I think this is a well designed magazine. We’ve gotten many compliments about it, so I guess that is a fair conclusion. But what is ‘good design’? Is it something that can be measured or agreed on? Is it subjective? A matter of taste? Is good design always beautiful, or can something ugly still be a great design? If you want to get a few designers upset and start a great discussion just ask a few of these questions to a couple of designers. Before you know it you’ll be sorry you asked.
But of course, we asked.
Designs seems to be getting extra attention these days or maybe it always has been that way. Either way, in the past it seems like ‘design’ was something you added to stuff, at some point. This is of course contrary to what most designers believe in. As Steve Jobs once claimed ‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works’. A mantra that many designers and entrepreneurs have adopted now. But has it always been like this? And is it true? If you would have to choose between a developer or a designer to hire for your company, which one would you pick? Or do developers, as the people who make things ‘work’ need to be designers as well? If design is ingrained into the products, do we still need designers, or do we all just need a better understanding of design principles? If the design needs to be there from the beginning, what point is there in hiring a designer, unless he or she can be involved as a coproducer during the whole process?
Lets see if we can delve into this sensitive subject in this issue of TNW Magazine. Will we really be able to answer any of these questions? Probably not. But as Brian Lawson once said:
Design is as much a matter of finding problems as it is solving them.