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What is good design?

I know this is going to open a minefield of opinion, but I’m going to say it anyway.

Has the Mac helped or hindered good design?

Whether you are designing brands, logos, stationery, leaflets or brochures, the world of ‘desktop publishing’ has had a major impact on the design of them. People all over the planet can now access design software and consequently are producing design work. In a way this is great. But it also has impact on what people see and what is commonly accepted as ‘design’. Imagine, if you will, if we could all design our own houses. Just picture that for a moment. Can you possibly imagine the state our streets would be in if Mrs Smith could design and build her own house on her laptop with giant floral print on the brickwork and flower shaped doors and windows. If Mr Jones could put together a house he has dreamed of covered in bulldog imagery and naked woman shaped windows. Our streets would be appalling states of crude and vulgar imaginations that have no disciplne as to what works with what.

Now apply that same principle to leaflets and posters. It’s not a case of defending the work we do. It’s a case of keeping standards up so that design can progress and build into better design going forward. Design progresses and improves over time. We are able to move it on and keep evolving our skills with design so we, and it, become better and more engaging for everyone. This raises standards overall and allows us to enjoy design and everything it offers more.

Good design means purpose and strategy. It is often simple and discreet, but can be loud and proud. It has meaning. It resonates from a thought process that has evolved over several hours, or even days. Good design is not taken lightly. It is not rushed. It is cared for and manipulated into something that simply works. Its shape works within its space. Its colour works with its brand ethos. Its position sits balanced. It appeals to a specific target market. It will get a response and it will be right for your business and your company ethos. It is simply designed to work in the environment it is being used in.

What is good design? That is good design.

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