The dictionary definition of design is as follows “a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is made” but in reality it means a variety of things to each designer. Though I am not an experienced designer I still have a view on what makes a good design. This manifesto will elaborate more on what good design is to me.
Design is a reflection of you as an individual. The designs we create portray our personal values. If one puts out harmful work into the world that reflects poorly on them as a person and additionally may hurt many others who see your work. It is important to stay true to your beliefs while creating your work and not lose yourself in the brief. When creating design, even if it is for a brief it is vital to still put your personal style into your work as design should be a reflection of yourself and should therefore portray your personal style or way of expression. Even if the work is a brief given by someone else one should still try to stay true to their personality and create designs that reflect that.
Design is an experience. It should not only be about the end result but also about how one gets there. The progression from when the research was started to the design process should all be visualized in a strong design. The final visual is not the most important factor but the process of creating it. The lessons learnt from experimenting with different styles and approaches to see what works to the knowledge gained from researching about the information the design is about is what is most important.
Design is an influential tool. It is not only about the experience of the process of creating it but also the experiences the design itself creates. you must not limit yourself to only reaching a small number of people and instead try to reach and influence the largest number of individuals possible.
One must learn that design is a process. It is crucial to keep motivated as a designer because getting through standstills can be difficult for a beginner designer, as they likely have not developed their skills enough to identify all the issues in their work. A designer must be willing to make changes during the design process. They should accept feedback from all sorts of individuals, as these opinions are what make the designer stronger and more well rounded. The more one develops on their work and brings in the most insight possible the more developed the work and designer becomes.
Design is more than visuals. Design is not just about creating an aesthetically pleasing visual. Though this is part of the design, it involves a number of additional details. Design requires creativity, research, and critical thinking. The work should tell a story and have meaning behind the visual. This theory was elaborated on by Mvondo in his article titled “Graphic Design is More Than Visuals” when he explained that “it certainly has to be of quality as the ratio or explanation behind it will be the backbone of your visuals” (Mvondo, 2019). Most of the most memorable visuals have a strong story or message behind them, which is what makes it notable for the viewer, as they are able to feel connected and relate with it. Design should be a form of self expression in a way that tells one’s story if they are not able to put it into words.
Design is about creating your own identity. Many starting artists tend to mirror the work of others as they feel like they have not yet developed their personal design style. One should strive to work on developing their own identity in order to be unique and stand out. Doing this takes an extreme amount of experimentation and personal reflection. You should try to look into yourself and figure out what factors make you unique as a person; culture, hobbies, interests, background and try to depict that in your work. The more one experiences the more they are able to develop their identity and therefore strengthen their work.
Angelescu, R. (2023, February 26). Designing With Purpose: How Reflection Can Help You Create Meaningful Designs and Boost Your Career. Designing with Purpose: How Reflection Can Help You Create Meaningful Designs and Boost your Career. https://www.mentodesign.academy/learn-ux/designing-with-purpose-how-reflection-can-help-you-create-meaningful-designs-and-boost-your-career
Morley. (2017, April 26). Behance Blog | What Design Can Do: Spark Social Change. Behance Blog | What Design Can Do: Spark Social Change. https://www.behance.net/blog/what-design-can-do-spark-social-change
Mvondo. (2019, July 24). Graphic Design Is More Than Visuals. Graphic design is more than visuals. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/graphic-design-more-than-visuals-steve-mvondo
Van Schneider. (2020, October 15). Establishing Your Identity as a Designer. The DESK Magazine. https://vanschneider.com/blog/young-designers/establishing-your-voice-as-a-designer/