July '20

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 6 1 breaths (breathing is good), ask yourself, "What is my product? What do I sell? What do my customers want?" Listen for your in- ternal response. Perhaps you answered, "I make signs," or, "I sell trophies," or even, "My customers want digital prints." Those are all correct answers. After all, you know what business you're in. Or do you? Remember: for a few minutes, we are stepping way back, we're levitating, and from this eagle's-eye perspective, we now see that your true talent, your success in business, and your strongest offering may actually lie in the creation of experiences. EXPERIENTIAL DESIGNERS Experiences. Sounds like a buzzword! What does it mean? Here's a quick case history to illustrate the evolution of a graphic special- ist into the role of "experience designer," from my own portfolio. Many years ago, the firm in which I was a partner was enlisted by the owner/operator of a major shopping mall to perform a spe- cialized task: the painting of a giant ceiling mural. The intent was to create an illusory sky to enhance the openness and scale of the mall's largest common area. We landed and completed the job. The logistical steps and difficulties of mocking up, then painting the mural might make an article in itself. But the experiential opportunity presented itself as we gained a greater understanding of the project's geo- graphic setting, and as we established a friendly rapport with the owner. We learned that the mall was built close to a wetland and migratory bird sanctuary; a protected place greatly valued by local residents. In addition to the faux ceiling mural, the center had other shopping corridors. These had genuine vaulted skylights. We asked how these natural lighting zones might be

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