Design Debate: Have New Tech Innovations Made Work Life Easier or Harder?

Daniel Savage; technology make our lives harder or easier?

Three designers face off on whether new tech is net positive for their careers.

In our newest design debate, Martin Lorenz, Marina Esmeraldo, and Fredrik Öst weigh on in the impact technology has on creativity. Ready, set, debate.

“In a way, we were only able to become a studio because of the internet. We were able to work with people that we never physically met.”—Martin Lorenz, Co-founder & Graphic Designer,

When we opened our studio in 2007, TwoPoints.Net wasn’t known, and we didn’t have any clients yet. It was only when we met some friends from Harvard that we started to get a lot of jobs from the United States. Without the internet, it wouldn’t have been possible for our network in America to grow, though, or for us to be able to design for U.S.-based clients while living in Germany and Spain.

In a way, we were only able to become a studio because of the internet. We were able to work with people that we never physically met. To this day, we still haven’t met some of our clients.

We really don’t have many local clients; instead we have international ones – a lot in the USA and in Asia. These days, it doesn’t matter where you live; it’s more about the networks you enter. It helps, of course, that Lupi, Elio, and I speak English, Spanish, and German. This internationalism makes our job much more interesting. We learn so much from every client, and sometimes it is very surprising to see how our work is perceived in different cultures and contexts. The things that we design for clients in the U.S. are received in a different way from how they are received in Europe, but that’s sometimes the exact reason why they hire us and not a local designer.

Practically, of course, the design process is much easier today, too, especially if you’re working across different continents. Once upon a time, designing could be a real pain, let alone if you were working for someone abroad.

We share a Dropbox folder with clients in America and Asia so that everyone is always up to date. There’s no delay anymore.

I remember having to work with low-res images in order to be able to work quickly and efficiently, and then, before the files were sent to the printer, replacing them with high-res images. Sending files to the printer was a whole different thing too. We had to burn CD-ROMs and send them across the city with a messenger. Then the printer would return proofs, and if there was something wrong, we had to change the print files, burn another CD, and send it off with a messenger again.

Later we started to use FTP servers, which made life easier, but it was still a pain when you had to upload large documents. It could take days. Fast internet connections, Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer, etc. made our life much more simple. We share a Dropbox folder with clients in America and Asia so that everyone is always up to date. When we are done, we just share a link with the printer. There’s no delay anymore.

For our clients, it doesn’t matter that we’re in Germany and Spain and they’re in New York, or Los Angeles, or Tokyo. It doesn’t matter that we have a team member working from Spain either – in fact, it’s especially good for us because we work with a great printer there. Having our team split across two cities isn’t a problem at all – it’s almost like they’re sitting at the desk beside us because of all the new technologies and programs, when in fact they’re on the other side of Europe.

The internet has become so common that we hardly even think about it anymore; it’s like an extension of the office. People don’t say, ‘Now I am going to sit down and use the internet.’ You’re just constantly using it. And it’s because it’s become so natural to the working process that international clients have been able to trust us, and that’s been one of the most important things that’s allowed us to do what we do. Being able to trust someone on the other side of the world with your design process wouldn’t have been possible 15 years ago.”

“The problem is that you have to be on social media constantly. I personally became very addicted to Instagram.”Marina Esmeraldo, Illustrator

Consistent and long-term self-promotion through social media has been really crucial for my freelance business. The problem, though, is that you have to be on it constantly. The thing with social media is that it’s designed to be addictive. I personally became very addicted to Instagram. I became disillusioned with Facebook and Twitter because of…

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COO @oneqube | Angel Investor | Proud mom | Advisor @TheTutuProject | Let's Go #NYRangers
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