When I tell people I am studying graphic design, the common response that I get is: Oh! So you work on a computer? There is a common conception that design is only produced in digital form and exists in flyers, advertising, and in products. Although this is true, there is a lifestyle aspect to design that is often forgot about. It plays a greater role in everyday life than just flyers on a wall or cool graphics on a computer screen.
As consumers, we like to be stopped and impressed by visuals that are new and unexpected. If it does, then it was designed well. If you take a walk down the street, it is almost impossible to not run into something designed, whether it’s a car, a McDonalds, or a street sign. Even the sidewalk has been designed. When you start to play this game, the fast answer is, yeah, everything is designed. But often times it’s easy to take that for granted when it’s done well.
Oddly enough, the best and most effective designs are the ones that capture an audience without them realizing it. Often times these designs are not displayed in huge museums or billboard adds. For example, not very many people remember that Metro buses in Los Angeles used to be completely white. Metro is now known for its particular aesthetic and color-coded buses. Commuters are now able to identify what bus to take and where each bus is going simply based on its color. These buses were designed in a way that not only made them look more dynamic and presentable, but actually serves as a function. Commuters can now identify buses from three blocks away and know where it’s going. This is great design.
Viewing the world from a design perspective allows you to view things in a new perspective. This semester I hope to explore how design transforms our everyday lives, in good, bad, boring, exciting, and fun ways.
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