A New Year, A New Creative Fortune
We are all familiar with the old saying that goes something like this, “Fast, good or cheap. Pick two.” Clients often want it all. Project managers push to achieve productivity and excellence. Account people are prepared to say yes. And the creatives… well, the creatives are the ones tasked with being creative!
We’ve faced the Fast, Good, Cheap dilemma many times over the years. As we’ve grown, projects have gotten bigger, clients have evolved, and our approach to our work has required changes, but we’ve kept one of the three words as the anchor for every decision – GOOD. Good work, good ideas, good process, good speed, good quality, good intentions, good communication and good spirits.
At the end of 2015 we found ourselves in the company of great clients who looked to us as members of their team, partners, and business collaborators – an extension of their vision that helped them achieve their goals beyond budget and time.
So as we approach our 5th anniversary we’ve decided to have some fun and create a piece that shows our version of the Fast, Good, and Cheap model – an inside-out look at how with good process, healthy teams, transparent client relations and solid strategy in place we can, in fact, receive the good fortune to work with smart, talented people on each side who strive for excellence, are open to new ideas, are ready to adapt, and are not afraid to be challenged.
In our version of the old productivity triangle good things come in pairs: good strategy leads to good ideas, short deadlines lead to ingenuity and new outcomes, and small budgets require a creative approach to problem solving (you don’t need to compromise your ideas because you see the world through a spreadsheet). Every client is a good client – even the ones that taught you what not to do next time and even better clients are those who keep coming back and have faith in your ability to deliver, exceed and reinvent.
It’s our duty as creatives to manage the desire to stick with the Fast, Good, and Cheap and formulate a strategy for smart, successful, and unique outcomes within the budget and timeline restrictions.
In this poster we decided to be indulgent, illustrative and expansive with the narrative and the overall look. It was our goal to create a piece that keeps on giving, that draws you in and let’s you discover new things every time. A piece that is beautiful, meaningful and mystical all at the same time. Most importantly we wanted to create a piece that expresses our need to be experiential, experimental and excited. It’s not a piece for everybody – it was expensive to produce, it took time to create and we had a lot of fun making it!
So welcome to our our world of creative fortune. From the holy grail known as the creative brief to the antagonist of timely deadlines – in our minds every part of the creative process plays a vital role. The intricacies and endlessly unforeseeable factors dance delicately together to determine our fate and the project’s fortune. In this world of creative endeavours and business requirements it is all about finding the right balance, uncovering key insights, and transforming the best ideas into real solutions. At the core of it all we can agree that good work takes time, creating good work at great speed can cost more, and let’s just admit it, fast and cheap is not impossible, but it’s usually heartbreaking.
Every good project needs a great brief. The sacred document where compromise is not an option and oversight is deadly. A road map bound for glory. In the midst of uncertainty a brief can crack the code and find the ultimate formula. A formula that can distill a problem down to its most basic elements and set the path for a brand new whole.
The key never lies in plain sight. It is always the darkest before dawn and every project needs a guiding star – those bits of knowledge that spill light and burn with inspiration. In a sea of endless information and noise the ones who can stay on brief will sail above.
In a moment of infinite possibility suddenly it all clicks. The big idea rushes in on a flood of circumstances, information and creative charge, all interconnected to take root and flourish. Brains are firing. Hearts are pumping. A breakthrough.
Long days turn into long nights. Meetings blend into a string of busy. Foggy minds grow blurry and uneased. Tired, taxed, and fighting to find an inspiration – the creative fuel. Free your mind. Keep on pushing.
Blessed are the ones who work hard and know how to save their graces. Was everything backed up? Forgot to save? Disaster strikes when least expected and just like that everything spins out of control.
The deadline – dreaded, cold, unapologetic – a creative’s best friend and the voice of reason. Without end in sight the tweaking, editing, and refining could go on for an eternity. How far one goes in the time they are given is marked by foresight and experience.
We are proud to be a part of the creative community in Minneapolis and feel that at the end of the day we’re all in this together. As we approached the start of 2016 we revisited the tired old ‘pick two’ formula and designed this poster as a reminder that the most important part of the creative process is the ability to find different points of view, adapt and transform. After a day of hard work, when the budget or timeline seem impossible for the size of the idea, just remember that good process, fierce drive and creative collaborators will always lead to quality work.
We hope this piece will inspire others to create great work that defies all odds and also act as a reminder that good things come in pairs.
Cheers to a year full of creative challenges, good clients and exciting projects!
Concept and design by 5IVE with the help of illustrator Jared Tuttle.