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Style is the most distinguishably unique aspect of a designer’s identity. While style can be defined as a visual execution in a design, it can also be how a designer decides to execute. It is the most personal attribute of being a designer, and while a style may differ depending on the context of the problem being solved for, it is an essential quality that contributes to the evolution of a designer’s career. It is as personal and unique as a singer’s voice.

I can truthfully say, out loud, that “Gangnam Style” is one of my favorite fucking songs of the past decade. It is! Is it any better or worse than the latest Atoms for Peace album? Hmmmm… If only we had a celebrity panel of judges to determine that for us! What would J-Lo do? Paging Pitchfork, come in, come in! Pitchfork, we need you to help us determine the value of a song! Who fucking cares! I fucking LOVE IT! Who is to say what’s a good voice and what’s not a good voice. The Voice? Imagine Bob Dylan standing there singing “Blowin in the Wind” in front of Christina Aguilera. “Mmmmm… I think you sound a little nasally and sharp. Next…” It’s YOUR VOICE. Cherish it. Respect it. Nurture it. Challenge it. Stretch it and scream until it’s fucking gone. Because everyone is blessed with at least that, and who knows how long it will last…

—Dave Grohl SXSW Keynote 2013

While one could measure the success of a design, when it comes to emotion and innovation there is a lot to be learned from Grohl’s statements about taste. As an industry the more we push agendas around style and taste the more creativity we stunt. Find your own style as a designer and not only will you be happy, but you will do your best work.

Listen to the whole keynote.

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