What’s good design?

A lot of young designers get trapped by thinking that if “everyone” is doing something, then it must be good design.

Hmm. Really?

It’s easy to get confused by trends if all you do is scrub through Instagram. “Meme this, meme that.” Popular filters, incessant pics of the same thing. It’s simple, hence why it’s so prevalent. (I speak from experience… I have a young designer in my household.)

Social media is the playground of trends. Sometimes, trends can be well designed, but more often, their much more like a “campaign”… quickly thought of, quickly produced. Not intended for lasting communication… they simply apply style and move on. Again, not a bad thing, but, not what you might call “lasting, thought-provoking design.”

Doing great work takes time. It takes reps. It takes talent. It takes being able to look well beyond the first thing you do. You need to have a willingness to dig deeper that “style” and really solve a problem. You see, style is what something looks like. Design is what something does.

Design is thinking made visual. -Saul Bass

If you think about it, that’s exactly right. Design is meant to do something… to inform, to motivate, to communicate. Design solves problems, and a designer’s job is to think, solve, then create.

I’d like to encourage you… look beyond your immediate solutions, ask what your design piece needs to do. Then, once you understand the purpose, you can start designing the solution!


Husband, father, Disney freak, design geek, in that order.

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