Things Every Designer Should Know...
How can you design for the web if you can’t code? How can you direct photography if you’ve never worked in a darkroom? How can you design text if you’re not a careful reader?
Allen follows up with some pearls of wisdom in the form of An Entirely Incomplete List of Things a Non–Illiterate Designer Should Know Before Being a Designer:
- That text will inevitably be read before it is looked at
- That words themselves make remarkably effective clip art
- That the self-conscious layering of messages usually subtracts more value than it adds
- That the practical value of white space towers over its value as a design element
- That the deep symbolism of a design decision, referring perhaps to a treasured memory of the designer, is irrelevant to the person attempting to glean something from the work
- That print designers who gauge their work on the screen, and web designers who gauge their work exclusively on their own machines, are arrogant in their disregard
- That the physiobiology of reading is one that demands easy points of exit and entry
- That simply paying attention to the design of type, or distinguishing it as "fine" or "invisible" or "classical" is like making a big deal about putting salt on a boiled egg
- That letters are not pictures of things, but things
- That words are not things, but pictures of things
- That arbitrarily altering (or allowing software to alter) the shapes of letters, and the spacing between letters and words, is done at one's own
- That emphasis comes at a cost
- That overstating the obvious can be effective, but not all the time
- The precise point at which a quantity of information no longer requires assistance to be differentiated from another
- The knowledge to back up design decisions clearly without falling into a fog of hidden meaning, or so-called "creativity"
Tags: Typography User Interface Design