Mark Porter is an editorial designer, famous for the redesign of The Guardian Newspaper. He revolutionised the editorial design of the paper, with the introduction of vibrant and current infographics, full spread imagery and the reduction in size from a broadsheet. It is the editorial redesign of all redesigns, and is a constant reference point for designers to coo and pour over when looking for inspiration. More on the redesign can be found here.
It was fascinating hearing him talk about his time on Colours Magazine which was produced by United Colours Of Benetton, renowned for their controversial advertising campaigns and imagery used to show their views on topics a lot more topical than the latest fashions.
He had so many tips and little bits of knowledge, that when you hear them, you know that that is what you should be doing, and practicing, but sometimes you get so distracted by deadlines, clients and other restraining factors that you forget.
Some that really stood out for me were....
"Always work with people that are smarter than you."
This is something that he learnt from working with Tibor Kalman. The inspiration and things that you can learn from others is limitless.
"A good designer should be an expert."
You should try and research and analyse and find out as much as you can about the project you are working on.
"Design on behalf of your audience, not other designers."
I think we can all be a bit guilty of that one. It is so hard to not get caught up in what we think other designers will like and will say about our work, but it needs to work for the audience it is being designed for, not critics sat behind computer screens typing all sorts of comments and criticisms rather than getting on with their own work.
"Value the content"
Again, its hard to not get caught up on what something looks like, but it needs to relate to the content, and be inspired by it.
"Designers are control freaks"