Collins links up with Figma to demystify the myth of the “lone creative genius”

Hot off the heels of its Adobe acquisition, design tool Figma wants to remind audiences of the collaborative capabilities of its interface.

11 October 2022

Did you know that Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity collaboratively? Have you ever thought how different the Sagrada Familia might look had it been completed under the direction of only one architect? Truthfully, the concept of teamwork often feels far less romantic than imagining one lone genius with a singular creative vision. It is, however, in Figma’s interest to remind audiences of this truth. As a collaborative web application for interface design, it is loved by designers (hence, its recent $20 billion acquisition by Adobe) – but the application was originally “meant for diverse teams to collaborate from initial ideas to a finished product,” Collins VP, creative director Tom Elia explains.

So, Figma has called in Collins to craft a new campaign highlighting the collaborative capabilities of its product. Subverting the glamorisation of solo work, the campaign – titled, Nothing Great Is Made Alone – tells a universal tale about the power of teamwork and collaboration. Illustrations of great creative, and crucially collaborative works, from the Mona Lisa and StoneHenge, appear across the campaign, as well as mention of artists and their teams, from Run DMC to Gaudi, all aiming to prove this team-positive perspective.

In keeping with the digital workflow Figma enables, Collins has embraced the visual language of work-in-progress designs. For example, motion assets suggest that multiple people are simultaneously working together on the campaign through the presence of mouse arrows dragging, clicking and adjusting content.

“When you have a focus as universal and clear as Nothing Great is Made Alone, it’s easier to come up with a wide range of ideas,” Tom reflects on the thinking behind the campaign. “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.”

Senior Collins designer Emily Sneddon emphasises that capturing the sense of multiple ideas coming together was key. “Everything we make, including the stories we feature in this work, have 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.”

GalleryCollins: Figma (Copyright © Figma, 2022)

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Collins: Figma (Copyright © Figma, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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