Good designers are always learning, which is one of our core values here at Proof. Each new project we take on teaches us something new about the inner workings of design and branding, whether we’re partnering with a local charter school, working on packaging for a craft brewery, or creating the brand identity for a new start-up. Every unique problem we solve adds new tools to our arsenal, and by the time we’ve worked through a complex design project, we’re stronger designers, copywriters, and photographers than when we started.
But as we look back on design solutions from the beginning of a project, they can already begin to feel inadequate. No matter how much time, research, or passion you pour into a project, in hindsight, it’s easy to see all the shortcomings and potential improvements, and hard to appreciate the successes and value of a project. But chances are that our clients (and their target audience) don’t see these shortcomings—by the time a project has been fully developed, we’ve worked through a multitude of creative ideas to arrive at the perfect solution that both our clients and their audience love.
Despite this, it’s hard to feel completely satisfied with the outcomes of our creative vision, even though the end user doesn’t know how the potential vision could have evolved. But it’s this constant dissatisfaction that helps us hone our craft and continuously assess how we can make the brands that we develop and work with stronger and better suited to serve our clients and their customers.
At Proof, we use this gap between our creative vision and the reality or restrictions of a project (whether it’s a fast-approaching deadline or existing brand standards) as a tool to help us produce better, more creative design solutions. The best designers know that our creative work is never truly “done”—but we don’t take that statement at face value. For us, it means that we need to be conscious of the fact that the imagery we design, or the words we write never stop working themselves. These details must never stop impacting, inspiring, and motivating the people that interact with the brands we create.
This is the mentality that pushes our team to work hard every day to grow and improve our skill sets, elevate our work, and never get comfortable. With the knowledge that that gnawing feeling of discontent will never truly go away, we use it to propel us forward, rather than hold us back, and continue creating brands that people love.