Famed designers Eduardo Danilo Ruiz and Roger Black merged their mega talents to form Danilo Black, a global design firm for print, Internet and broadcast media. PrintMedia was fortunate enough to work its way into their very busy schedules and pose a few questions.
PM: Much of the work you have done has appealed to people both critically and commercially. How do you achieve such a balance?
Ruiz & Black: When we design, first we focus on the reader, the viewer, the user, the customer—and then on our client. We never think much about the critics. If the readers are happy, then ultimately our clients are happy, too.
PM: When television came along, pundits sounded the death knoll for radio and newspapers. Initially, the Internet provoked a similar reaction regarding television, magazines and newspapers. Obviously, this has not been the case. What relationship do you envision developing between the various media in the years to come?
Ruiz & Black: It's not so much the media that is converging as the disciplines around it. Editors, writers, publishers, producers, directors and designers are all getting into each other's back yards. We're beginning to realize that our customers are not content with one form of media. So, we have to make our brands cross the old boundaries.
This is really a fantastic opportunity, and even though radio, for example, is no longer the king of broadcasting, there is still much potential. Who wouldn't want to own a radio station? And how much fun if you could integrate your radio brand with a cable channel, a magazine, a book publisher and a music company!
Content is the key for building brand value, and designers will be more often than not designing "experiences" rather than media components—this is where the real change will happen. Sooner than later, media companies will become omnimedia companies. The Internet is bringing a new platform, but the components of audio, video and content distribution/aggregation will take on new behaviors, building not a new media, but a new platform for business, communication and entertainment.