Good Monday morning folks! Man, is that not a SWEET title graphic?
Okay, so it's somewhat obvious that I'm NOT a graphic designer. BUT, I do work with a few of them here at the Hat, and I gotta tell ya, they've been bustin' it out this summer.
In my last blog I talked about the amount of work we've done over just the last year, and went on about how we're the experts in our field. Rest assured, none of that has changed, but it's been on my mind for a while to figure out what it is that makes some of our work better than other work. Oh sure, we can't always do the very absolute best project ever created in the history of mankind, but that's at least what we're shooting for. So why isn't everything the best?
Over my 8+ years of working at Old Hat, there have been a couple times that a client has mentioned they didn't feel they were getting the same level of design as other clients; that perhaps, because a client is a big-time university, they might be getting our best possible work while others are getting the run-of-the-mill stuff. Now I know design is very subjective, and unless you have The Design Spectrometer 400TL, it's really hard to gauge the level of design you're getting from a designer. That's why we always scan and document the results for each design using the DS400. By doing so, we can ensure that each poster gets equal amounts of athletic aptitude, branding recallability, design and structural interface integrity, and love. Yeah, you know what, I made that part up about the DS400. I thought we had started doing that but apparently not.
Okay, so seriously... why is it that some work is better? I've gotta say, I think these two graphs tell the story. Before you get upset and send me hate emails, know that I realize clients don't actually perceive things the way that I have them in the first graph. This is a dramatization intended to make a point. Or maybe some clients and others not familiar with the creative process actually DO think this is the best method. In that case, I would ask that you study the second graph.
Here's a quick breakdown of the graph below:
- The level of quality goes from low to high as the client provides input. Simple graph: more input equals better quality, regardless of how much or what type of input a client gives (content or design related). This is what I would call the "perceived" best design practice. And just to be absolutely clear, this is wrong.
The graph below is what I'm calling the actual best design practice. And here's a brief explanation:
- Quality goes up as input is received, similar to the first graph, up to a certain point. The point at which the quality starts to take a downturn is generally when clients move across that imaginary border I'd call the design line. In this graph, that's represented by the Ideal Input line. Providing all the pieces to the puzzle is great, but as the experts, we then have to take those pieces and put it together in a way that screams AWESOME!!
- The Quality level is represented by the upside-down U (downward parabola for you math folks), because having little or no info is probably not going to lead to a great result. In the same way, having too much information or design direction (after you get past that design line) is not going to lead to a great result either.
So what's the ideal amount of input? Honestly, it will probably vary from project to project and client to client. As a general rule, when we have as much content and direction necessary to effectively communicate your message, combined with the freedom to creatively enhance that message. That, my friend, is the ideal amount of input.
It is late and I am starring at my computer thinking about all of the wonderful projects I currently have on my list of things to do. While I sit and think about this incredible list I also think of a million other things. I think of you being a sky full of stars... I am going to give you my heart... cause you are a sky full of stars... cause you light up the... what word does he even say there? Hmmm... Coldplay kind of reminds me of U2. Hey, does anyone know if U2 will ever come out with a new album. Their last album was kind of blahhhhhh... I think ADD is a bunch of bull. It is just another way for the fat cat drug companies to get money out of people. Those damn fat cats. Real fat cats can be cuddly though. My parents have two awesome fat cats that sleep all day ha ha... Wait, what was I doing again? Oh yeah blogging... Here is a great list of things you shouldn't say to a graphic designer (:
I’m supposed to write a blog today. Once again, I’ve known about it for a few days and once again, I don’t have anything work related to really write about. So here is a list of random things I have thought/worried about since the last time we talked.
1. Oh crap. I’ve got a blog to write.
2. What am I going to write about?
3. Why not just make a random list of things?
4. Ok, that sounds good. How about…
5. Though I’ve made a lot of mistakes, I’m lucky to be where I’m at in life. I’m reminded of this fact everyday because on my way to work I pass by the homeless shelter. Everyday I see people without jobs, without money, without a car, possibly without family to love them and probably very little hope. Thankfully, I have all those.
6. I haven’t talked to my mom and dad in a while. I should probably call them. I wonder why they never call me?
7. I need to improved my attitude.
8. My wife starts her new teaching job in Moore this year.
9. Moore gets hit by tornadoes a lot. I’m worried about her safety now.
10. My kids start back to school soon. That’s good cause they’re driving us crazy. They need to get back in to a routine.
11. I took my son to the doctor yesterday and found out he’s going to need to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. I know it’s no big deal but it still worries me. That’s probably gonna cost a lot of money. It’s supposed to take a week to recover which means I’m going to miss some work.
12. I need to be more active. I read a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine that said adults who sat for more than 11 hours a day had a 40% increase risk of dying within 3 years, from any cause, compared with those who sat for less than 4 hours a day. I’m not really sure what that actually means. All I know is that I do sit a lot.
13. I also read a study that said 90% of studies are complete BS.
14. Actually, I didn’t. I made that up.
15. I’m getting fatter $1.08 at a time. Thanks McDonalds.
16. I’m getting old. My back hurts everyday. I don’t do anything for my back to hurt this bad. Maybe it’s because I don’t do anything that my back hurts?
17. I need to be more motivated to change my lifestyle.
18. Our offices are situated right next to some train tracks. Whenever the train speeds by I think about how screwed we’d all be if it were to derail and come tumbling towards our building.
19. Speaking of trains, sometimes when I drive across the train tracks, I think what if that time traveling train from Back to the Future III came bursting into this dimension and crashed right into me?
20. Well, there’s plenty more on my mind but I really need to get back to work so here’s a picture of my kids and a link to one of my favorite songs these days.