I was recently in a LA/NYC hot spot — a true den of trends — where it felt like the team, earnest as they probably are, said yes a little more than no. Apart from wool-vested, man-bun clad bartenders and suspender wearing, Japanese denim-adorned waiters, they had somehow captured every interior restaurant trend of the past ten years, in 3,000 square feet. Macrame? Check. Distressed wood? Check. Subway tile? Check. Repurposed shipping container? Check. Faux-industrialized materials in every corner possible? Check. I saw Austin, Brooklyn, Portland and Venice — bundled up into one unedited concept.
Every writer, every designer, everyone, everywhere, benefits from an editor. If I could have an editor every time I publish this blog, I would, and typically I have a very good one edit my work before clients see it. Writers benefit because we can’t discard what we don’t know is in the way. We can’t replace ‘meh’ words with better words when those were the words that seemed best when we wrote them. Editors have a perspective that sees the good, replaces the less effective, and removes the rest. They de-clutter. They see the mission and make sure you’re meeting it. All creative endeavors benefit from such a person, but it’s hard to for some of us to admit it because we mistakenly see their participation as an intrusion on something sacred.
In my role as a brand strategist and writer, I often wear the hat of creative director as well. Overseeing design means I see what’s working, and what isn’t, and support the designer to land in the right place. It doesn’t mean I can design — I can’t. And it doesn’t mean I know more than she does — I don’t. But we all want the best work, and that usually requires a healthy tension between the first version and the third.
Editors are essential.
Find a good one.
Then, let them take your precious ideas, concepts and manifestations — and force a focus, a distillation and a commitment to something better.
Because it almost always will be.