Last night, myself and fellow designer Alison Joesph attended the closing of Image of the Studio, an exhibition at Cooper Union. The exhibition documented the scrappy history of New York design studios. We got to hear a fantastic panel of entrepreneurial designers talk about starting and running their own practices.
The website for the exhibition and panel discussion has a fantastic collection of "hard to ask" questions about running a design business and resources for designers thinking about starting their own ventures.
I think perhaps the most important takeaways for me were to get a good accountant, always have a contract, do the boring stuff first, and draw more.
The panel included Ken Carbone of Carbone Smolan Agency, Agnieszka Gasparska of Kiss Me I’m Polish, Carin Goldberg of Carin Goldberg Design, Emily Oberman of Pentagram, Scott Stowell of Open.
Emily Oberman summed it up pretty well when an audience member asked what's the one thing he could do to excel in the industry.
"Just work really fucking hard." - Emily Oberman