Episode #114
What Happened To Design?

What happened to design? When did it get overtaken by the researchers and the bean-counters?

Music and links from this episode

  1. Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik allegro by Advent Chamber Orchestra
  2. Quasi Motion by Kevin MacLeod
  3. Walk That Dog by U.S. Army Blues
  4. ACOUSTIC BLUES by Jason Shaw

Line-by-line notes

  1. When graphic design first became a profession, things were simpler
  2. Classic design used to be much simpler to understand
  3. Dieter Rams 10 principles for good design are just as relevant today as they were in the 1970s
  4. He said
  5. Good design is innovative
  6. Good design makes a product useful
  7. Good design is aesthetic
  8. Good design makes a product understable
  9. Good design is unobtrusive
  10. Good design is honest
  11. Good design is long lasting
  12. Good design is thorough to the last detail
  13. Good design is environmental friendly
  14. Good design is as little design as possible
  15. Why do I feel like—in the pursuit of more and better design—we’ve forgotten quite a few of these?
  16. Where did it all go wrong?
  17. This is AADA, and I’m Craig Burgess
  18. PLAY MID SONG
  19. I’m going to get a little bit controversial in this episode
  20. And try and get you to think outside your comfort zone
  21. Especially if you’re a jobbing designer right now
  22. Controversy point one:
  23. Designers aren’t trusted to do their own jobs anymore
  24. And designers are becoming less respected at their craft
  25. Before a designer gets involved, often there’s lots of research
  26. Or testing
  27. Or focus groups
  28. Or marketing people writing lengthy documents
  29. Then making design suggestions before the designer has even started
  30. It seems There needs to be a focus group or a large scale research project to back up your design choices for almost anything these days
  31. And if a designer isn’t sure
  32. They’ll be asked to test two versions of a design to see which performs best
  33. All this stuff erodes the soul of a design
  34. Design isn’t as simple as that
  35. Simply doing the research doesn’t automatically create a good design
  36. And the research can be, you know, wrong
  37. Design needs to be left to the designers
  38. Design is as much of a science as it is an art
  39. Getting it right isn’t as simple as doing the research and saying ‘so and so looks like this so we need to look like this’
  40. Design is so much more subtle than that
  41. In the hands of a good designer, a good marketing strategy can turn into something amazing
  42. But in the hands of a poor designer, a good marketing strategy amounts to nothing
  43. And there’s also the other side of this
  44. The side that designers often don’t get a say in
  45. BAD marketing strategies
  46. The research or the strategy is never said to be wrong, it’s always the designers fault
  47. Strategy and planning can sometimes directly interfere with the end design product
  48. Many people are trying to make design a science
  49. And design to some extent can be quantified
  50. There’s rules of design that when followed can produce passable work
  51. But this is why I said design is as much of a science as it is an art
  52. The science part gets you to a certain point with a design
  53. It makes it usable, presentable, workable, and consumable by the masses
  54. But the art part, that’s why the magic lies
  55. That’s where something turns from a good design into something amazing
  56. Something timeless
  57. And something people talk about for years and even decades
  58. To finish this rant up, I’m going to let you in on a little secret
  59. Sometimes when I’m working on a piece of design
  60. The first idea I come up with
  61. In the first 20 minutes
  62. Is the best idea I’ll have
  63. And sometimes, that idea is the perfect one
  64. Sometimes I can create an entire new brand in 20 minutes
  65. And I shouldn’t be embarrassed by that
  66. That’s just design
  67. It can’t be quantified or put into a neat box
  68. Sometimes it works in mysterious ways
  69. And you just have to ride out the journey
  70. OUTRO
  71. This was AADA. I’m Craig Burgess.
  72. Music featured in this episode was
    1. Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik allegro by Advent Chamber Orchestra
    2. Quasi Motion by Kevin MacLeod
    3. Walk That Dog by U.S. Army Blues
    4. ACOUSTIC BLUES by Jason Shaw
  73. For a line-by-line run down of this episode, go to askadesignernaything.com/ep114
  74. I’m back tomorrow for another episode of AADA

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