I recently watched a documentary about Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli called The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness1. It’s a beautiful movie, and I recommend everyone who has a career of “making things” watch this. No, you don’t have to be familiar with his films, but it may be more interesting if you watch The Wind Rises2 beforehand.
I found myself pausing this movie to write down a few quotes that really struck me. This also happened within the context of a weekend where I happened to be reading a design publication that got me thinking about my own work. The design magazine was, of course, more explicitly focused on my own industry and happened to call out one of my major qualms with working at design agencies in general: they exist to serve big corporations, but the employees within are always dreaming about smaller, more beautiful things they could build.
As seems to be the theme for me this last year, I find myself in an adolescence of design where I’m of course working (I’m an Interaction Designer) but I feel there’s little control over what I work on (projects come from the company of course), and I don’t exactly know what I’d ideally work on. Some inspiration that came out of this documentary was that (1) doing good work, work that you want to be a part of is of utmost importance, and (2) the people you do this with are very important.
- Toshio Suzuki, Producer, Studio Ghibli —
I’ll say this, based on my experience. In your work, obviously, you’ll meet many people. But ultimately, it’s about who you work with. Only those who choose the right people to work with will be able to do the work they want.
I understand they go hand-in-hand, but thus far I haven’t found the two to overlap in one place. I guess that’s what I need to be more aware of, and always seeking out.
- Hayao Miyazaki, Establishing Studio Ghibli —
We’re going to build a three-story studio […] Basically, our foremost objective here is making good films. No guarantees of lifetime employment here.
But companies are just conduits for money. Its success isn’t our priority. What’s important is that you’re doing what you want, and that you’re gaining skills.
If Ghibli ceases to appeal to you, then just quit. Because I’ll do the same.
I haven’t posted here much, and that’s basically because I’m lazy. I’m still here, though!
Quickly now, I’d like to share an article that – in my opinion – has a lot of meat, and all of it is interesting, if you’re a designer.
By Dan Grover
Some highlights include:
Chinese culture doesn’t make a big deal of meeting strangers nearby through social apps.
CAPTCHA utilized on login screens (not just signup flows).
People really do use QR codes!
Moments – Just scroll to this part. I really dig the philosophy.
I see it once in a while (latest Facebook update for example), but it’s not very common that someone has clearly defined placeholder content that doesn’t look like generic grey filler. Sonia Rentsch’s site immediately loads with geometric placeholders in the same color scheme as the rest of the site. In fact, from a first impression I would say that this not-so-subtle graphic element really ties the whole site together. Wink, movie reference, wink.