7 Habits of Successful Designers

Web Designers, Fashion Designers, Car Designers, Graphic Designers, Interior Designers, Interaction Designers, Interface Designers… designers are everywhere today. Every product, every service and every industry has a bit of ‘Design’ that’s breathing life and beauty into them. Making them more presentable, more acceptable, more usable and of course lovable.

Though they are a plenty of designers in every industry, only a handful of them succeed to reach such heights which will become new benchmarks for others to aim. And it’s not just their design skills and creativity that gets them there. It takes a lot more than that; it takes discipline, dedication and a few habits that are ingrained into one’s lives. Here is a list of such habits that every successful designer has in this ever-changing and out-of-the-box industry.

1. Successful Designers manage their ‘Precious Time’
If you have to be a successful designer, firstly you must know how precious time is to you and your clients. Successful designers plan their day, set realistic deadlines and make sure they meet those deadlines without fail. They also multitask and precisely know how many projects to focus at a time. Also they keep distractions like music, social media and emails away when they work. Lesser the distractions, sooner you complete your work!

2. Creative Designers ‘Chill’ on a regular basis
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mean to say they just relax on their bums. But, creative designers know when to put their pencil down and take a break from work. Design is a creative field and it demands you to think creative, think fresh and think ahead of time. Creative designers don’t get fixated on a particular problem for hours. Instead they take a break, distract themselves and get back to it with a fresh approach. Remember, first time’s not the charm in Design!

3. Successful Designers constantly ‘Update’ themselves
Design is a very volatile industry where change is inevitable and rapid. If people’s mindset change, a designer’s mindset has to change ten folds to correspond. Successful designers always keep track of the booming industry, new trends and outdated methods. Be it the design style or the design software, they keep track of everything that’s happening in the industry, know what the newest fad is and always like to stay ahead of others. They are humble to accept change and are always keen on learning more.

Keeping Updated

Keeping Updated

4. Great Designers constantly ‘Improvise’ their skills
If you want to be a great designer, the first mistake you must avoid committing is ‘assuming that you have the finest skill-set that needs no refinement’. No designer is perfect and no matter how successful you are, your design mindset needs rework, refinement and a new approach to stay alive. Great designers always maintain a design portfolio, document all their best works and strive to out master their own works.

5. Successful Designers keep their ‘Network’ big
In order to survive in the design industry you need to have a lot of contacts, either contacts who are potential clients themselves or contacts who can introduce you to your potential clients. The phrase ‘more the merrier’ holds true in this case as the more people you know, higher the reputation among like-minded individuals. However, one must know when to say ‘Yes’ and when to say ‘No’, because not every project is crucial to success in the design industry.

People Network

People Network

6. Successful Designers ‘Listen’ and ‘Accept’ healthy criticism
It’s usually easy to judge whether a design is good or bad, but it is not easy to come up with designs that will please everybody. First of all, successful designers take out the illusion of ‘perfection’ out of their heads and heed to their critics. They try to take the best out of any criticism and see everything under a positive light. However, successful designers are also good orators, who can convince people and also explain why they should be convinced.

7. Successful Designers always design keeping their ‘User’ in the mind
The purpose of design has always been simplifying life through innovative ideas. Design on a broader perspective is not about patterns or colors, it’s about the usability of a product or service and crucial it is to mankind’s growth, based on its function and cost. Successful designers always make sure to keep their user’s preferences as the underlay to design anything; simply put they always put their user ahead of their design.

Functionality of Design

Functionality of Design



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Future Car Design Trends

Starting their journey in the 18th century, cars have become a part of human culture and civilization. It is very hard to ignore the contribution of this wondrous automobile to the world we live in today and the feats mankind achieved over the past two centuries using them. Cars have been evolving ever since their inception, be it the efficiency of the engine or the speed, functionality or design, every car aspect has underwent numerous iterations and has seen many benchmarks and ultimatums. But car manufacturers never seem to settle down and with easier access to technology today, evolution of cars is taking place at a faster pace than ever.

In this article, we are going to focus only on the design aspects of a car and predict the future car design trends that we are going to see in the cars of tomorrow.

