When you see a major rebrand, there’s something you’re not seeing, states Fast Company, including “mountains of meetings; gratuitously annotated feedback from entire org charts; waking up in cold sweats over logo variations; and all the rest of the below-the-iceberg happenings that underpin any overhaul.”
Despite the bounds of commissions and the whims of their commissioners, continues Fast Company, “the best creatives working today still manage to turn out some great things at a consistent clip. And so I’ve wondered: What would such designers overhaul if they had a blue sky and a blank slate? From a logo that has always bugged them to the U.S. tax filing process to any system at large, if budget, time, or practicality were no object, what would they redesign?
“As we kick off the new year, we asked five innovative creative leaders—Abraham Burickson, Alex Center, Pum Lefebure, Debbie Millman, and Forest Young—to find out.”
Below is the response of Lefebure, cofounder and chief creative officer of D.C.-based Design Army:
As a mom of a teenager, I would love to redesign something that places kids as the top priority and makes a societal impact—like updating our educational system. It hasn’t kept up with our ever-changing world, or the digital space’s current underlying issues. Be it TikTok, Instagram, or any platform beyond, the internet puts the power to create, inspire—and deeply hurt humans—in the hands of today’s youth. For many, there’s a huge disconnect between what they post online and the real-life impact on others, themselves, and their futures. Combined with adolescent angst and the pervasive push to fit in, it’s no wonder anxiety and depression are rampant among teens. Rather than preventing kids from using social media, we must prepare them to be responsible consumers and creators of content.
I would make “Personal Branding” a requisite in school—as important as sex education.
Using design principles, I would teach kids that “brand” means being true to yourself. And that self-worth goes far beyond social media. The homework? Brand you. Kids would learn the tremendous power of words and images, and the responsibility required to use all this wonderful technology. I would teach them to take full accountability for their digital space and how it can crucially boost or diminish their reputation—just like a corporate brand. From discovering and embracing their uniqueness to authentically expressing their “brand” story visually and verbally, kids would learn to design their life to achieve their dreams—and ultimately, be the best version of themselves.
As we move forward in 2024 with AI and other new technologies, let’s make sure we’re always humans first. Technology is only as good as the good it does for people.