Pharma Design: Finding Creativity in Limitations
Living in the Philadelphia area, the two pervasive verticals are Pharma and Financial. Which I find interesting, because from an business standpoint they couldn't be more dissimilar... but from a design perspective they are virtually identical in approach, methodologies, and limitations. Both are highly-regulated, creatively-restricted, sluggishly adaptive industries full of templates, approval teams, government sanctions, rigid processes, and insulated decision-makers. So how does a creative excel within these markets, while maintaining the sense of innovation and ingenuity that allows us to conceive effective visual solutions?
The art school I attended was founded on the Swiss principles of design. And among other core tenets, a great deal of attention was paid to the creation of rule sets. You see, the creation of rules allows for design to adhere to a concept. And a concept keeps the process focused on a goal. And having a goal is one of the key differentiators between fine and commercial art. That being said, I approach Pharma design from the exact opposite angle of this particular process. Rather than building a rule set to reach a goal, this process is about stripping rules away to grant freedom for creativity... while not losing sight of the pre-determined objectives.
This "rule stripping" approach requires a research-heavy methodology to fully-understand what can and cannot be broken. Or bent. And to what degree. But once that knowledge is attained, finding visually-impactful, effective solutions within the web of regulations and limitations becomes a fantastic exercise in critical thinking. And in many way, becomes a more creative, and more satisfying process, than an "I dunno, make something cool" request.
I have included some samples below to show the level of creativity that I've been able to achieve in the Pharma space by researching and rule-stripping.