As a graphic designer, it’s my job to create products and images that convey a message. I’m constantly thinking of new and interesting ways to help our clients share the information that’s most important to them. As a result, I see design everywhere. I’ve got to keep my eyes open for inspiration and ideas everywhere I go. In fact, I think it would surprise you to see some of the places it pops up!
Take a look at this interstate sign, for example:
This is a pretty common sign showing that the driver has to continue straight to reach Cumberland Ave but if they want to head to Wisconsin they have to exit right. We’ve all seen plenty of signs like this…but what happens when we change the font?
Could you imagine passing this sign going 70 mph?
Do you think you’d catch all of the necessary information to get you to your destination? I sure wouldn’t! This all comes down to design choices. While elegant, flowing script like that is beautiful, it can be difficult to read. It’s a great choice to announce your niece’s bridal shower or to put on an invitation, but it really isn’t a good choice for something as simple and utilitarian as an interstate sign.
Design also allows us to feel a sense of familiarity and connection with things in our everyday life.
Do you know the history of the term ‘name brand’? In the 19th century and earlier, the majority of products sold in the world were merely labelled ‘flour’ or ‘sugar’ or ‘butter’. Could you imagine a world without your favorite trusted brands? It wasn’t until the early 20th century that companies started attaching names to their products and the idea of the brand was born. It allowed companies to not only give a name but a face, look, and feel to their products. Could you imagine Coca-Cola without the polar bear? Or McDonald’s without the golden arches? Modern brands have the same effect, too! Tesla has cornered the market on electric vehicles because of the strength of the company’s brand. It’s more than just a product, it’s a trusted name and even lifestyle!
Can you guess the biggest way design impacts your everyday life?
You’re looking at it! In no greater way does design affect our everyday life than the internet. When designers are building websites they have to take into account how you and I will be interacting with it. Colors, shapes, fonts, and graphics all dictate the level with which we understand and enjoy the content we are seeing. And now with the prevalence of tablets, desktops, and smartphones, designers are constantly working to make sure that your favorite website translates across every platform.
Design really is everywhere! It exists to make our lives easier, more productive, and more enjoyable. It’s my job as a designer to do that for our clients and for you. So next time you look at your favorite website, read your credit union newsletter, or read a poster hanging up at your local grocery store – remember that somebody designed that for you!