By Joel Loeffler
Design has become a major part of day-to-day life in modern society, much of which goes unnoticed by the masses. Every article of intricately woven clothing, every brightly lit billboard sign, every time-consuming phone app is a product of modern design. Ideals, values and point of views can also be sold through design as well. It plays such an integral role in our society that it has become a powerful tool for those that implement it strategically.
The power of good design is apparent in its ability to persuade, unite and inform. More importantly, design is a voice that is visually heard amongst an ever-growing population. The most powerful designs utilize core elements — line, color, shape, space, texture, typography, scale, emphasis, balance and harmony. Some or all of these elements can be seen in even the most simple designs.
The next time you look at a graphic, whether it is a magazine ad or the side of a soda can, ask yourself “what elements can I find?” You will be surprised to see that a seemingly simple and thoughtless design is actually extremely detailed in its structure. The best and most thought out designs are often the ones that look effortless.
However, talk to the designer and you will quickly find that an effortless look is not easy to come by. Irene Au, design partner at Khosla Ventures and former head of design at Google, Yahoo and Udacity, described good design as “good design is like a refrigerator––when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” So the next time you see a design, take it in and ask yourself “what is the message?” Then try to imagine all of the work that was put into that one design in order for it to become a reality.