The Future of the Creative Industry


The Future of the Creative Industry with Douglas Davis: Part 1

I am so stoked to be here with Douglas Davis and be able to pick his brain on the future of the creative industry. Author of Creative Strategy and the Business of Design, founder of The Davis Group, professor at New York City College, Douglas wears a lot of hats–all stylish and functional.

There’s a huge disconnect happening right now in the industry and Douglas’s book is a means to bridging that gap.

“Business is annexing design.”

Major brands like GE and IBM are evolving into content creators. There’s a study that shows that these companies are now publishing more content than the New York Times did in their hay day.

There’s a massive shift going on in the creative industry

“Right brain creativity is the spoonful of sugar that makes the business or the marketing objectives palatable to the public.”

Businesses are hiring their own creative staff, but they are still missing the element of strategy and intention. The agency we know now is actually more of a strategic agency and less of a traditional agency predicated on delivering actual design artifacts to businesses.

Injecting creativity into the beginning of a business discussion helps a company go beyond just “making it pretty”. A sound strategy and a sound creative execution is the way to come up with something meaningful on the business side as well as the creative side.

Expectations from clients have changed because of the annexation of design by business.

So what is the future of design?

This shift has massive implications for design education. We have to understand the language spoken on the other side of the brain and design education is going to have to look a lot more like business. Things like analytical thinking, scenario analysis, competitive strategy etc, are all aspects of what design education will need to become.

“Teach designers and creatives how to think, not what to think.”

The very thing business people go to school for, which also qualifies them to be in the boardroom, isn’t shared by creatives.

People have a certain perception of creative people with our tattoos, piercings, different style, and that they are just messing around all day–but by decreasing the fear in the room and increasing the trust, executives are more likely to take creative risks and allow the creative process to truly flourish with the backbone of a strong strategy.

If you want to remain relevant you have to keep up with what’s happening on both sides of the brain. Learning new software and working on your portfolio are important, but so is looking beyond that into the world of business.

If you want to make a career as a creative professional you are not going to be able to do by simply knowing how to work the programs and general design fundamentals.

Activate the other side of your brain and own your place in the boardroom.

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