Eva Machauf | COMD 3501 OL26 | Fall 2020

Paula Scher_Do What You’ve Never Done Before

Paula Scher said “The way stuff gets made is accidental and circumstantial, that things have a life of their own”. At first I thought, accidental? I did not understand what she meant, but through watching the Do What You’ve Never Done Before video I believe she meant that you often start with an idea that may not go anywhere but it doesn’t hurt to just do. 

Scher took on the Highline job because she wanted Watch World. I found it interesting how she was never fully confident the job she did would become a real thing. I guess I thought the smaller things to get the attention of the audience like her city wide campaigns and her post card and stationary making would be like mini accomplishments regardless of it becoming a real thing. But overall she did the project not knowing it would be so successful.  Just like how the I heart NY logo was originally intended for the state, but the logo became specific to the city. 

I find myself overthinking more times than I can count. Wanting to be sure that I understand the brief and that I am not missing information. Scher’s example about the Moma made me realize it isn’t always the designers fault. She says “Sometimes it’s not the design, it’s the people”. Regardless she went into the project and had to restructure all the department’s communication as well as redesign each department to look cohesive. 

What really stood out to me was how humble Scher seems. She was honest with not wanting to recreate the H in Highline to an F, and how she was not interested in the Pittsburgh bridge redesigning because she didn’t want to work for free, “Sometimes just ignore the brief and go and do it….You have nothing to lose”.

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  1. Fernanda Cajas

    I agree with your statement. I, too, believe that sometimes it’s not the designers fault on not having enough information. I now know that in this field it is very important to team up with different departments in the company to be able to come up with something great that will impress, not only the client, but most importantly, their target audience. Hearing Scher talk about her project and talk about how she handled it made me realize that it is important to give your own opinion, with respect, such as what she did when she stated that the F would not necessarily work.

  2. Matthew Rivera

    I agree with your statements fully because I often find myself overthinking and it often leads me to over designing but when i take a step back to address the elephant in the room and when I accidentally take things away from the design and put some other things in the design starts to come together

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