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  • Writer's pictureedwardjamescoco

Catching up at the end of the year.

November flew past us pretty quickly. Having the Thanksgiving holiday stuck in there always seems to help the month along. I can't believe I was actually busy enough to miss a blog post for the month. So here we are, in December, quickly moving towards the end of another year. I'll save the "End Of The Year Wrap-Up" for another time. We'll stick with a November update for now.

We were in a nice flow to start off November. Events were beginning to pick back up, and clients were beginning to think about how they were truly going to approach creating experiences in this pandemic-regulated environment. Of course all of this hit a brick wall as we approached December; but we won't dwell on that. I picked up a few projects around the Latin Grammy Awards and the American Music Awards. While they weren't huge productions, it was great to get back into the flow of things.

Besides being able to jump back into designing, I was fortunate to be able to collaborate with producers on the development of these events. As we all know, it's a different world out there right now. But there are certainly ways to safely and effectively communicate with our audiences, even though we can't do everything we'd necessarily want to do. I think one of the big lessons that I'm definitely learning through all of this is that you have to keep your approach simple and build from there. It's really not much different from the design process. We're taught, as designers, to create a central theme/focal point/metaphor/etc. with every design. And that construct will inform the rest of the design and create cohesion/unity/comprehension. (Sorry to have to group all of these terms together. Everyone just has a different way of saying it.)

The same approach applies with these events. If you get too far ahead of yourself with complicated devices ("virtual" everything, heavily tech-dependent elements) you lose track of your overall goal. When you start with the goal and make sure that everything else builds from there, you are much better off. You can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels trying to figure out the complicated details, only to realize that they really don't serve any other purpose except to be complicated. As if the complication alone gives them value.

I won't go into any long-winded descriptions of the individual events here in the blog. (Ugh. That doesn't sound like light reading.) Suffice it to say, the clients were pleased with everything because we kept a strong simple message and delivered it in a succinct way. I was pleased because the process drove everything. Things were developed, not just thrown at a wall to see what would stick. And if you know me you know that I LOVE process. Don't get me wrong, there are times when it's great to just "design cool stuff". But in this time of social isolation, I find I really miss the teamwork most of all. When a job pulls together in the end, I've found great reward. Being a child of the 70's/80's I vividly remember the TV show The A-Team. At the end of each successful job their leader, Hannibal, used to always say "I love it when a plan comes together." Yeah, I feel like that. And we didn't even have to shoot rapidly at anyone's feet, or drug B.A. Baracas to get him onto a helicopter. Good stuff.

See you next time!

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