Designisms by Jennifer Morla

Morla Designisms by Jennifer Morla

1. Design does not live in an aesthetic vacuum. Design is influenced by and influences contemporary society.

2. Design is not solely a marketing device that supports consumerism. It can be a communicator of dissent; it can market ideology. It can affect change.

3. Design must surprise and inform.

4. Design can be seductive propaganda. It is our responsibility to be knowledgable about what we are asked to communicate. Make your decisions educated decisions.

5. Design has a rather symbiotic relationship with style, and style is somewhat precarious. What looks great today may look silly in fifteen years, and maybe if you’re extremely lucky and talented, it will look good again in twenty. Great design is, quite simply, innovation that reflects the spirit of an era and becomes a classic because of its timeless appeal.

6. Question the need for any piece of print communication. This is the most elementary way of protecting the environment. Often, the communication can be executed in a much more meaningful way that goes beyond traditional design vehicles.

7. Respect the power of printing. A piece of paper doesn’t necessarily go away. That message, that image, with your name proudly credited in four-point type, may last decades. It’s a humbling thought.

8. Multiplicity works. Sol LeWitt knew it wen he lined up 100 white boxes on a floor. Bruce Mau knew it when he put hundreds of big, grainy pictures back to back for Rem Koolhas, and the Gap knows it when they fill their windows with hundreds of kids’ sneakers.

9. Find your own voice by experimenting, by allowing the time to experiment, and by taking risks. This is why being in school is a luxury. School allows you the structured time to research, analyze, synthesize, ideate, strategize, and create. This is what being a designer is all about.

10. Design that moves others comes from issues that move you.

11. No design is completely original. We are all influenced by the bombardment of visual information we are exposed to on a daily basis. But understand that influence and plagiarism are two different things.

12. A good designer is a great listener. And if you listen smartly, the client nearly always tells you the solution.

13. A good designer is a great storyteller. Every company, service, and institution has a story to tell. Explore the narrative and banish the banal corporate speak we’ve read a million times before.

14. Accidents often produce the best solutions. And accidents are hands-on experience. Only you can recognize the difference between and accident and your original intent.

15. Collaboration is good.

16. Passion enables us to remain true to our creative vision. Analyze, synthesize, visualize, but don’t compromise.

17. Extremes work: really large, or really thick, or really small, or really colorful, or really simple, or really dense.

18. We are the creators of artifacts.

19. Designing takes time.

20. Ideas come faster the older you get.

21. Asking questions generates more ideas.

22. “Seriously funny” works.

23. Dichotomy works. Try juxtaposing opposites: the historical with the vernacular, the rough with the refined, the brash with the sublime.

24. The space between is as important as the space occupied.

— (via Masters of Design: Logos & Identity)