Plain Old Good Design

I often see a lot of lists of websites on the design blogs I read.  A couple of examples from the past couple days: 21 Beautiful Examples of Dark Colors in Web Design, 35 Beautiful Textured Web Designs.  I pin the sites that catch my eye on Pinterest & I tend to tweet the lists themselves.  They are always full of inspiration for designers & for clients.

I am often dazzled by how beautiful or how fun these designs are.  But often I realize that sometimes it’s elements OTHER than the actual website design that I’m liking – clever illustrations, beautiful photographs.

Sometimes the “design” itself is barely there and the “POW” is coming from the additional elements, which can change over time & are not part of the design “frame”.  Lots of times it is the home page that is dressed so well & it works, it catches the eye, giving that “POP” everyone always wants in their design.

Lesson learned?  Clients: Try to have good stuff to give us.  Get professional photos taken.  Pay a designer to design your logo.  Hire an illustrator to enhance your brand.

And the lesson for me, the designer?  If clients have good stuff, great marketing material or original images then maybe the design needs to be a little quieter.  Because maybe the elements are the star of the show & the design needs to be a blank canvas for that.  And knowing that is part of being a good designer.

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