The design lesson

November 5th, 2010

If you actually believe that designing content means you should add a line or a box or a gradient for its own sake, you’re no longer designing—you’re cluttering. Be careful.

Once you have agreed to direct your efforts toward a specific design purpose, you make an error if you simply cast ornaments upon the content. On the contrary; you are sworn to eliminate everything contextually contrary or that gets in the way of communication. Lines and boxes and arbitrarily-chosen ornaments do not romance or enhance the content or its purpose at communication. Arbitrary structure only ever gets in the way.

As the designer, your purpose is to realize order (proper order), clarity, enhancement, and contextually-appropriate theme for the content so that its message may better be conveyed. Your purpose is to discover and accomplish the seamless reintegration of that which is obviously missing from the message found within or required by the raw content.

From “The Design Lesson: 1 of 1” by Andy Rutledge.