Design team lead @ Shift 4 Payments

Micheal Wolff, the co-founder of the best branding company in the world Wolff Olins, talks about inspiration and creativity.

1. The ‘room of great work’

Inspired by other creators. “I found that I couldn’t create in the room of great work, I could only copy,” says Wolff.

2. The ‘room of reason’

“I couldn’t create in the room of reason because it steered you into mediocrity, it steered you into satisfying to many people. I think that if work is utterly reasonable, it’s probably going to be boring”, adds Wolff.

3. The ‘room of precedent’

Here’s where designers do what’s been done before but only slightly different. …


“Make the sky green” — was my client’s feedback. Sometimes designers receive very weird requests and feedbacks. How should you handle them?

Manage design feedback. Boxer with gloves
Manage design feedback. Boxer with gloves

Here’s a video version of this article.

“The green sky” story

So once, about 14 years ago, the client asked me to change the sky color to green. Without the context, that sounds a bit crazy. Even knowing it, most of you will find it strange. This was a huge corporate website. The team had worked on it for 4 months already, and we were close to ending the project when this request came up.

To keep the story short, after hours of negotiations, we defined the reason behind this request: the sky is blue, the client’s color is green, the competitor’s color is…


How many times you’ve made a great, well-thought design, that solves the business goals, meets the user expectations, looks great… and it was dismissed by your client? Like really, shouldn’t the Good design sell itself? Isn’t it obvious at first sight?

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Video version of this article

I have bad news for you guys. Design can’t speak for itself. You do. It’s part of your job, to sell your design. You don’t need to be a salesman, you just need to know how to present and explain your work.

Being a great designer is not just about crafting great designs…


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Here’s a video version of this article.

There are only two words that will always lead you to success. Those words are yes and no. Your days are filled with a constant stream of decisions. To be precise, according to the Columbia University study, at least 70 per day.

Theodore Roosevelt once said:

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing“

It frightens me a lot that so many important decisions that I’ve made in my life were based on my intuition. Additionally…


Do you know what customers go through to buy your product? Do you consider your business process human friendly?

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Here’s a video version of this article.

I’ve seen companies, full of bright people too focused on internal processes and technology and this is evident when customers interact with their various products, services and employees. These companies and teams need a change in viewpoint — they need to step into their customer’s shoes, and understand the forces that shape their preferences and decisions.

Steve Jobs once said:

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology”.

The notion of “starting with the experience and working back toward the technology” is a key part of being…


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How to make your work on time and budget? How to boost your efficiency? How to use your time to reach the most impressive or valuable results?

My video about “Good enough design”

Understanding when to put your pencil down is a real challenge for designers. As a designer, you have to ensure you are paying attention to the right details and when a design is, well, good enough.

Sometimes designers are trapped in the limbo of pixel pushing. I remember myself spending hours and hours refining every pixel of my design without any Breakthru. I was burning my time…


If you do good work, you get good work & good things come to those who wait — right? I have incredibly bad news for you — not always.

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Don’t be design Hachiko

You were told that making was enough and each happy client will bring you new prospects. But what will happen if… you won’t like them? What if this whole “happy client” network will trap you in a “crappy client” referral system with small budgets and projects that nobody cares about? What will you do?

Face it, sometimes you will work on the projects primarily to keep the lights on. The bad…


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“Design is…” — usually, definitions are long, boring & abstract constructed of many pronouns, conjunctions and indefinite articles. Definitely the most designers (including myself) will include word “solution” to their definition. We love to mix the art and business keywords, link immeasurable (happiness, beauty, empathy) & measurable (performance, money, time) gains that our job brings to our clients. But… how designers fits into the business world? Are we renegades of business? Or art?

“Looks Awesome!”

Today “good design” is an aesthetic imperative, and everybody from slackers to yuppies carefully “curates” their outward appearance. The issue is that when clients talk about “design”…


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For the last 14 years, I’ve been helping my clients to reach their business goals by building top-notch web services, websites and apps. Indigo kids, company that I’m lucky to co-own, have partnered with great companies like MTV, Oriflame, Philip Morris, Tele2, and Swedbank — as well as countless start-ups, local companies, individuals. Through attempts and failures, we’ve learned how to understand people‘s expectations and how to deliver great user experiences. It was so tempting to create our own startup…

Like, seriously, I’ve been talking and thinking about this for such a long time, but there’s a world of difference…


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I’m sure many of you had experience how hard is to plan your wedding, even harder to find a local trustworthy and available provider for this event. You need to spend hundreds of hours till you find all those pro’s that will create that magic moment the way you want it. Helpin addresses that problem. We help women to find immediate help with a wedding planning. …

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