Good design

One of my favorite Creative Directors of all time had a white piece of paper hanging off his office wall with a sharpie message simply reading,

“Where were you when this page was blank?”

The agency was Tribal DDB and the author (as far as the sharpie Art Direction is concerned) was Saman Rahmanian. It was meant as a nice way to tell all the ‘well meaning’ critics to find their rightful place.

That said, design (and a creative idea) is not math. Design, specially commercial/marketing design, design that’s not meant to express an individual voice but the voice of a brand is subject to taste. As Pantone colors have their nearly endless shades, opinions and tastes vary.

That’s why we cannot bear to leave the judgement on what is “good design” to recognized designers alone-(A) as we do with good code to brilliant engineers-(B). That’s also why there is so much “bad design”-(C). And that’s one thing most of us do agree on. Imagine everyone’s opinion taken into consideration on every line of code? Mathematically speaking, if A and B are true, then C is true as well.

So can we all agree to judge design only if we have a degree and industry recognition in it and not just taste? The world will be a more beautiful and functional place and we all enjoy that… And by “we”, I mean tastemaker-wanna-bes (nothing wrong with that, we all have our hobbies, hopefully…) and recognized, experienced designers alike.