1. Broader, Lower and Lighter
Yes, cars of the future are going to be broader, lower and lighter when compared to the cars today. With fully-automated, self-driving cars not being science fiction concepts anymore, designers will be emphasizing on spacious and comfortable interiors where passengers can relax and rest while the car can drive by itself. More and more low ride cars are going to be designed to improve the car’s aerodynamics, speed and performance. Unnecessary chunks of interiors are further going to be removed making the interiors more spacious and also improving the power weight ratio by making the car lighter.

Spacious and Smart Interiors

Spacious and Smart Interiors

2. Panoramic Roofs and Double Doors
Though this particular design movement has already begun, we are going to see a lot of cars with extended window lines and transparent roofs. Considering the concept of automated, self-driving cars again, panoramic roofs made of strong, unbreakable glass can offer excellent views of the outside world to the passengers within and also add the illusion of a spacious interior. Also, we are going to see a lot of double door car design as opposed to a four-door vehicle. However these double doors are going to be swing out, thus occupying lesser space and still providing the full functionality of a traditional, four-door car.

Panoramic Roofs

Panoramic Roofs

3. Aggressive Headlights
With every car adopting an edgy, sports car design today, it won’t be late when we see headlights that are too aggressive to look and too bright to stare at! With headlights being one of the most important design aspects of a car, sharp and aggressive looking headlights are soon going to replace the wide eyed, oversized headlamps of today. While traditional headlights drain out a lot of battery power on long trips, newer technologies like LED lights will consume less power and emit stronger lights for longer durations when compared to their traditional counterparts.

Aggressive and Sharp Headlights

Aggressive and Sharp Headlights

4. Smarter Interiors
Probably the greatest bet on the future cars is the integration of smart technology and bringing internet on the wheels. Be it the heads-up display windshield which displays all the information about the car and the surrounding or a voice-activated speech-and-response system that gives the driver the power to control all the operations of the car over verbal commands like Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Now… designers will have to work a lot on creating smart interiors to accommodate these systems that are interactive and responsible for their actions.



5. Hybrid Cars
Though all electric and self-driving cars prove that the future is brighter than ever, it is too soon to expect cars to drive by themselves and run long on batteries. Most of the car manufacturers believe this is still a matter of 10 years and we are only going to see such cars in the market somewhere between 2020 and 2030. Hence car designers have to come up with future car concepts that are a hybrid of the existing cars and the projected futuristic cars to fill the 10 year gap. Cars which can have both plug-in electric and diesel power sources and manual cars which can be allowed to park themselves occasionally using cameras and sensors.

BMW i8 - A Luxury Hybrid Car

BMW i8 – A Luxury Hybrid Car



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The Future of Design As We Know It

Steve Jobs was more a visionary than a businessman. And when Bill Gates, his long-lasting counterpart and competition was asked the one difference he and Jobs had after the latter’s death, Gates said something like this – ‘He had a design mindset while I had a coder’s mindset. Considering the little engineering background Jobs had, it was his sense of design that made Apple what it is today’. Design!

Design is that universal language which everybody understands, which surpasses the boundaries of age and time; a language which gives ideas a shape and structure. In the world that we live in today that is so abundantly driven by technology, design has its own story to tell in every product/service that we see. Design like any other human trait is evolving over time and the future of design as we know it, is just spectacular. Though the world is more and more inclined towards technology, without design that technology is neither relatable nor functional.

So what is the future of design? How will design shape future businesses and influence our future lives? What changes is design education is going to see in the future and what is the scope of design in India? Here are a few points to answer all these questions.

1. Designers Will Be the Creators of Future Ecosystems
It is designers who will be responsible for analyzing the human behavior and designing ecosystems that will challenge the future generations to innovate, explore and push their creative and emotional boundaries. Designers must work with data scientists to analyze the large chunks of data that digital devices and internet are creating to meet the functional and emotional needs of the user. With baby boomers and millennials being the prime users of these future ecosystems, designers are in the right time to document their behaviors today and envision a future for them tomorrow.

2. Design and Technology Will Come Closer
Well the lives we live today might already seem a technology overload to a few, but as long as human imagination prevails, technology will catch up to make every imagination a possibility. But what good is technology if mankind can’t relate to it and finds it hard to understand and respond in turn? Designers will have a huge responsibility to find new ways to integrate automated systems and complex technologies into our lives without disrupting our very human nature. Designers who come from engineering backgrounds will have a key role to play in this regard.

