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The essence of design – what is it?

A few days ago I received a guest post from Viktor Fomin, author of the Kruffock blog, “chronicles of the living mind of a copywriter philosopher.”

To begin with, in many professional areas of activity, many things are so obvious that they receive little attention. It is believed that it is so simple that there is nowhere else to go. And if someone asks to clarify the meaning of such a phenomenon, having discovered that universal fame does not guarantee universal understanding, it will either be considered a joke, or they will quickly dump a set of their own conclusions on a person.

In our opinion, one of these “non-negotiable” phenomena is the concept of design. This phenomenon is amorphous, not amenable to a clear definition, and that is why its meaning has long been lost for secondary signs.

The design is universal!
Maxime Vignelli, American Advertiser

Let’s decide what design is.

It is not only graphics or ergonomics. Design is a utilitarian principle that reveals the benefits that a person brings to his life, cultural and objective environment.

We thought a little and decided that “design” is now evenly distributed between viral marketing (a red rag is a design, and a bull is a consumer); an obstacle race (in order to get to the idea that design embodies, you need to skip over the interpretation of the logo, corporate identity, excessive decoration, etc.); and an absolutely sincere belief that design is a wrapper of something. The value of this “something” in most cases is leveled, and the wrapper begins to “wrap”, instead of opening and serving correctly.

As the first example, we can bring the famous Lebedev studio mug with a pen in the shape of an @, and the much more famous iPad. Note that we are by no means going to (and there will be no sense in this until we do something “loud”) to criticize people who have earned a lot of money with a mug and tablet. We ourselves do not disdain viral marketing – often this is the most effective way to quickly and widely disseminate the necessary information. We just mean that the form for people turned out to be more important than the content, which, in principle, was what the marketers sought.

If you ever fell into the hands of the same circle @, you might have the seditious thought that the circle is .. uncomfortable.

No, it can not be. This is Lebedev’s studio! That, perhaps, says everything. The scandalous brand awareness plus something that differs from the generally accepted form – design, receive and sign.

And even the fact that you purchased a piece of ceramics with cracks and uneven edges, cast in an anonymous Chinese factory, will not prevent you from being proud of your new mug – let it fly on a coffee break like the Amundsen flag in Antarctica, betraying your undeniable creativity.

Perhaps, we won’t talk about the iPad in detail. Apple for many years worked on the image of aliens flying in, as a result, the technical characteristics of their products are uninteresting to the majority – the main thing is to sparkle an apple in crowded places. In a sense, they are pioneers – they are doing something, and the rest of the world, including competitors, is watching with bated breath – will they fire? If so, then the conveyor begins to unwind, stamping the same as apple trees, only “cooler”.

Although, the fans of the apple from this, it seems, neither cold nor hot. For them, Apple’s design has long become a kind of shield, beating off any machinations of ill-wishers.

The design obstacle race reigns in visual presentation. This is when all sorts of little flowers, ryushechki, as well as stunning combinations of shape and color block themselves with the main thing – the idea.

For example: we get confused in the buttons, trying to order something in the online store.

We repeat: the design should not be presented as a separate presentation of anything. Design is a part of this “something”, an organic component. Just as advertising should not be smarter than the client, so design should not resemble a chic blonde, next to whom a nondescript product minces. In this case, the client is offered to play a detective story, and find who in this couple is the main one.

Yes, we recognize that there is graphic design, there is interior design, there is industrial design, and in general the design of all areas of human life. But all this is just an approach to the overall design, the essence of which is to connect the form and content, turning them into a single whole.

Thanks to the author! I remind you that it was Victor (aka Krufoko). It turned out very cool – and it touches on such interesting nuances of design, which, I confess, I did not really think about.

Take for example the development of a website – often discussing the issue of functionality with a client, we focus on future promotion as a very important part of launching an Internet project. But at the same time, many customers still require a beautiful “design wrapper”, investing in this concept almost more value and importance than the product or company being demonstrated.

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