To be the ‘Rockstar’ creative

I’m writing this listening to Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax’ defiantly sing out of the studio DAB radio. Though it could just easily have been from an IOS or android ‘app’ or even streamed via the web. the song doesn’t know the world has moved on. it comes from a time when none of this technology existed. The medium was either vinyl, tape or radio (though not Radio One in the case of Relax) when it came to listening to music. Even the CD was still but a twinkle in the eye of ‘Tomorrow’s World’.

we all wanted to be the next ‘rockstar’ designer, creating artworks for avant garde bands

It made me reminisce a little of a time (not long after FGTH) when every graphic student had either a record cover or postage stamp design in their portfolio. It was was when we all wanted to be the next ‘rockstar’ designer, creating artworks for avant garde bands or magazine spreads that held social comment between each of its deconstructed letterforms.

A spread from The Face, No 25, May 1982 - Designed by Neville Brody

A spread from The Face, No 25, May 1982 – Designed by Neville Brody

It was a time when art colleges were still nurturing art and design students in the nuances of type and the Mac had only just been embraced by the industry.

And just like todays music, design has become a little too ‘easy’

Today, with the right software and a little knowledge, you could have a music track on YouTube with its own home made video within hours. And just like todays music, design has become a little too ‘easy’. In just about the same amount of time you can create branding, a brochure, a leaflet or a business card. Most of this can be done by just ticking a few boxes. The whole exercise done at arms length. These low engagement outlets churn out stacks of design at really low prices (usually with printing ‘thrown’ in).

But are either of the [music or graphic] products of these going to stand the test of time? That’s actually the question I’ve meandered around to get to.

Throw away design doesn’t last too well, it looks great when it comes out but starts to to lose its lustre quite quickly

I’m really not sure that the latest boy band will be having documentaries done about them in 30 years. I’m also not sure that some of the quick turnaround branding we have today will be held up as being design classics. Throw away design doesn’t last too well, it looks great when it comes out but starts to to lose its lustre quite quickly.

When your focus is to build a brand – relevance, continuity and consistency are key. If done well your audience will remember you and over time will feel comfortable with you. A design you pick up over the web, which gets delivered as a business card probably won’t deliver this.

As for me, I’d still love to be that ‘rockstar’ designer, to design a second album cover (Thank you the ‘Bewley Brothers’ for my first). There’s plenty of time for that (though anyone with a great project I’m sure we can do you a great deal!)! For now, my focus is helping our clients develop great branding to help their businesses thrive (whilst listening to music via DAB or vinyl – as the mood takes us!).


Puur (with Michael at the helm) delivers business focused branding that will last! All our work is developed with the end audience and objectives in mind. Our work isn’t just pretty pictures, our work solves a challenge set by you. give us a call today for a chat about how we can help.

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