90% of design isn’t design

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90% of design isn’t design.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

This was the title of a presentation by Tom Lovell. Tom was formerly a student at the University of Lincoln, and returned a couple of years ago to give a talk to students about his life as a professional graphic designer. He talked about sources of inspiration, working with clients and in a team context, about the nature of creativity – all of the things I had been trying to communicate to students and clients for many years. However, Tom managed to articulate an attitude to the creation of emotionally and intellectually appropriate design, in a way that I could not. Effectively, I’ve used his line of thinking in my teaching of design students, ever since. So if 90% of design isn’t design, what is it about? It’s about gathering information and understanding the context in which design work is going to exist. Tom put it like this:


1. Be emotional

2. Stand for something

3. Consider where it lives

Be emotional

For any communication to resonate with an individual or group, it must appeal to their emotional state, needs or aspirations. This is referred to by marketeers as ’emotional branding’. One example of this comes from the twentieth-century association many consumers had with the Hoover brand. That name became that synonymous with the vacuum cleaner to such an extent that many people, including me, still refer to the products as ‘Hoovers’, even if they are manufactured by other companies.

Stand for something

Call this a USP (unique selling point), a brand promise, or something else, doesn’t matter. A brand needs to be known for something real, distinctive, tangible, and relevant to people, particularly those in its target audience group(s). I would add that some of the most interesting and successful USPs have been those that imply an element of risk. For example, the Avis ‘We Try Harder’ advertising campaign of the 1960s focused on the shortcomings and failings of the company and promising customers that it would put them right. Interestingly, the campaign has now been resurrected by Avis. I wonder if it will be as successful this time around read review.

Consider where it lives

Context is everything. Where brands come into contact with audiences must have a profound effect on its approach to communicating with those people, affecting what is communicated and how that communication is delivered. So, that’s why 90% of design isn’t design.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download The 90% consists of all of the interviewing of relevant company employees, the market research, the experimentation, the sifting of communication imperatives, the lively design discussions (or arguments) the sketching, the trial copywriting etc. I’ve always believed that design is relatively speaking, the easy bit. The 90% allows the design bit (the 10%) to happen, making it relevant, exciting and occasionally sprinkling it with that elusive quality that all creative people strive for – design ‘magic’.

A huge Reverse Design thank you to: Tom  Lovell
Image by Sonny and Sandy at Flickr