Ten principles that guide my daily design practice.

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This Manifesto is the conclusion of almost twenty years of work and hustle. It is the set of rules I use in my daily practice that allows me to decide in which projects I’ll get involved in.

They are not, by any mean, definitives. I expect to continue my journey and adopt newer lessons that, hopefully, will help me to evolve these principles.

If you’re just starting, I hope you find this Manifesto helpful. …

Diez principios que guían mi práctica diaria de diseño.

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Este Manifiesto es la conclusión de casi veinte años de trabajo y esfuerzo. Es la vara con la que mido mis decisiones y con la cual elijo los proyectos en los que me involucro.

No son, bajo ningún aspecto, definitivos. Espero recorrer esta carrera por mucho tiempo más y adoptar nuevas lecciones que me ayuden a evolucionar estos principios.

Si recién estas comenzando tu vida profesional, espero que este Manifiesto sea de ayuda. …

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It’s been a decade since I created my Behance account. This is a story about how fast time pass… especially online.

According to my Behance profile, I registered in 2007 on a day like today.

So, I thougth it would be proper if I write something about the one social media that really changed my professional life.

The first thing I remember about Behance is that you have to be invited to enter and create a profile. I don’t remember who invited me to join the platform, but thanks God it happened.

The timing was also perfect for me. A few month before I heard about their website, I was participating in a design contest that —oddly enough— I won. …

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The most boring question I usually get is about the gear I use in my work.

I get where it comes from. I really do. For some people the gear is important, like an indirect source of inspiration. But still, I cannot avoid yawn every time I get asked this.

So, in order to leave a definitive answer out there, I’ll write down here my tools of mass creation and I’ll update it every time a major change or improvement occurs.

Before we start, I want to share my philosophy behind it.

I love technology but I don’t worship technology. I treat my computer like a carpenter treats his hammer. With respect and determination, but also with force and not in a delicate way. It’s a tool and it should behave like one. …

Diez cosas que tengo que decir porque nadie mas las dice.

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A note from the Author: I tried to write this in English, but the whole conception of this project is tied up with the profile of the Latin American Designer. Especially Argentineans… so, it makes more sense to write it in Spanish. Which is a beautiful language, If you cannot read it, I urge you to learn it. 😊
If you still want a translation, let me kwow.

Un poco de background

En mi escritorio conviven varios post-its con ideas y frases pegados por ahi. El más importante para mi es uno donde se ve desprolijamente escrito: “Remember why you started”. …

Going—or not—to a Design School is just a matter of taste and is definitely not the only way of learning the craft.

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I get that question a lot: —Hey, Pablo… Should I go to college and get a Degree on Design?

My answer is usually the same, “Of course! Oh, wait, we’re not in the 70’s anymore…”

Joke aside, what I’m saying is this: Nowadays there’re plenty of other options. And if you combine them all, the result is a uncountable amount of sources of information where anyone —potentially— can learn.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand the social influence and that false sense of power that a degree can provide. But, when we’re talking about Design, I think every university in the world is overrated. …

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Some years ago I gave a keynote in a “Behance Portfolio Review” explaining the importance of self-promotion and why there’re no excuses to not have a portfolio.

It was a short 20 minutes talk where I tried to put concepts and actions so that the designers that were present had something concrete to apply into their work.

People left happy and everyone took notes. As a personal experience, it was amazing… but I have to confess that I was pretty surprised about the lack of knowledge regarding the subject. Self-promotion seemed to be difficult for some of them.

During my research, I watched other colleagues talk about the same subject and it was very disappointing that none of them explained the importance of self-promoting the work or how/where to start. In fact, instead of providing useful tools to the audience they were really promoting themselves. …

But why?

Because I like experiments and also like to test myself into pursuing different things out of my comfort zone.

First, a side-note. I’m not one of those anti comfort zone maniacs that tell people to do something so unnatural as going against their comfy place.

2 main reasons: I don’t believe that’s for everyone and I don’t really enjoy that being in that state of mind works for me. Sometimes I feel like a creative masochist.

Back to the point.

So in order to push myself in a direction against my comfort zone, instead of creating yet another visual concept (a digital experience, a poster, whatever… my entire career is about visual concepts) I decided to try something else. Something I don’t really know how to do it. A blog. A design blog.

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Help us to free creatives from stress.

Let’s face it. Creatives (any kind of creative people) often think that being stressed or under pressure is normal and sometimes expected in our line of work… Well, pardon my French, but f*#k that sh!t.

Let me ask something to every designer, writer, journalist, photographer and basically everyone who works in the creative business… Do you really think that stress is a necessary evil? And don’t tell me that your “best work” always comes in the worst moments. Because if you really think that, you should add the word “Masochist” to your LinkedIn profile.

Stressful situations have nothing to do with creativity. …

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“Are you gonna bark all day little doggie?… or are you gonna bite?”

Starting something is hard, isn’t it?

And do you know why it’s so god damn difficult? I’ll tell you why, it’s because no one taught us how to focus on something.

“Focus” is a weird concept… it’s hard to explain and it’s probably harder to teach. We all know when we have it and when we don’t.

No wonder we don’t have “How to focus 101" in schools.

But still, we have to do something, right? We can’t start anything if we don’t put our energies in the right place.

That’s why focus is so important… because if you manage it correctly, you’ll be able to create something special. …


“A proper design blog” by PabloZarate™​​​​​​​

Pablo Zarate is an accomplished independent designer and digital art director from Buenos Aires, Argentina. For more information, visit http://pablozarate.com

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