15 designers' New Year resolutions for 2016

06. Kai Brach: Be more sustainable

My big goal, not just for 2016, but regarding work in general, is to improve its sustainability. Offscreen is already sustainable from a financial point of view, but producing three issues per year still means I'm going through too many stressful days and sleepless nights. I noticed how the closer I get to a burn-out, the more the quality of my work (and the rest of my life) suffers.

So, in the last few months, I've been thinking about potential changes that could help me balance out the highs and the lows to put me on a more emotionally sustainable path. Once there is a bit of space to relax, the challenge for restless people like me is always to not immediately fill those 'slow moments' with new projects and ideas, and just end up where I started.

Kai Brach is a designer and publisher, originally from Germany living in Melbourne.

07. Luke O'Brien: Don't hesitate and trust your gut

This year has been a crazy one for me which included buying my first diamond ring, getting engaged, getting my first tattoo (they hurt so much). I wanted to explore my own personal creativity this year and in doing so I have read lots of books and made lots of work that I never thought I would have the balls to do. The reason for this is because I have not hesitated on purpose and just gone with whatever is in my gut. Yes stuff went wrong but I enjoyed it.

I had a lot of confidence issues as a designer this year and although it made me feel like crap it resulted in me having a bit of a 'do or die' type attitude. I realised that my work is at it's worst is where I hesitate and don't trust my own ideas and the best work is where I don't hesitate and just go for it. Since being asked to contribute to this I mulled over it a lot and for me that is the key to a happy life, embrace what is thrown at you and enjoy what you have to throw right back at it. Bring it on 2016.

Luke O'Brien is a designer and artist living in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

08. Eileen Macavery Kane: Multiple resolutions

  1. Make everything move!I am really excited about motion and animation in design and my personal artwork. I've observed the increase of animated gifs and videos on sites like the NY Times and want to increase how much I use it in design and personal work.
  2. Take care of business once only!This is something I've been working on over the past few months and plan to continue in full force in 2016 - starting with your email :) Rather than save emails to go back to later, try and answer things the first time I read them (if possible.) My hope is this will increase my efficiency and give me more time for personal projects and things I like to work on rather than things I have to do.
  3. Practise graphic design activism.There are many issues I am passionate about including the climate crisis and the refugee crisis. I report on some of these issues in my blog, ethicsingraphicdesign.org, but I would like to increase this in 2016 in both blogging about it and practicing it.
  4. Learn to design in code.As an older graphic designer, print is my first language. I know basics and can find my way around html and css, but I would love to get better and design in code.
  5. Do more yoga!Yoga keeps me healthy, both mentally and physically, and in return helps in all aspects of my life including designing and teaching.

Eileen Macaveryt Kane has over 25 years' experience as a creative director, art director, and graphic designer.

09. Miles Newlyn: New criteria

In 2016 I'll be thinking about a new set of criteria with which to make design decisions, and I'm going to write about it.

Design has become an incremental process with which business makes micro-changes and measures their impact on consumer behaviour.

We're looking for archetypes, a classical age without the permanence – infinite variation on a theme. This is more of an eastern view, so in 2016 I'll be working from belief systems that are not my own.

Miles Newlyn is London's logo and font specialist.

10. Tove Andersson: Wield power responsibly

2016 will be the year when I finally graduate to become an art director and will get to work with sharp clients within the field of advertising. I love advertising. It is a world filled with amazing opportunities for those who work hard. But it is also an industry that historically has been teaching us that women are best suited for doing laundry and changing diapers while men are better at driving fast cars or drinking probably the best beers in the world. So for this coming year and career I promise to handle the power that comes with managing the big communication accounts with care and responsibility.

I want communication to portrait individuals, not stereotypes and I think the best work right now has this "modern" take to it. Because it is the unexpected that stands out from the crowd, and because it is likable it creates that emotional bond between brand and consumer. It is going to be an exciting year, cheers!

Tove Andersson is a D&AD Award-winning art director based in Sweden.

Next page: the final five designers' resolutions for 2016