When Has Taking a Design Risk Paid Off?

When Has Taking a Design Risk Paid Off?

Delving into the world of visual innovation, we sought insights from top creatives on when a daring design decision truly paid dividends. From a Creative Director's proactive campaign that secured a new client to a Head of Marketing's use of augmented reality that elevated brand impact, here are six compelling stories that underscore the value of risk-taking in design.

  • Proactive Campaign Secures New Client
  • Experimentation Drives Captivating Design
  • Immersive Tribute Garden Boosts Fundraising
  • Minimalism Refreshes Vibrant Brand
  • Bold Visuals Promote Inclusivity
  • Augmented Reality Elevates Brand Impact

Proactive Campaign Secures New Client

One risk in our design that paid off was a self-initiated campaign idea that we were not asked to create, but we did anyway—the campaign was for a global client, and the idea revolved around the Olympics. The idea was shared internally and also externally with ex-employees of the company—one in particular gave us valuable feedback and insights into our approach and how we might be able to improve and develop the idea.

Our proactive approach—even though it meant doing work for free—ended up getting us a new client. Someone saw what we did, and that led to an introduction to a new brand. The client still works with us to this day.

So the lesson learned is, if you have an idea—no matter how big or small—develop it, showcase it, and share it with as many people in your network as possible. The risk is worth it!

James Sanderson
James SandersonCreative Director, EverydaySomething

Experimentation Drives Captivating Design

Nearly every day, I find myself taking risks in my design approach. Visual creation thrives on experimentation, and with experimentation comes the necessity to take risks, whether they're controlled or bold. It's through pushing the boundaries of the graphic line that we truly captivate the observer's eye. Without risk, there is no real design.

Luis Pedro Leiva
Luis Pedro LeivaMarketing Graphic Designer, Hatchworks

Immersive Tribute Garden Boosts Fundraising

As the owner of a visual branding firm constantly navigating creative frontiers, balancing client expectations with breakthrough directions, one design risk taken that delivered immense brand and business returns was a dynamic exhibit concept pitched for the largest cancer research nonprofit's annual fundraising gala.

Their tentpole event featured expected themed reception tables and traditional stage programming, recognizable yet relatively tame creatively, as expected for the dignified cause. However, behind the scenes, we felt bolder sensory engagement could amplify fundraising impact and community participation.

Our proposed creative direction envisioned guests entering an immersive garden of illuminated personal tributes - hanging prism sculptures engraved with donor dedication messages, visually symbolizing memories of lost loved ones. As attendees navigated the experiential space, a synchronized light sequence would gently pulse, unifying the collective heartbeats, giving the garden an almost surreal living aura. We supplemented this with related multimedia vignettes honoring survivor stories in their voices.

Despite anxieties initially about whether the evocative direction aligned with expectations, the client greenlit the dramatic concept. In the end, it generated all-time fundraising proceeds through deeply emotional connections, rarely sparked compared to past event templates. And importantly, it spotlighted community spirit, redefining stale event formats powerfully for important causes thereafter.

Stephen Hudson
Stephen HudsonManaging Director, Printroom

Minimalism Refreshes Vibrant Brand

Embracing minimalism in a client's traditionally vibrant campaign was a bold move. Stripping down to essential elements, focusing on clean lines and whitespace, created a striking contrast that captured attention. This risk not only refreshed the brand's image but also increased engagement and sales significantly, proving that sometimes less truly is more. Taking this creative leap showcased the power of simplicity and innovation in design.

Daniel Lynch
Daniel LynchPresident & Owner, Empathy First Media

Bold Visuals Promote Inclusivity

For Caption Easy's latest promotional campaign, we decided to integrate bold, unconventional visuals that broke away from the standard accessibility communications. This risk involved using vivid colors and dynamic animations to capture attention quickly. The result was a dramatic increase in engagement and a broader discussion about accessibility in digital media. This approach not only differentiated our brand but also highlighted the importance of innovative design in promoting inclusivity.

Khurram Suhrwardy
Khurram SuhrwardyCEO, Caption Easy

Augmented Reality Elevates Brand Impact

Taking a risk by incorporating augmented reality (AR) into our digital displays transformed our design approach. Creating interactive AR experiences captivated audiences, setting us apart from competitors. This bold move not only increased engagement but also drove higher customer retention. The success of this innovative design strategy highlighted the power of blending creativity with cutting-edge technology, significantly elevating our brand's impact.

Alex Taylor
Alex TaylorHead of Marketing, CrownTV

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