Monday, January 1, 2007

The Subjectivity of Design

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Let me begin my making a clear distinction, design is not art.

Simply stated art is created for the artist and the artist alone. The artist paints a picture solely for the purpose of self-expression of how he or she sees the world. Anyone can look a piece of art and like it or dislike it. Art is subjective, either you like Van Gogh’s sunflowers or you don’t.

Design on the other hand is not created for self-expression but for a client with a particular goal in mind. If a design accomplishes the desired goal, for example to increase the response rate of a particular message by 63%, then it has satisfied it’s objective and purpose for being created. If subjectivity is added to the process of design approval the purpose of design has been completely removed and has become subjective.

So someone’s opinion may be that they don’t like a particular color or that the empty white space can be filled with something, but that is not design, that is an opinion.

Design is the accumulation of principals and elements that perform on many levels with several different parts all contributing to a desired influence. Every element in design has been placed or chosen for a reason and to change something that may seem trivial like color or white space just because of an opinion could result in a negative desired outcome.

Truth be told, no designer or copywriter or art director or even you can know beyond any doubt what the best design will be, until it’s test. Design is a process that must constantly evolve and grow.

1 comment:

Jorge Hill said...

Very well said. Now I could really say design is different from art?
I really enjoyed reading your article. Thanks for sharing.