What happened to design?
Over the past few months I have been taking a hard look at online (web sites, banners, emails) and offline (posters, brochures, direct mail) and I have noticed a trend that has been happening. Slowly, the worlds designs are getting careless. Leading? Kerning? Shadows? I think the younger audience takes all of it for granted, and lets be honest, its getting out of control. Does every image have to have a reflection, like there is some benefit to have a photo shoot on a glass table?
I first noticed that something was wrong with design when I was laid off from my position at an advertising agency in Boston due to “Loss of clients” (thats another story for another time). I was in the mandatory unemployment office meeting, and a photographer was there saying that she has to find a new job because everything is going video. She gave up on her medium, which was very sad. I think “we” designers (photographers, copywriters, etc) are starting to go in that direction too. Why build a web site from scratch when I can use a “out of the can” design from google? What we provide is the expertise to design something that cutting edge, or has feeling, and even a soul.
Look into the past designers, the letter setter, the ones that were taking chances using their hands, and not clicking on a standard button from Photoshop. There are a few movies like Helvetica that are amazing to watch. This movie will give you insight to what I am talking about and my passion behind my words.
Remember, Design is not meant to be looked at by the general public as anything but useful and easy to read. Look though the designs, deep into them, and ask yourself “Why does this design look so good?” Apple is a great example that of great designs that does more than just computers and iPads. Everything Apple does is designed without cutting corners. They are the model for future designs, and maybe our last connection to past great designers.