Good Design is Innovative
Dieter Rams, a German industrial designer, introduced ten principles of good design. I am going to focus on one principle in this blog post: good design is innovative.
I am not a product designer, but innovation is something I work toward in my page and infographic designs as Senior Graphic Design Artist for Frost & Sullivan’s Growth Team Membership program. Creating clever and different ways to explain processes and data takes time; I call it marinating time.
Speaking of marinating, I love to grill. And I love a good marinade. I think marinated food is just fabulous. However, sometimes (most times) I don’t build in enough time to marinate and I get (what I feel are) sub-par grill results. Talking about grilling right now makes me a little sad what with fall just around the corner. I love the change in seasons (probably because I grew up with only two in the Pacific: rainy and dry); fall is one of my favorites, despite the shorter daylight hours and the temperature drops that deter me from venturing outside to grill. So while grilling (for me) is a late-spring, summer activity, marinating can be done year round (when I remember to plan ahead). Just like marinating food, marinating on design takes time: time to think and time to allow myself to follow meandering thoughts, jot down many sketches (I go through a lot of paper), and come at ideas sideways.
These marinating sessions require me to think loosely about a problem or page. When I let my mind wander, flashes of inspiration hit and I come up with some unique and clever ideas. It is a rush when an idea flashes and I grab it and run with it, sometimes the idea fizzles once I start fleshing out the details, but more often than not, the idea solidifies into a great page or a lovely section of an infographic.
I often tell my team that I need time to marinate on a page or an infographic. This time to muse and reflect is crucial to my design process. If you find yourself stuck on something, the flow of a presentation or even just one page; I highly recommend setting aside time to marinate, the brain often comes up with interesting solutions when you allow yourself to think sideways.
Jannette is the Senior Graphic Design Artist for Growth Team Membership, a premier best practices research group within Frost & Sullivan. You can follow her on Twitter: @jwhippy.
06 May 2013 12:08
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