How do clients benefit from creative cross-pollination?
Many designers and larger design agencies make a point of specialising in a certain sector. For example, I’ve worked full time in the past for agencies specialising in the financial services or technology sectors.
Creatively though, I found the need to move around, in order to be stimulated by different subject matter.
How does this cross-pollination between different industries benefit my clients?
Designers are generally inquisitive in nature. A new client in a new business sector sparks curiosity in a designer if they’ve never worked in that area before.
A designer who is given the opportunity to work in a new sector naturally has to ask questions. Ask questions of the client, their industry, what they do, how they do it, why they do it, who their competitors are. Think about it … if this were the twentieth financial advisor I'd worked with, I possibly wouldn’t ask so many questions.
A fresh approach
A client working in sector ‘X’ doesn't necessarily use a designer who’s done lots of work in sector ‘X’. A client might approach a designer because they like the work they’ve done for sector ‘B’. The two sectors probably aren't even related, but a client is looking for a fresh approach. Can a designer bring some of the spark from his or her other experience into working with this new client?
I’m proud of all the work I do, but there’s an extra desire to do a great job for a client in a fresh business sector. If I can prove that I can design well for this new business area, then that’s a challenge conquered.
For a designer, working in different business areas stops them getting stale and keeps the creative juices flowing. It's about being challenged and solving new problems. In turn, this helps keep the standard of the end designs high. A designer who’s excited and challenged delivers better work – sweeter honey!