Living in a city of architectural wonders does lead to complacency. How often can you appreciate the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe (and Louis Sullivan and … ) – when you ride past them every day?
That feeling changed with our weekend drive on Lake Shore Drive. It synched up the relationship – more than just design/style - between what we do and the skyscrapers and Prairie homes we love. The connection is deep, and more than visceral.
The elegance of, say, a Robie House or the 860-880 North LSD condos resides in its position within the environment. Wright was a firm proponent of the organic, one of the first sustainability advocates. And van der Rohe, a fan of architectural clarity within a free-flowing environment. Both, as pioneers, were extremely particular about their style, their designs, and their final “outcomes.” Both edited their work, and those of their disciples, ruthlessly.
Lately, that editing process, in our minds, is what the creative community frequently misses. We expect back and forths within our teams and between us and our corporate clients. We anticipate that these conversations will change copy, creative, and meaning, all to better represent the culture and the brand and meet agreed-on goals. We also know that changes reflect a very human desire to leave a personal mark. So when it’s complete, the medium – a video, Web 2.0 tool, brand identity, collateral – becomes part of a larger whole, ready to change behavior, ramp up revenue, or attract new clients.
But will it? Has it been refined enough so the non-designer, the “end user,” our friends and family will get it? Can we somehow recruit a Strunk & White to every team, client and consultant, to say it simply and compellingly? Let’s take our egos out of the equation, and delete extra colors and additional images. Not to mention extra sentences.
Less is more.