Design is a planned solution to a problem. Design communicates, it makes something useful. Design can organize and make sense out of large amounts of data. Design makes peoples lives better.
Good design makes the above even better. Rarely is there one solution to a problem that design can solve, it’s the skill and experience of the designer to determine which is the best for the conditions, the market place, the mission, the client and the audience.
Design is subjective. Like tastes. The measure of good design is the level at which it solves the problem.
Design Meets Creativity.
Remember design is a planned solution. It may involve a variety of materials, applications and processes. Creativity is the ability to create something from nothing and that something can greatly support the design.
Some would argue they don’t need or value design. Take a look at the everyday things you use. How you use them, your level of liking to use them are base on design. In contrast, when something doesn’t work well or quickly falls apart, it’s likely do to poor design.
Design is effective. It can motivate (move you to action or to buy something), it can inform (teach, keep you safe, educate). Design can provoke an emotional response. What ever the issue is, design is there to solve it.
Had Design Become a Commodity?
That would be tragic. Bringing design down to a single distinction, price, hurts everyone. It kills innovation and creative thinking. Design just is out there hustling for a buck. You know the old adage, you get what you pay for.
It has been a struggle for design to overcome the shadow of commodity status. To many still, the computer has literally turned everyone into “a designer.” I have a lovely kitchen full of excellent cooking and baking equipment, but it doesn’t make me Martha Stewart, nor does it make me a good chef. It takes talent, experience, good listening and communications skills to be a good designer. The computer is just a tool.
There are two camps of design. The cookie cutter, crowd sourced, contest, canned kind and then there is design that is backed by research, a mission, a desire for social change and social good. I prefer the latter camp. The work is tougher, more challenging, expensive, but oh, so worth it in terms of what design in this context can do for us and the world.