3. Sustainable Design for a Bespoke Audience
In the wake of increased pollution and global warming, designers must focus on creating ecosystems that are not just functional but also sustainable. More and more businesses are embracing a business culture that is environment conscious, which means there will be more scope for renewable energy sources and recycled products. Also the coming generations would break the path and be creative rather than be submissive and blindly accept a trend. To summarize, designers have to focus on a bespoke audience rather than a global audience and design ecosystems that are technology driven yet sustainable.

4. Businesses Will Need Designers More Than Ever
Businesses of all kinds will need designers more than ever as design is what makes innovation and change recognizable. To cater for the ever-changing mindset of a global consumer, businesses need to constantly innovate and only simplified and interactive design can come to their rescue. With the advent of internet as the media of this generation, businesses are already revamping their marketing and advertising strategies and a lot of designers across various platforms are needed to execute these strategies. Hence there is a great scope for designers in the coming future.

5. Rise of Self-Educated Designers
Internet has proved to be an effective medium to impart education and considering the rate at which online courses and tutorials are gaining importance, universities and colleges will soon turn obsolete. Especially in the world of design, the new generation of designers feel universities generalize talent and limit the boundaries of their skills and imagination. Hence the design industry is going to see a lot of young and self-educated designers who will prefer online communities over universities and skills over degrees.


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From Engineer to Designer: How to Do It in 7 Steps

Many Engineers take up Engineering in Automobile and Mechanical streams with dreams of becoming a car designer and stylist but the typical engineering college or university syllabus is not suited to train them to become professional Car Designers. Here are 7 easy to follow steps that can help you go from an Engineer to a Designer.

1.Do you really want to be a Designer?
Ask this question to yourself a thousand times before you make the big plunge into the world of design. There’s a lot of difference between being interested in something and being passionate about it. Take your time to decide if design is your passion or just a subject of interest.

2.Evaluate Yourself
In order to know where to begin you need to know where you stand. Compare your sketching and design skills with that of the industry’s best and judge for yourself how good is your aptitude for sketching and design.

3.Learn to Sketch
Sketching is the most fundamental skill you need to have as a designer and in order to refine your skillset, doodle and sketch on a regular basis and always be on the lookout for online tutors. For example, if you are interested in car design, follow YouTube tutors like Scott Robertson, Sangwon Seok, Driven Mavens and for more, consider joining a sketching and designing course such as Launchpad’s ‘Diploma in Car Design’ program. Get tips and guidance from experts on how to sketch quickly and flawlessly at the same time.

4.Build a Portfolio
A portfolio is the collection of your best sketches, artwork and designs; and the only asset you have as a designer which speaks for you and your designing capabilities. Be it higher studies in design schools or designer jobs in design studios, a good portfolio is your ticket of admission.

5.Upgrade Your Software Skills
Computing has revolutionized every possible field and design in no exception to this. Familiarize yourself with all the software tools a designer needs to be aware of such as Photoshop, ALIAS, CAD etc. and try to master at least one or two of them before going professional.

6.Connect with Design Experts and Recruiters
Don’t miss out on any information regarding design and don’t miss out on any chance you get to connect with design experts and recruiters. Design dedicated groups on Linkedin and Facebook, design communities like Coroflot and Behance, informative blogs, seminars, workshops and other design events are great places to meet like minded professionals to learn new information, get guidelines or even have your portfolio reviewed.

7.Pursue Higher Studies
By joining a design school you will be able to learn design in depth under expert faculty, in an environment specially built to curate a designer’s mind. A degree in design from a reputed design school is naturally of high regard in the design industry for internships and full time jobs. In order to help you get started, here is a list of the top design schools in India and World, compiled by Launchpad Academy.

Follow these 7 steps with sheer determination and dedicate your valuable time to refine your skills, build a portfolio and learn new software platforms. Practice and persistence are the keys to success in the design industry and coming from an engineering background shouldn’t really be a matter of concern.


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Top 10 Design Schools in the World – Updated 2018

Studying in a world renowned design school is every designer’s dream. And it’s no exaggeration when said that design students who join these institutes graduate as top designers, working in major design studios. As an aspirant designer you want to make sure you study in a design college that has the right kind of faculty to guide you, a campus environment that can motivate you and like minded students who can understand and appreciate your ideas. Most of the design institutes that can provide you with this level of quality education are mostly centered in United States and Europe. However it is not an easy task to decide which of these elite colleges you want to be in. Hence Launchpad Academy decided to come up with this exhaustive list named ‘Top 10 Design Schools in the World’ to help enthusiastic design students like you. So without any further ado, let’s begin!

