The Era of Design

Jun. 08, 2012 | by marc.belle

Over the weekend, as always, I checked my mail and skimmed through a few newsletters before being drawn into one article written by Adam Swann, Head of Strategy at gyro in New York.

More than being an interesting article it actually echoed a lot of feelings I personally share and have over my career tried to, sometimes effortlessly sometimes feeling like I’m hitting my head against a brick wall, share with clients and colleagues – that design is more than ‘making it look pretty’. It forms part of a whole strategic outlook on how a brand, object, piece of communication, room, or whatever it is that is to be put in front of someone else, is perceived and emotionally connects with that viewer. In fact I’d go so far as to say, there really shouldn’t be any excuse for ‘bad’ design unless the intention is to make it ‘look bad’ (amateur is probably a better description), but then if that’s the intention it’s not really ‘bad’ is it.

Too often design, in the past, has been an after thought rather than at the heart of the strategy, but now with many brands, such as Apple and First Direct, people are beginning to realise that there isn’t a place for the bolted-on afterthought and design holds a:

“genuine source of competitive advantage, customer and employee satisfaction and a route to higher profits.”

Design encompasses not simply making something look great, but ultimately how to engage a viewer before they have even been engaged. How the viewer interacts with that thing, how they feel about it and whether or not they want to do something about it. Design isn’t just about selecting a few colours or a nice font, slapping a logo on the front and being able to say ‘there you go’.

“It deals with the spectator and because it is the goal of the designer to be persuasive or at least informative, it follows that the designer’s problems are twofold; to anticipate the spectator’s reactions and to meet his (the designer’s for the project) own aesthetic needs.”
- Paul Rand

You can read the article by Adam Swann here. Welcome to the Era of Design.

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    Comment (1)

    • Yousaf

      Apple's success is due to their design/detail.Jun 21, 2012 11:45 am

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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