On some levels, my wife and I are symbolic of “opposites attract.”
She’s quiet, not a party-goer, and has degrees in Biology and Forensic Chemistry. I’m social, talkative, enjoy attention, am a singer in a rock band, and chose a career in a creative profession (graphic design). She loves our dog, despite the attention he attracts. I think the attention he attracts is great (and wish I’d gotten a dog like him when I was single).
So why is it I take a perverse pleasure in the ways I’ve corrupted her? One of the things I find to be an occupational hazard is noticing good design and bad design everywhere. My favorite example is the fact that I can’t watch a movie without critiquing the typography of the opening and closing credits. And now I have her doing it, too. Not that she doesn’t curse my corruption after she mentions that she can’t stand the typeface being used while we’re watching the closing credits of a movie.
Even better, I now get to hear her talking about what a presenter did well (and poorly) when she goes to a conference or training session in a way that sounds more like the way a designer would critique. She even looks at her own presentations differently. My love of good design and design that communicates has become a part of her life as well. Hey, maybe we’re becoming more alike as our relationship grows.
I don’t do this consciously with her, it’s just a part of who I am and how I react to the things around me. And I think the message here is that you can influence the people around you without even trying. So if I can influence my wife to look at design from a different perspective without trying to, how much can I accomplish at work by having similar conversations with my coworkers? We have opportunities every day to influence the way people view design by just discussing both the good and the bad in what we see and what we do. We can influence the culture in our offices by helping each other do better work.
For more examples of great movie credits, take a look at www.theartofthetitle.com.
Video courtesy of vimeo: artofthetitle