Design

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There is an alarming trend in the art and design. Not in the artists and craftsmen, but in the clients.  The trend is, an insistence on mediocrity.  It is often an attempt to make something universally appealing. I honestly don't think that's possible. Both fine art and good design can evoke emotion, often strong emotion.  You have to realize though, that they induce both positive emotional responses, and negative ones.  Some people like them very much, but others will dislike them.  The only way to eliminate this negative response group is to lower or eliminate the emotional impact.

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Good design flows, whether it be in print, or on a screen. Jennifer Kyrnin has written a nice article called Flow in Design - Layout and Artwork that Conveys Motion on the subject that's well worth reading.

Visual flow carries the viewer's eye through the document in a way that all the important elements receive prominence, and nothing snags the vision or causes the viewer to lose sense of the piece.

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Here is a website dedicated to color inspiration from the masters of painting. It clarifies master paintings down into a five color palette. A significant amount of the emotional nature of the painting is reflected in the choice of color. What do you want your work to say? Did you choose the right colors to do that? These aren't hard and fast rules of course.

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I have found that those who survive (in design) and last more than six months practice these seven habits: - Talent Isn't Everything - Boxes and Arrows.

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I Am Not A Graphic Designer

While much of what we do as Communication Designers still involves aesthetic choices and artistic skills (craft), our professional practice revolves around a message-driven design discipline that involves research, learning, concept development, structuring and presentation of messages designed to facilitate better understanding within an audience.

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On Design: Learn from the Stupid: Consistency

To succeed as a design business, you must define a process, and then stick to it religiously.

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UnBeige is linking to a great article from Fast Company about 'quantifying the rate of return on instituting inventive design". No Accounting For Design?

A design solution might be technically masterful and aesthetically pleasing, but if you can't quantitatively calculate its clout, you can't claim its success.

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I was reading How to Change the World by Guy Kawasaki today, and came upon something unexpected. Insight into graphic design.

The Curse of Knowledge. Lots of research in economics and psychology shows that when we know something, it becomes hard for us to imagine not knowing it. As a result, we become lousy communicators. Think of a lawyer who can't give you a straight, comprehensible answer to a legal question. His vast knowledge and experience renders him unable to fathom how little you know.

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Good graphic design isn't complicated. Even fairly complex designs are, at their base, simple communication. While web design can be more technically challenging, it's also just a form of communication. An aspect of design that's often overlooked is this communication. You use the best paper, you've checked the latest color trends, your layout is perfect... does it communicate clearly? I'm passionate about design, but the wrong design can be worse than no design at all.

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Steven at SpyderBlog had a really good comment on my last post. I started to answer it in the comment section, but it soon became clear that it needed more significant attention. I quoted the The Design Constitution which says, in part:

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