James Victore doesnâ€™t care about colour and typography. Given his reputation as a highly respected and commercially successful graphic designer, this expression of fact caused an audible intake of breath amongst the designers and creatives in the Do tent. Victore continues to make his point with finesse by stating that his work is not about what it looks like.
What makes your design great?
Weâ€™ve all seen a piece of work, a picture or a website that stops you in your tracks. It draws you in, absorbs you and demands 100% of your attention. Sometimes itâ€™s due to plain old admiration, the form of what youâ€™re observing is so exquisite, beautiful or arresting – something executed with such skill that it leaves you in awe because maybe you wouldnâ€™t have the first clue how to create something like it.
As consumers we are becoming increasingly conscious of how creative techniques are used to augment the truth. How often have you seen something that looks just right? The colours are tastefully selected, the perfect type has been used, the imagery is stunning – and yet somehow – you find it lacking… hollow even. You arenâ€™t sure quite what the point is. The form has eclipsed the function. For design to work it needs a message, a great idea, a spirit that shines through. Great typography cannot save a bad idea.
Familiarity breeds content?
Have you ever noticed how everything starts to look kinda the same? Fashion starts to dictate unless you keep coming back to what is unique to you and your ideas. If your medium is one dimensional, like a web page, then it is hard enough to bring spirit and personality without also using a prescribed set of aesthetic conventions. It feels safer to use these short cuts – the latest font or trendy palette – following convention makes us feel like we are guaranteed a good reception of our work. It also has the ability to stifle your creativity. Yes, you are more likely to be judged if you produce something unique, people might not like it, but they are much more likely to actually have an opinion. Cast your mind back as far as you are able, fashion changes and generally work that is deemed as classic and timeless are those that were original at the time.
To Victore, design is an intellectual field.
The right design can help your idea appear authentic, the wrong design can take a great idea and make it seem shallow and disposable. He asks us to be brave enough to hold our own opinion and shout about it. Itâ€™s not about thinking our ideas and work are the best, itâ€™s about knowing that our work and opinions are of value – they matter. They are your gift. It is surprising how powerful a shift it can cause to view your work this way. Your work will evolve and change, it doesnâ€™t have to represent your exquisite taste. What are you trying to say? If you have a great idea – make it your job to keep the noise to the minimum. Let your idea do the talking and ensure the design helps it speak.
3 ways to be better at what you do. By Victore.
- Teach your tongue to say â€œI donâ€™t knowâ€ and ye shall progress.
- Just Ask. Ask for what you need, whether it be time, money or just for more.
- Remember that your work is a
gift and the world is waiting for it.