I have been quite pleasantly surprised with the Helvetica documentary and now also with To Inform and Delight.
I studied abroad in Florence, Italy this past summer where there was sight-seeing galore. The art in Italy is typically historic and lacking what we consider modern design, however, I believe it is relevant to this class nonetheless. I often found myself looking at the art and thinking to myself I don’t get it? I wanted someone who was better versed than I in artistry to explain to me why that piece of work was so much better than all the others and what kind of feeling was I supposed to have while looking at the piece? It might have helped if the informational signs were in English, but even still I probably would not have understood the power.
I get it now. I think you have to have truly tried to design in order to appreciate the work that goes into it. I always thought that some people were good at design and some people were just bad and that was predetermined somehow. I thought design was effortless to those who were good at it.
Milton Glaser opened my eyes to how wrong that thinking was. Glaser said, “drawing is thinking”. I love that expression. After going through this class and working on the Resume and Poster assignments, that expression could not be more true. Good design requires thinking and arranging and then rearranging and then changing and then maybe starting all over again. The process gives me a headache at times. The amount of work that goes into the “simplest” of designs is underrated. That is why achieving a simple and yet beautiful design is so highly praised. When I was in Italy, I could not understand this.
I think Glaser’s most popular design, the I <3 NY logo, reaffirms this idea. After reading a couple of my classmate’s blog posts, it seems that most people agree that this design is simple. Some even remarked on their surprise that this was his most popular design. I agree it seems so simple, but I am sure extensive thought went into it. Good design is not stumbled upon, it is a labor intensive project.