I thought as the Chairman of The Dots I’d put some thoughts down on the current crisis. The most important thing is; it will pass. That’s for sure. The next thing to consider is how you and your creativity cope with this lockdown.
The Dots is a community of creative people seeking to share and improve their thinking and work. Whether you’re in full time employment or freelance and every option between. Our strength is our community, please share experiences thoughts and ideas with each other. It doesn’t matter how silly they may sound, they could resonate with someone. One person being helped is worth a thousand silly ideas.
I’ve sort of been here before. In the early ‘70’s as we opened the London office of TBWA we were hit with the 3 day week, candles on conference tables, the country going dark and people declaring it was the end of the world. It wasn’t. But what we found is, those that stayed calm, focused on giving their clients thoughtful advice and ideas on how to navigate this partial shutdown were the ones that prospered most when it was all over.
Creativity is about responding to events in ways that capture the imagination. Can you do that? We used to say at BBH ‘an idea a day keeps the sack away’. Sounds a bit harsh but it was said in jest. But it did carry a useful message. Ideas are the currency of creativity. What can you do to help the people you’re in business with or sharing ideas with? Think about the brands you work with, the companies you’re employed by, the people you share messages with. Do we really need any more instagram pictures of someone’s breakfast or another farting cat video? I’d say no.
Is this the moment to re think a brands purpose? I think it is. Someone said we are now going to see the world as before Coronavirus, BC and after, AC. What will the brands and companies you work for look like after all this? Will they need to change, will they need a new brand purpose? Let’s start the debate now, and share your thoughts. Again, think community.
Yes, please let’s share things that make us laugh, that can be good for our soul, good for our community. But this could also be the time to look at your portfolio, could it be better, could it be simpler, could it be fresher? As I said, ideas will change the world, not a different typeface.
It must be scary if you’re self employed, what help is the Government really offering? I’ve asked John Down our CFO to post the latest advice. And of course anyone who has a clearer view on what’s on offer, please, share your experience.
Use this time for inspiration, we can all learn from others. I love the work of Alan Fletcher, he was one of the founders of Pentagram, great designer with a wonderful sense of humour, take a look at him in great book ' A Smile in the Mind'. Check out Herb Lubalin, one of the world’s greatest type designers. If you’ve got Netflix watch Abstract a great documentary series on creative thinkers. Did you watch BBC 4’s The Age of the Image? Brilliant. Also, watch The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak on BBC 4. The one on Van Gough is so fascinating.
Read as much as you can, not just rolling news, that gets tedious. But articles on philosophy, architecture, business, whatever.
My motto: 'Do interesting things and interesting things will happen to you' also applies to reading...! I've just finished Ctrl Alt Delete, by Tom Baldwin, look it up.
That’s enough from me. In the meantime, stay well, stay good but most of all, stay home.