The Future Forward
Somewhere in the very recesses of our subconscious mind, there is a motherly voice that perpetually warns us against getting too caught up in being fashionable.
"Do you need that? Are you really going to wear it? Is it functional?"
The inner dialogue often strikes when we least expect it.
Fashion is merely one area of the aesthetic part of life, the part having to do mainly with the form of things - shape, line, colour, texture, sound, and how all of these, interpreted by the senses and through the lens of identity, penetrate past the analytical, mathematic layers of the brain to the artful, creative centre. Over time, we develop aesthetic preferences and a taste for particular forms, quite distinct from any functional benefit to us. Or, better, the functional benefit to us is simply our delight in that favourite form. (Even if we only wear it once.)
Our design and development studio is obsessed with form. A clean, typographic aesthetic with attention to the subtlest detail makes our heart sing. A bold hit of colour in an edgy, never-before-seen photographic motif brings on a rush of excitement. A new take on a classic ad or outfit or cultural icon elicits knowing grins and warm fuzzies.
In other words, delight.
But in addition to form, we are uniquely required to value the function of things. We are not just graphic designers; we are web developers and, sometimes, media marketers. Bringing epic style to a brand is just the beginning - we also need to make that style work through informative, navigable sites and practical, meaningful media. When these things really do come together - as in a flawlessly functioning responsive website, showcasing beautiful design and content that works on any screen - it's a doubly delightful adrenaline rush of success.
That's balance - form and function, married together in blissful complementarity. And that's what design can, and perhaps should, be: design that actually makes life better.
The motherly voice has a point, after all.