Reyes’ first piece of advice was to burn your business cards because titles can be limiting. Reyes says if he had just followed the title on this business card he would just create pretty pictures and never would have gone on to create things like his website Humble Pied.
“When we say we’re just a designer, we only think of ourselves in such limited terms, but there’s so much more we can be doing,” he says. These other things could include writing, programing, gardening and building. “We can do all sorts of things, and none of that shit is on your business cards.”
Reyes says throughout our lives we’ve been told to make things. He flipped this around and decided to take a different approach instead.
“I invited myself to break things,” Reyes says. “This is the process in which we can learn so much more.”
Reyes then showed a clip of advice from Jim Coudal saying the best advice he could give: “Rip something off that you love.” He suggested finding something that speaks to you (whether it be a poster, album cover, etc.) and recreating it to figure out why things go where they go.
“If you break things, oh man, that gets kinda ugly. Well, maybe that’s the point,” Reyes says. Often times, he explained, there’s an unhealthy obsession with designing beautiful things. His words of backwards advice — make ugly things.” Maybe beautiful isn’t always the point,” he added. “Beautiful can be limiting our view.”
Reyes showed a variety of “uglies” from his first design classes. “We used the colors ‘poo,’ ‘pee,’ and ‘boogers,'” he said while showing a poster design for a recycling club. He explained these “uglies” helped him get to the point where he is now. Reyes also says if sites like Craigslist were “all sorts of shiny,” we wouldn’t feel like we were getting a cheap deal. “So if you’re buying six-month-old boxers on a really cool website, maybe it wouldn’t work. But because Craigslist is ugly, it feels like we’re getting a cheap deal.”
4.) Spend less time on things
“How many people work with clients and wish they had more time to work on any given project and wish they could extend deadline?,” Reyes asked. “If you didn’t raise your hand you’re a liar.”
Spend less time on things – Mig Reyes @chicago_cm vine.co/v/bVqV7eZpb7d
As an example of what he could do in less time, Reyes showed images from his Layer Tennis match with Jessica Hische. During the match, each designer had 15 minutes to create designs, which were sent back-and-fourth like a tennis ball.
Projects like this taught Reyes that sometimes your best work could be the work you spend less time on, such as 37Signals’ Basecamp redesign, which took a fraction of the time to create compared to the original site.
“I tend not to plan too far in advance because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Reyes says.
He gave this advice from Carlos Segura: You can’t prepare for the future, you just have to be ready now.
“I think the more you make, the more you have to edit too,” Reyes says.
-“Living normal human lives is what helps me be a better designer, because if all we do is read the annuals and read the books and the Comm. Arts then, all we ever know is the beautiful work and that’s all we ever want to inspire to be.”