Solid Points, Swell New Kicks

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After a little intro about gaining weight and wanting to order new custom shoes through the Nike ID system, designer Chris Gee, a principal at Cube Interactive in New York, eventually gets to the point in the aptly-titled section of this blog entry, “What’s your point, Chris?” and has some interesting things to say about the positives of consumer and client-based input into design:

There actually are implications for our industry in this. I am a professional designer and I got a rush from being involved in the process. And I’m always involved in the design process. Just not with athletic shoes. We have the technology to perhaps offer our clients greater customization and control over their work. Like me and my customized Gee-mobiles, our clients will have a much greater sense of ownership to the designed pieces that we provide them with if they have a bit more control and are more involved in the process.

In this age of style sheets, digital printing and database printing, we have greater tools of design customization at our fingertips than ever before. The question is how to leverage that control in a way that creates a closer connection between our clients and the designs we sell them but does not compromise the quality of the work. Clearly it is possible, the folks at Nike figured out how to do it. And even my own ugly running shoes are not truly ugly. My range of available choices are understandably limited to the universe of what is acceptable to Nike and its core of designers and brand engineers.