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7 Tips from Pentagram’s Elliott Walker

IMG_9564Elliott Walker of Pentagram joined #shillony for a guest lecture last month. He enlightened and inspired us with his industry insights and helped our students envision life after graduation. Plus, we were definitely reassured to learn that someone as amazingly successful as Walker had periods of his career where he didn’t necessarily know what he was doing!

Here are seven of our favourite soundbites from his presentation, sprinkled with examples of his jaw-dropping design work.

1. “Surround yourself with people that will give you honest feedback. They need to be able to say ‘this sucks’. That doesn’t mean you suck. But that feedback will make you better.”

2. “Explaining yourself is most of the work.”

3. “Learn how to write, or at least, email.”

4. “Don’t blame the client. The most successful people at Pentagram—the partners—are excellent at being able to navigate interesting or potentially hostile corporate environments whilst still creating work that is beautiful or interesting.”

5. “Design for the present.”

6. “Still one of the most difficult challenges in graphic design is to create a great business card. That’s what keeps it interesting for me. It’s relatively easy to create a ‘good’ business card—but the fact that it’s hard to create one that is great? These challenges or problems are what keeps me engaged in this industry. That I can wake up each day and it gives me something to just chip away at.”

7. “Just relax. It’s only graphic design.”

Big thanks again to Elliott Walker! Make sure you check out his full website and follow him on Twitter.

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