20 June 2009
11 June 2009
Ever ridden down a steep hill at such a fast rate that you could not pedal? Your feet just can’t keep up. It’s an uncomfortable feeling… almost out of control. Riding the flats or uphill… with some resistance gives us the choice to go faster or to slow down.
An experienced salesperson lives for an objection. It is only at that point that they get to do their job. If you ever want to frustrate a salesperson, just smile and nod as they run out of things to say.
When I was a young designer I used to bristle at constraints. Constraints were definitely the things that held me back from doing great design. What I later discovered was that those very constraints that I loved to complain about, were the foundation of my work. They were the problems I solved, the edge that gave me grip, the launching point of discovery. I began to seek those challenges that afforded both opportunity and accomplishment. Learning to embrace constraints was possibly the single greatest lesson I ever learned in design.
07 June 2009
When body ink began gaining traction a dozen or so years ago, it was not a huge surprise to see many of those visual elements from striping find their way to shoulders, arms, lower backs and other more discrete locations. The immergence of graffiti as a legitimate art form was a bit of a surprise but its influence on body art was not.
So none of this is really news, and you might be asking what is the point?
More and more these forms and imagery have been showing up in mainstream items, from t-shirts, dress shirts, jeans and even household fabrics. It is a far less committed way of wearing body art. What is striking about the third or fourth iteration of these visual elements is the embrace of what a product manager might deem a defect. None of these canvas, the human body, a brick wall, or a truck body panel constitute anything close to a perfect canvas. The uncontrollable elements of shape, dimension, texture and material effect, in a substantial way, the outcome of the final product. These ‘defects’ or artifacts have come to be embraced. The imperfections are a huge part of what makes this cool to those willing to fork over a few bucks… and display it. It’s worth noting even when generating technology products, that the consumer has influence here… and that perfection is not always perfect. Those imperfections may in fact become desired attributes.