Design and Beauty: My experience.

JoeI’ve only considered myself a professional designer (that is, print/web design) for about two years, when I was deep in my major and could actually produce good work and defend my reasons as to why it was the right choice.

During that time I learned that for all the time I have spent worrying about how a design looks, I’d get past the point of having a purpose for my decisions which led to a design that wasn’t as exciting. Sure, you can craft a solid composition with decorative typography and color, but without any solid concept it’s just going to come across as superflous. Don’t get me wrong though, I think that plenty of designs can look good an convey a message well, but I’m saying that when a person hires you they’ll likely have a vision in mind already, and even if they don’t they’ll more than likely want to change a couple of things.

Ultimately every person in business doing creative work has to make compromises to be successful. This doesn’t mean that you canot be creative with your work, it just means that you’re thinking about other people (specifically the client and their target audience) over yourself, which is our biggest marketable trait. As a designer, I’ve learned to think outside of the box and really enjoy doing so. I don’t mind not being able to blow their minds with the best-looking design ever, I’m way more interested in pitching a concept that they would likely have not thought of. Otherwise they wouldn’t be coming to me.

To me, design isn’t about just giving you something nice to look at anymore, it’s more of a philosophy. A philosophy that extends way beyond your Adobe Creative Suite and across multiple careers. Whether it’s magazines, the web, games, home interiors, fashion, engineering etc, if you’re thinking about user experiences and the best way of conveying a function naturally, then you’re a designer. Congratulations! You’re one of the great thinkers of your time, here to make life more efficient and better-looking for the rest of us, but more as a byproduct than a catalyst.

-Joe

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The Art of Video Games at the Smithsonian

This a conversation I had with my good friend Matt on the upcoming Art of Video Games exhibit at the Smithsonian in March of 2012. The exhibit will feature a large variety of games that range across different genres and platforms.

Prior to this chat, which occurred later on Steam, we were browsing the unfinished list of nominated games on Wikipedia and commenting on it. Matt was remarking how confusing a lot of the choices were, showing games that didn’t make sense in the context of what the list was trying to do. For instance, some games that really did define a genre and influence sequels and spin-offs down the road were not included, though their later adaptations were.

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Pokémon LEGOS!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39134527@N04/5312349865/

Came across this a little while ago but thought I’d share it anyway. Filip Johannes Felberg created a whole series of impressive Pokémon LEGO sculptures and pretty much all of them can be seen on Flickr. You should definitely check them out when you get a chance.

-Joe