How to make enemies and gain fans

Eccentric Swedish design studio Snask put the world to rights in the first of a series of regular columns.

As a wise person once said, "When you make something no one hates, no one loves it." Another one said, "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

They summarise our motto very clearly. Stand out, be bold, stand up for your own beliefs and let it show! It might give you enemies, but it will almost certainly give you fans. It also helps people to differentiate you from your competitors.

Knowing who your enemy is also translates into who you are – namely, the opposite. Snask has made many enemies throughout the years. It was impossible not to, and anyway, every enemy helps us realise who we are and what we fight against, daily.

Do you want to walk this earth and be loved and hated for what you do now and for centuries after your death, or do you want to breeze by and disappear moments after your passing? Well, then get to work!

You're a communicator, a professional at expressing things. Don't sit down and be quiet. Make sure your beliefs are heard, loudly! After all, making enemies is proof that you stood up for something in your life.

This goes for not only design, but also your personal life. We're living in a world that's getting colder, darker and more right wing for every day that passes, so if you're a person of love, make sure it shows in the cafeteria, in the office and in the election boxes as well as every other part of your life.

Here are three things we're standing up for this month:

  1. In 2014, Emma Watson shouldn't have to tell people that feminism is about gender equality and thus involves men as well as women. And no, it's not about women hating men. Grow up.
  2. Most awards are shit and can be bought with money, power or influence. Reward yourself and you will be happier.
  3. People who vote with their wallet instead of being guided by their belief in a working society are people who later develop into grumpy, mean and mingy grandparents.

Here are four more of our thoughts this month...

  1. Enemy of the month: Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft For being the biggest dinosaur on the planet when saying women should trust that "the system will give you the right raises", and that raises are for people who have good karma and those you can trust. This means asking for a raise makes you inherently untrustworthy. Massive fail.
  2. Gossip: Q&AQ: Do you ever worry how your studio’s culture might come across to potential new clients? If so, do you adapt to suit individual clients?A: Never. We know how it comes across and there are plenty of clients out there. Those who are afraid and boring will work with someone else – we get the funny and bold ones and make them beautiful.
  3. Candy: Thumbs up! We recently heard a highly ranked design guru say that the future leaders of our industry are a new breed of designers who stand up for private beliefs and political views. We couldn’t agree more.
  4. Filth: Thumbs down! Interbrand successfully made an identity that feels as fresh as a drop shadow of the London Olympics 2012 logotype for South Korea’s Tourism Organisation. Jesus. For real? It looks like poo, real poo.

Words: Snask

Snask is an internationally renowned creative agency that strives to challenge the industry by doing things differently. This article first appeared in Computer Arts issue 235, Branding Secrets – find out how the world's top design agencies develop a new brand, and discover 2015's hottest packaging trends. Buy CA issue 235 here.