All the way from Brooklyn, Deanna Paquette, Digital Director, and Philippe Intraligi, Creative Director at Shutterstock, shared insights about working as in-house designers in such a big organisation.
Their talk revolved around 3 pillars, “know your people”, “know your assets”, “know your community” during which they illustrated how creativity can actually fit in an industry that is perceived as boring and non-challenging.
1. Know your people
One advantage of working as an in-house professional is having quick and easy access to the whole organisation, as everyone is working in the same physical space and an answer is just one question to the desk across the room away. In such a close collaboration environment, the designers are enabled to beta test their products and provide direct feedback to the developers.
2. Know your assets
My personal favourite part of the talk, as many interesting side projects were presented along with background story on how and why they created them. One of them was Spectrum, a tool to search for images based on their overall colour feel, while in Offset, photographs are curated by award-winning photographers and offered to the public with simplified pricing and licensing with global usage rights.
After that there was time for some video action as we got to see one of their latest 20” advertisements featuring animals and a beatboxing music soundtrack (who doesn’t love this combination?). Next in the movie reel was a moving clip featuring stories from Shutterstock contributors from around the world, in a competition to vote for the best.
Other things that they shared were the annual design trends infographic, an arguably creative and useful way to use the countless search data they receive through their platform. Collaborations with third parties were not uncommon, as they provided free images for the Creative Mornings presentations in Metahaus, Berlin.
The last showcase was their blog, an until then neglected asset, which was given the needed love with a redesign and a content refresh, making it grow so large that it now features 5 copywriters in different languages in the world.
3. Know your community
One danger working in this industry is to get easily bored by doing the same things, so cultivating culture by either staying up to date with the world’s latest news or holding events within the community are crucial parts of staying creatively fresh.
Morning talks, like those attended by the famous Swissmiss or weekly get-togethers within design teams are useful events to bring people together. Hackathons, also, provide a nice platform for creating interesting projects — I’m curious, though, to learn which was the project to beat the Google Glass implementation of design tutorials in their latest hackathon.
Finally, Pixels of Fury, an event that was also held later in the same night in Berlin, seemed very interesting: 6 designers competing against each other to design something in 20 minutes in front of an audience with DJs and drinks.
Something like ADC awards, but for college.
Text: Spiros Martzoukos