This is the second in a series of interviews with the people who power Motion Metrics (you can read the first one here). We’re a diverse and tight-knit team of innovators – and although we love downing waffles and talking trash at the foosball table, our real passion lies in driving industry change through leading-edge technologies. Today, we sat down with Marjan Kargar, our Graphic Designer, to talk about the intersection between design and technology.
What makes graphic design such a valuable tool?
Graphic design is a universal language that enables companies to communicate with people from all countries and cultural backgrounds. From the moment you wake up in the morning, you see graphic design – from food packaging, to the posters you pass on your commute, to each storefront design. A good image can convey a message to anyone in the world.
What is the most common mistake that technology companies make with graphic design?
A common mistake that technology companies make is to gravitate towards design that’s safe, predictable, and universally liked. But innovation isn’t about doing the same things that have already been done – it’s about convincing people to try something new, that they don’t necessarily want, because your idea is so good that it will change their minds. It’s a graphic designer’s job to create visual art that will challenge the status quo – it might be uncomfortable, but you should trust your creative team to do that.
What element of good design might surprise a layperson?
Good artists resist the urge to overdesign. Most laypeople want to tell the whole story in an image, but that’s not interesting. An effective design will communicate your value proposition and call-to-action without giving everything away. This is one area where you can’t trust your instincts – to leave your viewers wanting more, let go of the need to say everything in a single image.
You’ve advertised the same portfolio of solutions for several years. How do you keep things fresh?
The good thing about working with the same concepts and materials is that you have time to develop a deeper knowledge of the product, so you’re able to revise and refine the style through many iterations. New ideas come from learning new things about the product you’re advertising.
Marjan is the creative mind behind all our graphic design.
What do you think technology companies can learn from the arts?
Technology companies are very results-focused. They move quickly and prioritize research and development. This perspective has obvious merits but can result in missed marketing opportunities. Ultimately, we’re selling to people and we need to take the time to connect with them through visual imagery. Technology companies sometimes forget that when they’re rushing to bring a product to market ahead of their competitors.
What kind of job opportunities exist for creative types in technology?
There are a ton! Web developer/designer, visual designer, UI/UX designer, augmented reality designer, art director/creative director, content marketer, game designer, multimedia artist/animator, mobile designer, product packaging design, etc. The list goes on.
What advice would you give to creative folks who would like to work in technology but don’t have a technical background?
Above all, you need to understand the principles of good design and be able to explain and justify your decisions.
Marketing teams interact with every department in an organization – from research and development to sales and support. And since everyone can participate in visual art, your colleagues will all have an opinion about your work – even if they don’t have any expertise in graphic design. So, be prepared to have your ideas challenged; if you can communicate well and convey expertise, your coworkers will trust your judgement.
It also helps to know basic website maintenance – simple stuff like HTML and CSS. Since a lot of technology companies are start-ups, basic knowledge of related skillsets like video editing is also useful. You’ll be a jack-of-all-trades.
Marjan Kargar has been with Motion Metrics since 2015 and is our Graphic Designer. She holds an M.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Tehran in Iran.