Over the years, we at Fashion Life have released quite a few pieces on subpar design. And while these publications are incredibly fun to prepare and scroll through (just take a look at this one), we need to balance them out a little. After all, not every designer is an incompetent 3-year-old. Some of them are 4... light-years ahead of the competition.
There's a subreddit that features high-quality images of interesting designs, including architectural, graphic, industrial, furniture, and product design, and even though we already covered it once, there are so many gems on it, we need to do a follow-up. From a restaurant half-sunken into the sea to a suitcase that can measure its own weight, continue scrolling and check out the best that human ingenuity has to offer.
We, regular users, usually see just the finished product. But there's so much more that goes into actually creating them. To learn more about design, we contacted Nicole Phillips, who has been working in the design industry since 2005 and has a background in fine arts and advertising. Phillips specializes in logo design, branding, and package design for food & beverage, beauty, health, and interior design clients, and for each project, her work is unique and never linear.
"The design process requires research, experimentation, and even a bit of psychology," Phillips told Fashion Life. "When I feel frustrated with the process, I remind myself to take a step back, have fun and play. It's those moments of play and experimentation that usually create the best results, but it's those hours of research that help build the foundation for the final result."
"My clients are not paying me for my time, they are paying me for my many years of experience, so if I am able to complete the design process in 5 hours rather than 5 weeks, this is a sign of my years of experience and knowledge, this is valuable," she added.
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Trying to determine whether or not a particular design is good, many turn to Dieter Rams and his '10 commandments.' According to Rams, good design is innovative, makes a product useful, is aesthetic, makes a product understandable, is unobtrusive, is honest, is long-lasting, is thorough down to the last detail, is environmentally friendly, and involves as little design as possible.
Nicole Phillips agrees with the German design legend.
"Good design includes a good balance of function, form, and fun," Phillips said. "The user shouldn't have to try too hard to get what they need from the design. Good design isn't just aesthetics, it should communicate well and push boundaries a bit. Good design solves problems."
To paraphrase Don Draper from Mad Men, it's simple but significant.