Adam Baney

Steve Jobs on “Design”

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Steve Jobs

Totally right. Design is more than just aesthetics. Design is the mixture of both form and function (but primarily function).

Without function, design is art or visual self-expression, unusable as a communication tool. Without form, design is functional, but difficult to use or understand, therefore, practically unusable as a communication tool. Both are needed for proper balance.

I’ve talked with and heard many designers opinions about design. They talk about design as beauty and eye candy. Talking or listening to them, I realize that they really don’t understand what design is. If aesthetics is all that design is to a designer, that designer isn’t designing, they’re making art, and they’re benefiting no one, not even themselves. As designers, we are creating a usable product to aid in communication. Self-expression has no place in a tool that’s needed for a job. However, design needs to be balanced with creativity. We must be creative in the sense of being problem solvers and artists, knowing the rules of design, applying the rules, and knowing when and how to bend the rules.

One of my favorite designers is a product designer by the name of Dieter Rams. He asked himself the question, “Is my design good design?” From this question, he developed 10 rules of good design.

Even though we may consider ourselves or have others tell us that we’re “good designers”, in order for us to find out truly if we are “good designers”, we need to constantly be asking ourselves questions as we design. These 10 rules (or 10 Design Commandments) are great rules to keep in mind at all stages of the design process. If you’re a designer, let me ask you:  Are you a “good designer”?z

10 years ago | Jul 10, 2014 | Leave a Comment

About the Author

Adam is a visual communicator (currently Sr. Graphic Designer) at Calvary Church in Albuquerque, NM. He has been designing for print, web, and digital advertising for over 15 years, and is passionate about helping small and large businesses succeed through advertising and brand identity.

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