Learn the Art of Design Bullshitting

Craft a compelling story about your work, and if that fails, you better know how to wing it.

Jeffrey Bates
The Startup
Published in
4 min readJul 31, 2020

Learning to speak about your work with eloquence while engaging the audience is one of the essential skills designers can learn. They should be able to craft a compelling story that incorporates your rationale and meets the criteria of the project brief.

Wax poetically

To succeed in selling your design work during pitches, you need to learn how to positively and optimistically speak about your ideas. There’s still a bit of mystery to what designers actually do. Come prepared with a compelling story about your vision and use emotion to speak about your work, and they’ll be eating out of your hands.

A clear blue sky.
Photo by ARTHUR YAO on Unsplash

Before going into a design presentation, I always write out the story I’m going to tell and then practice by doing dry runs of my pitch. Consider the outcomes of the following two statements about why you chose the color blue.

  1. The possibilities and opportunities for your business are limitless. I‘m using this particular hue for your brand because it represents the vast optimism and openness of an endless bright blue sky.
  2. I know your company is dull, risk-averse, and you think you’re going to become the next Facebook, or maybe LinkedIn. I tried to find an available shade of the most ubiquitous and over-used color in the tech world.

Both statements might be accurate, but one will land you “limitless opportunities,” the other will get you shown the door.

The art of bullshitting is knowing when to spin the truth, not into a complicated web of lies, but a smooth silken net that captures hints of truth then glistens when the morning sun hits the drops of dew and sparkles like magic.

A spider web with drops of dew clinging to the web.
Photo by Diana Orey on Unsplash

Uh oh, the CEO just dropped…



Jeffrey Bates
The Startup

Highly experienced creative director writing on design thinking, sports, and life. Design: | For fun: