Design Is the Gift of Sense

Thinking about the importance of good design, it is important because it helps us make sense of our world. It creates linkages for us.

James Verdesoto distilled movie poster design down by color themes and use of negative space and wow, it became so obvious how I’ve been personally influenced by design.  Actually, it’s been much appreciated because it’s easier for me to immediately deduce whether I’d be interested in a particular movie because the movie poster is color coded by genre.  One thing I never noticed was “running man” in action thrillers.  All the details he pointed out were fascinating.

The video on how Stranger Things got its retro title was interesting because of the thought process that went into designing the font then the fade in/out, but especially how they respected the familiarity of the font to the genre of programming—they stayed within the same theme.

I appreciate that Massimo Vignelli put down his principles and guidelines for design so beginning designers have a jumping off point and framework within which they can work.  He divided it up into Semantics, Syntactics, Pragmatics, Discipline, Appropriateness, Ambiguity, Design is One, Visual Power, Intellectual Elegance, Timelessness, Responsibility and Equity.  I would distill all this down to say you need to make a plan; do your research; ensure you are effectively communicating between the transmitter and receiver; take care of the details; stay disciplined in everything you do; make sure the solution is appropriate for the problem and is enriching in the end; ensure elegant, timeless design in everything you do; and be responsible (be the adult in the room).

Chipp Kidd talks about how good design means good planning has occurred and gives an example of the speed bump as a design solution for the problem of speeding through a neighborhood.  Kidd’s TED talk was great because it explains that an effective book cover will show you what the story looks like.  Kidd thinks about design from a functional perspective but he doesn’t cover the “why” design is necessary from a psychological perspective.  I would say that good design takes the chaos out of the world and creates a sense of comfort, whether that is seen as order or symmetry or balance or unity or any of the other concepts of design.  Design helps us makes sense of our world.

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