Design is a big subject.
Let me rephrase. Design is an absolutely enormous subject.
Design encompasses everything. Anything that performs a function has been designed to do that. Even if it got part way there by some happy accident, the final polished result was created with intention.
That being said, there’s always more polishing to be done.
Design is never finished. There’s a reason why we’re not still riding penny-farthings or building small wooden houses.
Sure, the fundamentals of a penny-farthing and a modern carbon fibre road bike are largely the same. They both have two wheels – and one of the wheels is even in front of the other. Over time, the design has been slowly refined to what many would consider ‘good’ design now.
In 100 years, will our ancestors be rolling their eyes at how primitive carbon fibre was? Perhaps.
CAN DESIGN EVER BE GOOD?
Just like fashion, graphic design trends are constantly evolving and changing. Our tastes change. If we said to you, picture a young British man in the 80’s – you’d probably mention a white t-shirt tucked into denim jeans, medium length hair with a quiff and some sort of sports shoes.
This probably doesn’t sound too dissimilar from fashion today, but if you were to see someone dressed like this on the street, it will probably turn a few heads and raise a few eyebrows.
The exact same can be said about graphic design.
We’re sure that many people will argue this, but we do think that design can be considered good. To get to this point, we just had to strip the concept of design right back to its fundamentals.
A designer exists to visualise a solution to a problem.
The resulting design is the solution and, if designed effectively, could be considered ‘good design’ for that one particular moment.
However (and this is a big however), what happens when you find a solution to a problem? New problems are created.
Humans are at the centre of design. Designers design for real people. What changes more than anything? You guessed it, humans.
New problems require new solutions. That solution may be, and probably is, an adaptation of that original solution (the design). With that in mind, the original design can’t be considered ‘good’ anymore.
SO, WHAT’S THE SOLUTION? (Pun intended)
“Kaizen” – A continuous change for the better
There are inherent differences between artists and designers. Artists express their emotions and interpretations through the medium of art. Designers understand a problem, understand who they’re creating a solution for and then visualise it.
The key takeaway message here is; “understand who they’re creating a solution for.”
When you’re designing logos or branded elements for your business – you’re not designing for yourself. You should be designing for the prospective customer you’re selling to.
As we said before, tastes change. Your customer’s requirements and expectations will change too. You need to be continually evolving and improving your designs to meet the needs of who really matters – your customers.
It’s so desperately important to know who you’re selling to. Without customers, you don’t have a business.
Always keep a finger on the pulse of your customers. Identify what they want. Identify how they want. Align your business using purposeful design to meet that need.
But remember, your designs won’t be good forever.