Last summer, I was in a realtor’s house for a dinner party. She showed me around, explaining all the different renovations the house underwent to get to its current condition.
What struck me was how many walls in the house this realtor knocked down over the years. When I asked her about this, she explained that for decades, architects built homes with walls in between each room. The idea of an “open concept kitchen” or “open concept living areas” hadn’t occurred to anybody.
It wasn’t until the late twentieth century that some architects decided to try something different. Now, we call rooms without walls “spacious” and “open concept.”
For a while, people said these architects were cheap. They were “too lazy” to include the walls in their designs. Over time, though, the old walls started to make us all feel claustrophobic. Now, it’s rare to find a new home with walls in between every room.
Old ideas often hold us back. We need to tear them down to move forward. And over time, new ideas become the norm. But every new idea gets pushback. Don’t be discouraged.
If you’re a designer who works with clients on a regular basis, it’s easy to be exhausted. Working with clients is hard! I’ve seen many designers, myself included, shake their heads in despair at client requests. I’ve also seen a lot of designers give up fighting them.
But you can’t. The fight is what leads to good design. Good design is a fight.
One of the projects I’m currently working on is an identity project for a new Canadian charity. I’ve been trying to find a typeface that’s legible and distinctive, because the charity will be sending people in areas of the world that may not speak or read English. I’ve found myself entranced by Cooper Hewitt’s typeface, which is open source and available for unrestricted public use.
In researching the typeface, I stumbled onto Pentagram’s new-ish case study about the project. It’s a very long read, but so incredibly insightful. In truth, I haven’t finished reading it yet. But the case study’s awesome, and I couldn’t wait to share it.
Recently, I’ve been playing a lot of The Witcher 3, and have come away nothing less than inspired. Its art design is truly compelling. The world is immersive and the design work is second-to-none, making it one of the most satisfying video game worlds I’ve played in years.
I was looking for a great book on the game’s art when I stumbled on this blog post, which has some of the best concept images from the game I can find. It’s incredible the work that’s gone into this. What I was hoping for was a book in the Design Works series, which are known for their conceptual drawings, renderings, and detailed hand-written notes, but this might do in its stead. (That being said, this peek at what a book like that might have been filled with me makes me what it all the more.)