By John Matthew Simon
A couple weeks ago my peers and I were given the wonderful opportunity to visit VSA Partners, a design firm in downtown Chicago. We were lucky to be given an extensive tour by partner David Ritter who reinforced the notion that VSA Partners believes in “the beauty and art of good design.”
While touring their offices at 600 W. Chicago Ave. we were generously offered a glimpse into how design-thinking can be righteously applied to branding and marketing, especially in the design centric culture that we currently live in.
Ritter iterated that organizations, specifically those who are perceived exogenously as one thing by their customers or the greater public but wholly embrace another image of themselves, do not “need to change who they are.” Rather, as I understood it, they have to personalize the connection to their clients and personify who they are as a company by projecting their internal culture. In other words, empathize with your customer.
My cohort and I were fortunate to be given a glimpse of the expeditious pace of the design world where authenticity is paramount and ideation a premium for tackling tough problems through research, experimentation, and empathy.
As Ritter stated, “the greatest thing about our job is there’s always a better idea.” This adage was and remains representative of the potential of people when given a task that appears insurmountable. We can succeed if persistent, forthright, and freed from “the window(s)” that are the screens in our lives.
Ritter insisted, you have to free yourself and your work from the confines of the digital realm to allow your ideation process to flow organically.