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“What Day Is It There?” Overcoming Design Issues on a Global Scale

It happened… I’m not entirely sure when. Maybe it was last year or the year before?

Not so long ago my biggest concern whilst producing projects for clients located further away than walking distance was ‘how many megabytes can your email take?’… and then as I said, ‘it happened.’

Although producing and delivering creative projects nationally and internationally is nothing new, they used to involve lengthy phone conferences, early morning flights, incomprehensible faxes, lonely nights in a travel lodge and lots of waiting. Then suddenly we find ourselves working on global projects with a time frame less than the time it took change the paper in the fax machine (we don’t use that anymore by the way).

Like a switch being flicked on, the technology was there to create and deliver HD Video Productions anywhere on the planet almost instantly, share files and ideas and once I had figured out what Dropbox was, that seemed to help as well. I thought “all this technology was great,” “we can do anything, anywhere” … so we started to do it.

While virtual borders were getting easier to cross, there were still barriers that kept popping up when producing our creative projects overseas. Email communication can be fraught with misunderstanding, even among fellow English-speakers. So it’s sometimes easier and faster to jump on the VOIP and clear up any miscommunications.

We have all heard of cultural design faux pas’ happening along with amusing cases of mistranslation. While most of these are all giggle worthy, it’s staggering how these embarrassing and potentially costly mistakes could have been avoided with some simple upfront research into the culture of the country and client you are working with. In my experience, even colours and font styles can have different meanings and interpretations when viewed by a different culture. But don’t let this scare you. Just work together with your client on this. More often than not they are also looking for your advice as they make sure that the project ticks all the boxes in your culture as well.

Having worked on several international design and video production projects now, it’s easy to forget that your clients are literally a world away. But with the technology now capable of working on projects seamlessly across oceans and time zones, it has definitely been a rewarding experience. We are constantly being told that this is the future for the creative industry and I am inclined to agree. Surprisingly, I was recently contacted by a client from the USA to work on a project, and the client actually had no idea of my physical location. The fact that this is happening certainly changed my perspective of the creative industry and what we can deliver from sitting in front of our computers. I still get the odd Skype call at a funny hour, and a question of “what day is it there?”, but the ability to design and deliver a project on a global scale is worth getting up early for.

This integrated and experienced approach in developing and delivering projects nationally and internationally is what makes AEC’s Design, Marketing and Advertising division stand out from the rest.

Should you require assistance regarding any aspect of your company’s visual communication requirements, please contact Lyndon Berresford, Creative Director on 07 4771 5550 or

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