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how to collaborate with and be inspired by corporate event graphic designers

"Not everyone has been trained to be a designer. That's not their expertise. I think if you can just communicate what you're thinking, whether it be an emotion or just a conceptual idea, we can work together and figure it out. It's really collaborative.”
  - Christian Bayonet

Christian Bayonet is one of Proscenium’s long-standing art directors. He not only designs graphics and animations, he makes sure the brand identity is always maintained. He is uncannily adept at finding just how far a company can push its guidelines to be on-brand and still find new ways of expressing itself.

Graphic designers can be intimidating. As Christian put it,

“Oftentimes I've had clients give a disclaimer before talking to me and saying, ‘Hey, I don't know design lingo, or forgive me if I get this wrong,' or 'forgive me if you've already thought about this,' and it's okay. Not everyone has been trained to be a designer. That's not their expertise.”

Christian thinks the key to a successful project is collaboration, and he had some great advice for how to foster a productive working process. Here are the four top ideas I took away from a recent conversation with him:

  1. Design inspiration is all around us. Keep your eyes open from furniture stores, to fashion, to subway ads, and you just might see something you want to reference.
  2. When talking with designers, be collaborative, honest, and transparent. Provide a detailed briefing outlining what you’re looking for, but don’t feel like you need to speak a designer’s language. Just explain what you want, and what the brand needs. Let them translate it into design.
  3. Less is more on a slide. Take some time to declutter words, numbers, and images.
  4. Trust your designer’s expertise. Maybe they can take you to some places you haven’t been before.

Christian uses his design expertise to create environments and surrounds for presenters that enhance their messaging. And, when it’s appropriate, he’s able to push the envelope and design graphics and animations that are as exciting and gorgeous as anything you’d see in a stadium rock tour.

If you want to hear our full conversation, head to the episode page or listen anywhere fine podcasts are found. 

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