I’ve been thinking about design culture, and the way in which designers interact with clients and audiences. If I could invite designers to do one thing, it would be to “Design by love” … that is, let love inform how they do their work. Lots of times, this list overlaps with simple professionality (which can be sadly lacking in the design community), but it goes even farther than that. It’s a philosophy of designing with affection and respect for those who don’t wield CS5, and I’ve found it to be useful in my own life.
This is just a bare bones outline, more for my own use than anyone else, but I thought someone out on the great wide web might find it interesting. So here it is … how to design by love:
- Design that which welcomes & sets at ease. Even if the goal is to disturb, do so in a way that draws the viewer in, taking them and their background into account.
- Don’t throw your design out into a void and say, “This is my design, take it or leave it. I don’t care who you are or what you think, I know it’s good.”
- Of the client: take stock of the fact that if they’re hiring you, they are a professional who is knowledgeable about their field (a field in which you, 99.9% of the time, are the ignorant newcomer).
- Of the audience: realize that those receiving your piece live in a visually sophisticated society, and will not accept mediocrity.
- Co-passionate: make the client’s goal your own.
- Make the audience’s needs your own.
- Realize that you, the person, are a smaller part of a bigger picture, and have need of help, inspiration, and perspective.
- Submit yourself to your higher authority.
- Every criticism moves the design forward to completion.
- There is always more to learn.
- Personality is different from ego: ego replaces your the client’s priorities with your own, personality enriches.
- It’s about the project, not about you.
- Listen to your client’s requests and give them what they want. (What they want may be different — better — than what they ask for. Explain how and why.
- Be excited about what you have to offer, and share that excitement.