One of the unsung skills of a creative designer is getting inspiration from everywhere. A couple of years ago while working for Dell the team of designers that I worked with was asked to enter a sort of internal competition. The end result, one person’s design would be chosen to be featured at Dell World 2016 in Austin.
I’m super competitive and when the chance presents itself I’m usually all over it. The rules were simple, we had to stick to Dell’s brand. We had to use existing marketing assets and we had a deadline to enter the work.
I began to look at some of last year’s designs, they were some good ones. One of the main things that I noticed though was that the main approach to the past winning designs was utilizing only one of the marketing icon elements. I started working from that at first but nothing seemed to click.
Usually, when I’m experiencing designer’s block I find it helpful to go completely left field. So I decided to do some historical research to see what would stick. I then stumbled across some Mayan history and started to study a few of their artworks and designs.
To me, the Mayan civilization was one of the few ancient cultures that respected and utilized patterns and rhythm and how to they two interacted in a unified form.
After a few iterations, I came up with a version that I felt like represented what I was intentionally going for. Besides a few triangles added in for dramatic effect, every other element was Dell branded. I ended up winning the competition. It got featured on a few pieces of merchandise and even on a 3D version that was mounted at the conference during the activation.