Weird Your Way to Success

Weird Your Way to Success

Lessons from the Design Thinkers conference in Toronto, Canada: “confessions” was the official theme, but the theme that emerged for me was how being your weird self can increase success. A lot. I summarize that in my Copyediting column today.

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Official attendance: 2070

Meg Lewis

Stefan Bucher — designer of the Saks Fifth Avenue Yeti. Such an entertaining talkHis book 344 Questions (and 1484 bonus ones) helps you figure out what you want to do. His ink-blot monsters, which he made into an app that I’m currently having giggles with. His medals for loving. And his Everything Is Going Exactly as Planned show, a retrospective of his work “from birth to his mysterious disappearance in the year 2075” which includes a big profile of the LOM aliens.

Tweet this eatten apple that has frog skin and head, with equation "satisfaction = experience / expectation"


Managing expectations is behind the campaign that Erik Kessels made for arguably the worst hotel in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s the same guy who did the books of found photos, like the one of the woman standing in deeper and deeper water. He also wrote Failed It!

I loved these pet food packaging designs by Leland Mashmeyer.

The designers presenting at this conference had been part of some big brands: Adobe, Microsoft, A&E Networks,,, Obama (yes, that one), the Smithsonian, Air BnB, Spotify, Facebook, The New York Times Magazine, Mailchimp, Lululemon, Blue Man Group, Cards Against Humanity, and Nickelodeon, to name just some.

dog licking its nose

Dog photo by Tricia, used under CC BY-2.0 license. Frog fruit graphic made with photo by  Mark Rain, used under CC BY-2.0 license.  rgddt-mainstage rgddt-calming-fears rgddt-magnetic-letters-wall rgddt-writers-confession rgddt-my-award

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