen?” she thought to herself. That question was immediately answered, with posters that were neither in the right colours nor paper. “I’m going to get fired,” was the thought that followed.

“It was horrible, I felt so incapable and stressed out. It was definitely a nightmare and a big lesson learnt – when in doubt, always ask,” María recounted, looking slightly jittery.

Print jobs in general are highly unpredictable. The process can be really painful especially for those in the creative industry. Even the handling of final artwork is really stressful as there is a lot at stake. Make sure to conduct multiple checks before sending to print because there is no going back

The Accidental Copycat

“What if one day you found a logo that looks exactly like the one you have designed?” That is a question that keeps Evelyn on her toes as a designer.

Today’s technology has revolutionized the way creatives find inspiration. There are a myriad of art or designs easily accessible on platforms such as Pinterest, Behance, and many more. As artists or designers continue to contribute to an extensive library of works, how do we avoid plagiarism? Or should we ask: What counts as plagiarism in the world of design today?

“I’ve always thought about plagiarism. It’s very scary because I can’t actually prove the ownership of an idea. In school, my lecturer would always remind us to do more research not just to get inspiration, but to make sure that we avoid designing something that already exists. That is something that resonated with me till today,” Evelyn told us, probably pondering if such cases have happened by accident.

We live in a time where most things have either been tested or invented. With every great idea we come up with, it begs the question: has someone done it before?

Back Up, Only You Can Save Yourself

Literally, back up. The only person who can press ‘save’ and be saved is you. If Yu Ting had a dollar for every file she had lost to a crash, she still wouldn’t be able to get her files back because money can’t buy happiness, and true happiness is knowing that you have back up.

“There was a time when I used to make design changes on the go without having a copy of the original file. Trying to recreate the original artwork off your memory is the biggest time waster, but also the biggest lesson,” Yu Ting reflected, familiar emotions resurfacing.

It’s these little things that get the best of you when you underestimate them. Those who adhere to good practices will always be rewarded in times of adversity. Complacency is the recipe for disaster as whatever can happen will happen. Of course, sometimes these things just happen beyond our control. But how much have you done to soften the blow?

We hate to tell you this, but Murphy’s Law does not discriminate. One good coping mechanism is believing that all things happen for a reason, and that there is a silver lining in every worst nightmare. “C'est La Vie” as María would often say. Nightmares don’t last forever, learn from your past mistakes and try your best not to repeat them.


Joe: Q&A With #TeamAqui


Joe: How We Cope With Anxiety

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