When Does a Designer Design?

The process of designing a website.designprocess

Just read a good post by Ben Gremillion in webdesignerdepot "To create a design is to build a chair in which the content will sit. To choose a design is to select a vehicle to carry information. The noun “design” differs from the verb “design”: one is a product, the other a process. Design (the verb) is an intimate relationship between content and form."

How Does It Work?

Define the parameters
People are surprised to learn that design thrives on boundaries; problem-solving is a good exercise. Here are some parameters to consider:

Attention: “We want to make a lasting impression on people. What is our message? How many different ways can we express that message? What might distract people?”
Medium: “We need this to work in desktop browsers and on handheld devices. How can we write the same HTML for both?”
Budget: “How much can we do with the money we have?”

Ask questions.

“What do we want to accomplish?” is just the beginning, and “To build a website” is not a sufficient answer.
“Who are we trying to help, inform or influence?”
“Why should people come to us instead of the competition?”
“Who is responsible for what?”
“What do we need in order to launch, and what can wait for later?”
“How will we maintain this website? Who will make changes, monitor traffic and troubleshoot problems?”

“Has this been done before? If so, how can we improve on it? What mistakes can we learn from?”

When design is a process, then using layout, typography, color, line, form, contrast and technology solves the problems. 

Art Infusion

Need new ideas and solutions? 
Going off-piste – looking at the provocative to get inspired.

Today, a company’s ability to conceive original thoughts and discover new ways of doing business has never been more important. Fostering fresh ideas, facilitating problem solving and promoting innovation can help companies improve their products and services….so what are some ways to stimulate the creative flow? 

There are so many idea-generation and brainstorming techniques to use, so many places to look for inspiration. My main strategy is to hunt and gather. For inspiration, I look at everything around me, not just the areas surrounding the project or industry I'm working in. I’ve made it a habit to accumulate intellectual and visual material from many sources…but the arts in particular. Fine Arts, music, design, typography, craft, Eastern philosophy, manuscripts, movie posters, industrial designs, illustrations, vintage culture, toys, games…projects, creations, inventions of painters, writers, architects, musicians, photographers, designers… that are surrounding us and making our world more beautiful, more weird and more real. 

In marketing, the challenge is not only to promote the brand, but in finding a strategy and a direction that inspires and connects, while appreciating the nuances of human behaviors. A great strategy will succeed creating a movement. Throughout history, art has created movements, with the ability to arouse the imagination and capture attention. Art has the power to influence people, and people are also consumers. Influences that consumers respond to is a tough thing to pinpoint, often we identify them after a movement has peaked. 

That's why I keep looking in the direction of the people that enrich our aesthetic options and make us think, visionaries whose perspectives inspire and influence long before any trends, analytics, or results become established. If one thing is certain about the past several years, it is that the intersection of arts and products has become more transparent. We're a generation spurred by collaboration and charged up by the potential of visual arts to better almost every idea. To get you inspired, I'm sharing a great list "The 100 Most Influential Artists Of The Complex Decade", in short, these are the artists who have shaped our vision of world over the past 10 years. I've highlighted 8 (for no particular reason, simply that they intrigued me) - but to see the 92 others definitely go here

Philippe Starck is a superstar designer, known for interior designing Ian Schrager's hotels and transforming consumer goods like toothbrushes and chairs into art. 720

Shigeru Miyamoto You don't know Miyamoto? He's the video game designer and producer behind Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and the Wii series. His work has been seen on every Nintendo video game console. Enough said. mario

Estevan Oriol has famously photographed a ton of celebrities, in addition to directing music videos for Travis Barker, Xzibit, Blink 182, and more. With the rest of the Soul Assassins crew, Oriol has made the LA aesthetic a global one. estafan

Jamil GS Jamil's work is a dope mix of art and branding, photographing hot women and musicians for Supreme, Made, Premium Goods, and more. His work exists on the blurred lines between documentary, fine art, and commerce where his avant garde methods and knack for eyeing cultural trends, has made him a solid curator of vibrant grassroots culture.jamil 


Kevin Lyons is a superstar art director, who recently collabed with Colette and DC Shoes to paint a skate ramp in Paris. In the past 10 years, he's also worked with Nike and Converse, and was the former global Creative Director at Urban Outfitters. In 2010, he won a Cannes Golden Lion for his Diesel campaign and an Emmy for title design of Eric Ripert's PBS series, Avec Eric. lyonsj shoes

Tom Dixon Both as a self-taught designer-maker in early 1980s London and as head of design at the Habitat retail chain and now Artek, the Finnish furniture manufacturer, has combined the creative with the commercial throughout his career. Dixon fell into design by accident when he found himself with “time on his hands” while recovering from a motorcycle accident. As an art school drop-out with no technical training, he taught himself how to become a designer-maker in 1983 after discovering welding when trying to repair his motorbike. Creating an exclamation mark in the home, the much loved Fan Chair – a dramatic and sculptural take on the traditional British Windsor Chair. Formed from machined wooden spindles, a curved back and circular base inject a striking silhouette in the dining space. tomdixon estazaan

Os Gemeos These Brazilian twins brought traditional pixação art to the global mainstream, with a hip-hop twist. Murals all over the world solidified their stature among the most recognizable street artists around. Their recent exhibition at PRISM LA followed major museum shows in the United States and at home in South America… proving they've got appeal both inside and out. os

Kara Walker Before Kara Walker was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007, she was already on the map for her symbolic silhouettes, referencing slavery, struggle, and corporeality. Walker, 38, makes black-paper silhouettes that at first glance might remind you of the antique portraits hanging in your grandmother’s living room. But look closer. You’ll see that Walker’s art is complicated by race, sex and the history of slavery in the plantation-era South. Her provocative images have mesmerized audiences and critics. As to why she traded in her paintbrushes for an X-Acto knife while in art school, Walker says, “There’s a sweet violence in the act of cutting, of accepting and rejecting cultural stereotypes…I knew that if I was going to make work that [dealt] with race issues, they were going to be full of contradictions.” Kara Walker has used overhead projectors to throw colored light onto the ceiling, walls, and floor of the exhibition space. When the viewer walks into the installation, his or her body casts a shadow onto the walls where it mingles with Walker’s black-paper figures and landscapes. walk