design

T-shirts and one-pagers by Anthony Schmiedeler

Sometimes I screenprint t-shirts in my garage for fun. Lately a lot of people have been asking where to get them so I decided to create a website. 

Then I had a lot of fun so I made another one.

These aren't necessarily the most succesful websites but it's fun to see what I can create quickly with the tools I have available to me. It's also amazing what you can create with free websites templates these days.

Click Here by Anthony Schmiedeler

Technology obsession has been a recurring theme in a lot of things I make. Not just because I feel like it is a huge problem for people today, but also because I experience it quite a bit myself. I'm made two pieces this week reflecting on that problem. Both made quickly, on a whim, but I felt the need to make them real. The biggest problem with technology is that it get's in the way of people most of the time. I was consciously avoiding that problem to make these things but I only realized after that they both speak to those "technological barriers" to reality.

Impact, by Design by Anthony Schmiedeler

Art vs Design

I’ve been privy to many arguments about the differences between art and graphic design. Some say art is more about expressing emotion and design is a calculated outcome defined by rules. Others say art is all about how a viewer interprets it and design has intended goals. I think there is a lot more overlap than that. A lot of times, art take a rigorously planned out path where as design comes out as a spontaneous gesture. Likewise, a design can be interpreted in many different ways no matter how much effort was put into crafting an obvious conclusion.

Impact vs Aesthetics

Despite their similarities, I do believe that they should be criticized on different scales. The primary focus of good design is to solve a problem. That problem could be as simple as forming an honest representation of a product with a brand or figuring out a comfortable path for readers in the layout of a magazine. Art can at times be used to solve a problem but I would argue that those artworks are designed to do that. So why is it that design isn’t judged on it’s ability to solve problems?

The Beauty in Solutions

In my experience, most graphic design is judged on the way it looks rather than what it does. No matter how much thought is put into function, form seems to win out. This perpetuates those trendy waves that swell and die out year after year. It also seems to cut down on people’s efforts to actually use graphic design for good. In a perfect world design would be judged on impact. Even if that impact is very small or only has the potential to be effective. After all, any design that tries to solve a problem is inherently beautiful no matter what it looks like.

Oded Ezer's Design Philosophy by Anthony Schmiedeler

  • Design should be fun, not tiring.
  • Try to treat any problem as a challenge.
  • Daydream.
  • Sketch.
  • Never throw away any sketch or piece of work no matter how stupid and pathetic it is.
  • Bad ideas now can be brilliant solutions in the future.
  • Design should be easy to produce.
  • If something becomes too complicated simply avoid that direction.
  • Use simple and cheap materials an techniques.
  • Amuse yourself.
  • Always listen to other people.
  • Never let anyone else decide for you.
  • Unless you have a real reason, work with black and white only.
  • Unless you have a real reason, work on your own.
  • Don’t look at graphic design books for inspiration when you are short of new ideas, instead take a long walk or meditate.
  • Adopt other people methodologies, not their style
  • Be obsessive.
  • Be generous.
  • Be as honest as you possibly can.

Transcribed from his interview on Debbie Millman’s podcast Design Matters.