Much of my days and all hours are now spent on contemplating the value of the arts and design. Of course there is the economical value of art as artifacts that accrue value, or design as enabling enhancements that result in product revenues. But my mind has wandered towards this strange overused word of creative. The idea of someone that has a propensity to create.
While watching my daughter's viola lesson, and as she stood in front of the class, I realized that the moment when the bow touched the strings was not something to be taken for granted. It was the moment when she was to begin the process of expressing herself by creating music. To create is to potentially embarrass oneself in front of others. It is about the courage to be oneself and to be seen as oneself. Putting ink to a page, or pressing one's fingers against clay, or typing a line of computer code, or blowing glass and realizing mistake. Or success. With everyone watching. But most importantly, you.
So it dawned upon me how important it is to be a creative. Because it means you have within you infinite capacity to experiment. You are unafraid to go somewhere new because you are creating a new thought process about your own creativity. You know that if you stop and no longer challenge yourself, you cease to be creative. You become still, silent, and the bow no longer connect with the strings and music is not made. And you do not exist. You show you do not have the courage to exist.
Creativity is courage. The world needs more fearless people that can influence all disciplines to challenge their very existence. Creativity is reflection aimed not at yourself, but at the world around you.
When I first prepared this particular talk… I realized that my usual approach is usually critical. That is, a lot of the things that I do, that most people do, are because they hate something somebody else has done, or they hate that something hasn't been done. And I realized that informed criticism has completely been done in by the web. Because the web has produced so much uninformed criticism. It's kind of a Gresham's Law — bad money drives the good money out of circulation. Bad criticism drives good criticism out of circulation. You just can't criticize anything.
Visual organization is the deliberate prioritization of meaning within a visual design. It’s the process of applying the principles behind perception — how we make sense of what we see — to illuminate relationships between content and actions.
‘Problems with visual design can turn users off so quickly that they never discover all the smart choices you made with navigation or interaction design.’
It wasn’t an architect or a designer who invented objects, but an artisan.
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.
Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor’s craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
Maybe there are times when mystery is more important than knowledge. I realized that the white page is a magic box. Ultimately, the mystery box is all of us. Ubiquitous technologies. What comes next? Mystery as catalyst for imagination.
–Jeffrey Jacob Abrams
The original idea makes design distinctive, function makes it work, and quality adds value.
Trust is the personal believe in correctness of something.
It is the deep conviction of truth and rightness, and can not be enforced.
If you gain someone’s trust, you have established an interpersonal relationship,
based on communication, shared values and experiences.
Trust always depends on mutuality.
–Benjamin Stephan & Lutz Vogel
I am thankful for small mercies. I compared notes with one of my friends who expects everything of the universe, and is disappointed when anything is less than the best, and I found that I begin at the other extreme, expecting nothing, and am always full of thanks for moderate goods.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
I do think studying historical types is tremendously helpful for type design. (I also subscribe to the idea that designing types is tremendously helpful for researching type history.) With enough study you start to develop a more interior understanding of why letters look the way they do — not just ‘I’ve seen enough fonts to have a sense of how wide an S should be,’ but rather ‘I’ve come to understand that in this genre of design, underlying simple geometry (or an impulse to even out cap widths, or an overriding focus on equalizing counters, or etc.) dictates how wide an S should be.