Over the past 9 months I have been blogging on Positive Space, and over that time I have expanded my skills as both a print designer and a web designer by amounts I never thought possible. Over this time, I have not only learned new skills, but through blogging I have also developed some insights that I thought would be worth sharing. For the readers who may be new to Positive Space, this article should hopefully give you a better understanding of who Anthony Zinni is and set the tone for my previous articles.
1. AESTHETICS ARE IMPORTANT
No matter what the medium, the aesthetic properties of it do have an impact on its success. Don’t believe me, well think about brands like Apple, Dyson, or Lexus. Each of these brands use their unique aesthetic properties to help position their products and influence consumer perception. This is just as true of websites and marketing materials. Collateral that functions just as well as another option but looks better will most likely end up becoming more popular. This isn’t because we are a vain culture, it is because people appreciate beauty.
2. STANDARDS ARE THE FOUNDATION
They just aren’t the end of the world. I fully believe that websites should be developed in a standards compliant manner as there are a number of benefits. However, I believe that this is more of a necessity that a signifier. Building a standards compliant website should be a given, not a perk and definitely not the ruler of good design. When critiquing design I always value visual expression over standards compliance. On the web function is necessity and form is what sets great design apart. I personally do not accept bad production, but I will acknowledge a site that is creative even if it doesn’t have the best production values.
3. THE COMMUNITY IS A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD
I can’t help but love the openness and sharing that takes place amongst design professionals on the Internet. I have learned tremendous amounts of information from community forums, blogs, and websites. Through sharing my own thoughts I have also received countless amounts of positive criticism and praises. However, for every one great friendly comment and helpful remark comes two utterly ignorant statements. Sharing is awesome, but being a troll is just lame. I’m not going to give up, but I may ignore the noise from time to time.
4. GREAT PRINT DESIGN IS BEING OVERLOOKED
Not actively, but it seems that graphic design bloggers fall into one of two camps. Either they cover what it more of an illustrative and artistic style of graphic design, or web design. There is much more to print design than crazy ass graphics and cool clients. In fact not everyone gets to design for Nike or some cool underground band. There is however a ton of working designers who do amazing work everyday and never get to share it. I will be trying to work more articles into Positive Space about some of the more “regular” design projects that designers see from day to day.
5. BLOGGING AIN’T EASY
These past nine months have been one hell of an experiment for me, and will continue to be. I have devoted countless hours towards Positive Space with only marginal financial returns in the process. However, I have met some great people, been invited to some events, and even published as a result (coming soon). Along the way I did learn just how hard it is to blog, and the discipline it takes to maintain regular writing when you’re not really a writer. I have learned a new respect for the individuals who have been at it far longer than me and appreciate the work they have done.
It seems that in less than a year I may be pretty far along on my first personal manifesto. I guess that is the power of blogging, it opens you up to the world and makes you take a look at what it is that you are actually saying.
I also want to take the time to thank all of the new readers and welcome you to the blog. If you have only recently started reading Positive Space, then I encourage you to look back through the archives. There are some articles I think are really worth a read. Otherwise, thank you all for your continued support and for reading my personal ramblings. The popularity of the site so far lets me know that some of you agree with me from time to time. I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you through the comments, my contact page, or even twitter.