Design for the big (people) picture



“Design is not for philosophy, it’s for life,” said Issey Miyake, designer and supplier of Steve Jobs’ billionaire-uniform of black turtlenecks.

For those of us who work in and around design, it’s important to remember that design is a practical thing. Something for everyday life. Like a black turtleneck sweater.

Good design is a balance between form, function and style. This requires attention to detail, but when we are designing, creating and making, it can be easy to get lost in that detail.

The big picture needs to be kept in focus – especially when you trade in drawing and shooting ‘pictures’.

When it comes to design for communication, the big picture is always a human or humans with a need or a problem.

They may not realise this, but it won’t be your logo size, music choice, website functionality, colour palette, media partner or campaign device per se that will ultimately engage them.

Those things are nice and hugely important, but they all require something to bring them to life.

That something is an idea with meaning.

This is more than just having a creative idea; it’s about meaningful concepts that speak to the mind of the people we are communicating with. It’s about ideas that are created with an understanding of the audience and what is relevant to them.

The human mind tends to be more receptive and responsive to ideas that have meaning – that resonate.

From a meaningful idea, good design flows. The big (people) picture is the outline from which the details can be filled in.

Good design, it may be said, is in the detail but great design is grounded in a good idea.

Over the years, we’ve discovered that continually coming back to the big picture in our design ensures better outcomes for all – clients, customers and brands. We keep our design eye firmly on the problems we are solving or the value we are adding for real people through meaningful ideas. Which makes for great design.