Sorry for that cliffhanger of an ending in that last post where I announced that I would be leaving Philips Design at the end of September. I like to be a little dramatic at times and I thought it would be a nice lead in to the story I’m going to tell you today.
So what, you may ask, am I going to do next?
I have spent most of my life working for people, or more accurately, designing for other people and making said people rich! Well not really…but I did decide that it was a time to do something different. Central to this plan, as you probably guessed by now, is Design Sojourn.
If I do a little counting, my Design Sojourn blog has actually been in operation for almost 5 years now! Throughout the history of this website, I have shared my ideas and thoughts on design, bounced these ideas (and sparred) with designers from all over the world. I have even helped and mentored designers whenever I could. I hope such efforts have contributed to the international design industry as a whole and in return allowed me to build some credibility as thought leader in design.
So it is then logical to expand Design Sojourn into other areas beyond just blogging. I plan for Design Sojourn to evolve into a design consultancy and brand management company. Yup, I’m going to be an entrepreneur.
Here are a few more details:
Design Sojourn The Blog
First and foremost Design Sojourn the blog, will continue, but it’s going back to its roots. This blog cut its teeth by helping designers be the best they can be. Design Sojourn was and is all about “How to do good design, and make clever products”. I did, in recent years, evolved this blog into Strategic Design. However I realized that by helping designers become more strategic, it was really still in the same vein of helping designers be the best they can be. Being strategic is the name of the game in today’s design industry.
I have also taken a look at the state of my blog, and I have to say I’m not happy with it. In the recent years, my heavy workloads and family commitments have influenced a drop in the quality of my posts. I had discovered one day that the posts people came to Design Sojourn for were more than 2 years old. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not angry or anything, I have accepted that my priorities and attention were needed elsewhere. I will therefore plan to dedicate more time in writing useful and engaging posts that will make your visit to Design Sojourn worthwhile. Growing Design Sojourn is high on the priority list, with a target of doubling readership in the next six months.
Finally, now that I am on my own, I will not be tied down nor associated with any brand. I’m now a Design Rōnin. A master-less designer roaming the world and kicking ass! Sorry, too many Akira Kurosawa movies.
Rest assured that I’m not about to take a “dump in my own backyard”, but do expect a more edgy tone, more rants, and of course, constructive criticism. Not being associated to any brand does provide the freedom to have an unbiased view.
Design Sojourn Consulting
After everything, the unfortunate hash realities of life still exist. We still need to eat and I have a mortgage to pay. This is where things here at Design Sojourn will start to be a little different.
Many companies setup a company then a blog to get them going. I’ve actually flipped this approach on its head by turning my blog into a company, Design Sojourn Pte Ltd. Here is what we do:
Design Sojourn is a multi-disciplinary strategic design consultancy.
We see ourselves as guides or translators for clients and partners in their journey in design that will go beyond products and into services, systems and processes. We are also teachers and students at heart, so we are passionate in building creative environments and improving the design industries through training and education.
Anchoring our creative process around the tenets of Joy with Functionality and Simple but Edgy, we offer full end-to-end design solutions that range from commercially savvy design languages that fulfill business needs; to manufacturing viable and resolved designs; to marketing, communications and new media solutions. However we are also nimble and flexible enough to take on that “quick kill” design problem.
No job too big or too small.
I can promise you that other than getting a “Hire me” banner up, and an update to my About page, I will not be constantly reminding you of my consulting services. However, in the coming weeks, I will share more about Design Sojourn Consulting and what it stands for. Especially its design process which, I think, you might be interested to see?
If you, or someone you know, need my services or want to collaborate with me, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com. I won’t bite, and if something does come out of this tie-up, I will be in your debt as this will allow me to continue to blog, not to mention pay my mortgage…
Design Sojourn Brand Management
The other thing that Design Sojourn Pte Ltd is going into is Design Entrepreneurship. As Design Producers, we design, develop, and produce products under our own brand or basket of brands. We also work closely with awesome designers to collaborate on products from design to market. When the time is right you will know who these awesome designers are.
I’m sure by now, you also know about our Spaces for Ideas brand?
Well you will be pleased to know that we have spun the brand off Design Sojourn and given it its own dedicated site at www.spacesforideas.com. To celebrate the launch of the site this new start, we have reduced the price of the Expandable Sketchbook, so if you have not gotten your Sketchbook yet, do head on over and get one now!
Edit: Due to time commitments, I am unable to run two websites at the same time. Therefore I am re-integrating the Spaces for Ideas store back into Design Sojourn. This should also make it a smoother navigating experience for you as well. Spacesforideas.com will still exist and will be reborn when the time is right. If you can, do check out the Spaces for Ideas store? We will also be expanding the Spaces for Ideas product range to include more sketchbook solutions.
On a side note, SpacesforIdeas.com will focus more on sales transactions and product information. My sharing of development efforts, as well as the design activities will still be here on Design Sojourn. I’m guessing that you don’t want to be bothered with all this blogging noise when you make your purchases or vice versa?
On Design Sojourn, you can expect some announcements as well as the banners you see now. I’ve dumped the ugly Google ads, and will continue to streamline the site’s design so these ads do not overpower your reading experience. However, they will be a necessary evil, as Design Sojourn is the main marketing engine for my Spaces for Ideas products. Please do let me know, if you have any feedback on this matter?
There are a few other things in the works, but they are currently too premature to talk about it now. I’ll let you know as soon as they are ready to fly! All I can say is that they will be quite awesome.
What do you think? Am I out of my mind? Many of you have been part of my own design sojourn right from the start as friends and loyal supporters. It has been a great honor journeying with you and I do hope to get your continued support of this website and in all my future endeavors. Thank you.