1. Art Center College of Design
Located in Pasadena, California, United States, Art Center College of Design has probably made it to every Top 10 list as such. The school has an acceptance rate of 63%, offers Graduate and Undergraduate programs in Design and ensures to provide some kind of financial aid to most of its students. Chris Bangle, former Chief of Design for BMW and Dilip Chhabria, famed Indian transportation designer are few of the notable alumni of this private institution.

2. DAAP, University of Cincinnati
College of Design, Art, Architecture and Painting is established under the auspices of University of Cincinnati, Ohio, US. The college has an acceptance rate of 67.1%, offers Bachelor and Master programs in design and provides scholarships to both domestic and international students with good academic standings. Sam Lucente, director of design and brand experience at HP is one of the notable alumni of this institution.

3. Parsons The New School of Design
Parsons is a private art and design college located in New York, the city of dreams. With a collective student strength of 4200, this design school offers Undergraduate and Graduate programs in Design and has an acceptance rate of 63%. The institution highly regards a student’s English proficiency and hence your score in exams such as TOEFL, IELTS are of high importance. Cyril Tsiboulski and Allen Yee, co-founders of the interactive design studio Cloudred, are the notable alumni of this school.

4. Royal College of Art
Royal College of Art, as the name implies, is indeed a prestigious institution that has an acceptance rate of just 15.9%, which makes it one of the toughest design schools to get into. It is located in London, England, UK and offers only Master and Research programs in Design. Among the long list of notable alumni, Ian Callum, the current Director of Design for Jaguar Cars and Peter Stevens, UK’s best known vehicle designer stand high and unique.

5. Pratt Institute
Pratt Institute located in Brooklyn, New York also has a high student strength like Parsons i.e. 4688, with an acceptance rate of 67%. The school offers both Graduate and Undergraduate programs in Design and considers English proficiency as one of the main criteria for admission. The institute is still working on a financial aid plan for its international students and William Boyer, the key designer behind the iconic Ford Thunderbird is an alumni of Pratt Institute.

6. Hochschule Pforzheim
Hochschule Pforzheim, the only German design school in this list has very little to tell about itself on its website but has a legacy of being every design student’s dream design school. Established in 1877, the school offers both Bachelor and Master programs in Design. German proficiency is a must to get into Pforzheim and Michael Mauer, the Chief Designer at Porsche is one of its notable alumni.

7. Domus Academy
Domus Academy, another European design school in this list is located in Milan, Italy. The academy offers only Master program in Design and offers scholarships to both domestic and international students based on their merit and financial condition. Lorenza Baschieri, chief designer of Versace is one of Domus’ notable alumni.

8. UMEA Insitute of Design
Located in Umea, Sweden, UMEA Institute of Design offers Bachelor, Master and Ph.D programs in Design. The institute is working on a scholarship plan for its students but still deserves a place in this list for its good reputation among designers as one of the Best Design Schools in the World. Erik Ahlgren, lead designer at Ericsson is one of UMEA’s notable alumni.

9. College for Creative Studies
Coming back to United States, College for Creative Studies is a private, fully accredited design school located in Detroit, Michigan, US. This design institute has an acceptance rating of 42%, thus making it another design school in this list that’s really hard to get into. It offers Bachelor and Master programs in Design and is known for its beneficial financial aids for both domestic and international students. Ralph Gilles, known for his designs at Chrysler is a notable alumni of this design school.

10. Cleveland Institute of Art
And the last best design school to make it to Launchpad’s Best Design Schools list is Cleveland Institute of Art. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, US, the institute offers Majors in Design and has a high acceptance rate of 71%. What’s notable is 98% of the students in Cleveland Institute of Art are under some financial assistance and Phil Zak, lead designer who has held key positions at Hyundai and General Motors is an alumni of this renowned design school.

Coventry School of Art and Design in UK, IED in Turin, Italy and Savannah College of Art and Design are few of the notable mentions that we didn’t want to leave out from this list, but had to! Note that apart from language proficiency and a good academic history, you would need an impressive portfolio to be in one of these prestigious design schools, a portfolio which speaks of your sketching and design capabilities.

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