How do great ideas and moments of creative brilliance come about? Are they the product of a creative genius sitting by themselves, mulling over a problem? No! According to the latest collaboration between Figma and COLLINS, they result from input from myriad sources.
Hot on the heels of being acquired by Adobe as part of an eye-watering $20 billion deal, Figma has worked with COLLINS to create a brand story centred around the idea Nothing Great is Made Alone. It's the perfect approach for a collaboration tool, and it ties into the ethos of challenging centralised design that it has been championing from its inception.
Since it developed the first web-based group design tool, Figma has forced companies to reconsider their creative hierarchies and processes. Whereas most studios had operated with a top-down workflow, thanks to Figma, more people felt like they had a voice and a seat at the table. Thankfully though, the brand story from COLLINS isn't a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth.
To help Figma communicate its brand truth, it worked with COLLINS to create work about the benefits of teamwork. This involved explaining how great things are made, which led to the idea of debunking the lone genius myth many creatives face when growing up. And what better way to articulate this than by deconstructing the creative forces behind the most famous and recognisable piece of art of all time, the Mona Lisa?
"All of these communications showed non-designers how important they were in coming up with great design ideas—and how Figma was created specifically to include them and their skill sets," it says.
Fittingly, Figma acknowledges that Nothing Great Is Made Alone is the work of many people. And while the company has made it its internal and external success story, it is looking forward to seeing what other people make with it next.
"Figma realised companies were leaving a lot of creativity on the table because only designers were using it when it was meant for diverse teams to collaborate from initial ideas to a finished product," says COLLINS VP and Creative Director Tom Elia of the work.
"Clearly the design community loved Figma, so we wanted an idea that kept them in love with it while letting developers, writers, producers, and managers know that Figma encourages them all to work together and make better work because they're all together.
"But the story is bigger than seeing collaboration as a 'feature. 'Nothing Great is Made Alone' is a POV on creativity and collaboration. It says that great ideas have always happened and will always happen when diverse groups of people are free to create together."
He adds that when a brand story has a focus as universal and clear as Nothing Great Is Made Alone, it's easier to come up with a wide range of ideas. "Multiply that by having the whole team on a Figma board, sharing thoughts, building on them – in real-time as a group and asynchronously across time zones – and you end up in a lot of interesting places creatively, each adding different nuances and ripples to the story we were trying to tell. In a sense, we were living the brand idea while making it," he explains.
COLLINS Senior Designer Emily Sneddon adds, "Every day at COLLINS, we share ideas and experience so many moments where seemingly disparate ideas have collided to create magic. We wanted an idea that captures that spirit.
"Everything we make, including the stories we feature in this work, has been through whole other lives before finding their final form. That's why motion is so important to tell stories of invention, progress and teamwork. The result, we hope, is a lighthearted and reassuring reminder that together we go further."