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The Designer’s Purpose

Design is the process of intentionally creating something while simultaneously considering its purpose, function, economics, socio-cultural factors, and aesthetics. At its heart, design is about making things better. Good design is focused, effective, and efficient in fulfilling its purpose. A good design is always the simplest possible solution. An experienced designer sees every detail, even the things that are missing. The best designers are selfless and relentless in their pursuit to create work that is timeless. To them, good design is about quality, it’s about beauty, it’s about being human, it’s about utility.

To think that good design is produced by making a pleasing arrangement of a visual assortment of photos, type and illustrations is an erroneous conception of the graphic designer’s function. What this implies is that a design problem can be solved simply by pushing things around until some- thing happens. The design process is time consuming and includes trial and error. However, since the designer works partly by instinct, some amount of pushing around may be necessary. The designer experiences, perceives, analyses, organizes, symbolizes, and synthesizes. The experienced designer does not begin with a preconceived idea, rather the design process begins with discovery, analysis and exploration. In order to solve any design problem effectively, it’s necessary for the designer to follow a methodology or process. Consciously or not, designers analyze, interpret, and formulate. They are aware of the technological developments in their own in kindred fields. They improvise or invent new techniques so that they may reinstate the problem in new ways. They draw upon instinct and intuition, always considering the user’s feelings and preferences.

1991 Brochure, Neenah Paper
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