What You See Isn’t Always What You Get

Artists are always right, right? It’s their art, their idea, their execution. So how can anyone disagree with it? Having studied art in university I have seen it all; modern, de stijl, impressionist, renaissance, etc. There are obvious differences between the styles and periods of art, but can we all agree that some of it is just…bleh? As you to study art, you will begin to notice nuances that the artists intended for the audience to see, but oftentimes gets overlooked. They will bring the art to life and help you understand the complexity of the piece.

This idea of [almost] hidden meaning, technique, or reason has shifted into a more current facet of art…graphic design. The consensus is that graphic designers type stuff in pretty fonts, they copy and paste photos into Word, and they print their ‘masterpieces’ at Staples. Some graphic designers may do this, but none that I know.

Most graphic designers have work full of hidden context, meaning and reason. If it’s not printed on the perfect paper, then it’s not considered done. They don’t slap fonts and colors together without making a conscious decision to do so. Every line and every blank area is thought about and cared for. The fonts are specific to the theme of the project; if there isn’t a perfect font, designers will draw their own. The blank page speaks as much as the filled page. Most people don’t realize that, to graphic designers, everything matters.

So the artist/designer is always right, right? Wrong. The artist isn’t always right. The beautiful thing about art is that it means something different to everyone. There may be motifs that the artist wanted to be obvious but there are also invisible choices that were made which most people will never know about. Look at the Yahoo logo above. It has numerous precise measurements and angles which were specifically chosen, they weren’t happened upon.

As a designer, I have to be able to deploy my bag of design tricks and fulfill the objectives of the task I was given. Architects have to do this as well, they strive to find the perfect balance of form and function. So instead of just receiving something from your graphic designer and taking it at that, ask questions about their choice of color or their choice of font. The designer may have gotten it wrong this time OR maybe you will receive some insight into why their design went in that direction.

I would love to see examples of your favorite works of art (facetious or not). Tweet me a link or pic @toccibuildingco

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