Make It Pink

Published on 6 April 2006 in ,

When I got my first job in production almost three years ago, I jokingly told my developer colleagues that I’d be coming back to make their life a misery by constantly changing my mind on things, and going in half way through a project and demand “make it pink!”.

It’s a bit of a hard one to explain, but kind of derives a gentle mocking of the kind of, well, more “precious” designer that thankfully are now a rare breed at work. The kind of designer who would need every single part of their Photoshop design identically repeated on screen – even down to their exact specifications of a dotted line. Even if that dotted line was two pixels, then three pixels, then two again, then another two, then four…

I’ve been on a course learning Prince 2 this week, and the phrase has cropped up several times in conversations. It’s interesting how little things like this, embed themselves into the culture of a work place.

Update: 8 April 2006 – I’m re-reading this right now and wondering what on earth I mean. It was getting late and I don’t think my mind was really working properly. For starters there’s various flaws – it’s never explained why I, as a producer, would go off and say something that’s linked to designers. That makes no sense. It misses half the points.

So anyway, here’s (hopefully) some clarity. Make it pink is less about people and more about attitude. The attitude that someone wanders over to a PC screen, looks at something on screen, and just goes “make it pink”. The person who could be saying it could be a designer, could be a producer, could be a member of senior management. It’s the same kind of attitude as a designer who would complain if their dotted line wasn’t exactly the same as the PSD, or of the manager who makes no important decisions but spends their time messing with details they shouldn’t be concerned about.

As a follow up, a colleague gave me a great example yesterday from the late 1990s – he recalled the tale of a very senior manager who walked past his desk, stopped, looked at the website being built and just said “Turquoise famously doesn’t go with blue”. Then walked off. I think it sums up the era nicely.