The key to surviving as a designer

Snask co-founder Freddie Ost explains how to change your results by pushing the bar.

Yes, 2Pac said it. And even if it's just a song (a brilliant one) about racism, prejudice and injustice, there's a sentence that is relevant to us creatives.

"You see, the old way wasn't working, so it's on us to do what we gotta do, to survive."

Time moves extremely fast around us and it's easy to get stuck in one way of working, the way you've always done things. So push yourself to change and make sure you're passionate about what you spend the majority of your working life on.

All it takes is one small step to break bad habits and push your design work higher, say Snask

If you live just to earn your daily bread, perhaps you need to rethink. As a creative, you can choose to work with things that inspire you and make you stay motivated.

Now, it's easy to say this and harder to do, and of course we all need an income to support our lives and our families. But all it takes is one small step to get on the way to refreshing yourself and breaking bad habits.

Push yourself higher

So start out by trying to do things differently every day. Open your mind to creating by hand. If you're only creating by hand then open your mind to start creating digitally or something else entirely. Start to push yourself higher each time.

By raising your own bar and ambition you will see a change in your results. If you're a creative director or executive producer, push your ideas and ambition down and maybe look for a new place to work if you want to change and excel.

If you can't afford to quit then create a side-project in your spare time. Do it with friends or family, or just with your children. Just make sure you do something that you feel passionate about and that gives you more energy.

At Snask, it's likely we do too many side-projects that are non-client based, but it keeps our inspiration and energy levels on top and that's what keeps us going. 


The idea of a teacher starting a meth lab a la Breaking Bad is extreme. But think about why a lot of creative agencies open bars, restaurants, clothing brands and so on.

It's because they know how to creatively start and finish projects with a high ambition, and they actively challenge the old way of how things are done. It's time for us to start makin' some changes. Words: Fredrik Öst Liked this? Try these…

This article first appeared in Computer Arts issue 247, a typography special issue featuring a series of Type Trumps cards designed by Rick Banks – on sale now.


Liked this? Try these...