Experimental Jetset on Union Editions

Fantastic interview with Experimental Jetset. Focuses on design studios and the design industry but loads of good stuff for anyone running or planning to start any kind of creative business. Also some interesting opinions about larger agencies and client work which applies to web developement in much the same way.

Talking about bands, when it really comes down to it, we think that it is ultimately the band model, and not so much the studio model, that really inspires us. A band is such a perfect socio-economical unit. Large enough to have the benefit of shared responsibilities, and small enough for every member not to be alienated from the end product. We sometimes think every human activity should be organized according to this model. Society should be divided in small units, each unit a platform of human creativity, be it baking bread, making music, writing books or curing people.
(emphasis mine, same for other quotes)

We never really understood the point of expanding. As we see it, the reason we exist as a studio is because we have a singular aesthetic/conceptual vision, a very specific language we speak. If we employed people this would mean we had to force this vision upon them, that we had to oblige people to speak our language; we would certainly not want to do that. There’s already too much pressure in the world as it is now; we don’t want to add to this whole system of stress and alienation.

We get offered more assignments than we can handle. We simply don’t see that as a problem; we’re not megalomaniacs, we don’t have to design everything. If a client offers us an assignment while we’re busy working on something else, we simply try to direct this client to another small, independent studio. Ultimately, this whole model, of all assignments being done by a lot of different small graphic design studios, is much more interesting than the model of all assignments being done by a few large agencies. If we see two posters in the streets, we would prefer them to be designed by two different small design studios, instead of one large agency. It’s as simple as that.

The reason why it all became so complicated is because there now exists this whole layer of marketing and communication people who are more or less creating work just to keep themselves busy. So instead of efficiently designing good-quality printed matter, you are now wasting days discussing the order in which the sponsor logos on the poster should appear. That is indeed a shame. But the solution to this should not be the design studio growing, but rather this whole marketing sphere shrinking.