For the Love of Design

There are few people who can inspire as much passionate commenting as Greg Storey. His latest post, Bronze is no exception. Today’s subject is the death of personal web design, or more accurately the lack of originality in personal web design. If you haven’t clicked the link and read the article yet, here’s a teaser:

In many ways I feel like designers, myself included, have dropped the proverbial sketch book and traded it in for Microsoft Word and CSS. We have stopped considering the form and function of a website in leu of focusing solely on content and comments. it used to be that a personal site, or non-commercial, was more free form in expression.

Although I have some issues with a few of Greg’s points, I sincerely agree with the article as a whole. I can see how it could be seen as flame bait for standards nazis, but perhaps the standards crowd has had too much influence on the indie web design scene. Perhaps this is also why Cameron Moll’s Wicked Worn Series has received so much love this year. I take the article for what it is, and as what Jason Santa Maria calls it, a call to arms.

As designers, we need to start looking for new inspiration:

  • If you’re into the worn look now, try adapting elements from Flatstock’s gallery of band poster art.
  • If you like the simplified modern style, maybe you should check out West Elm, Ikea and read about how the Bauhaus School moved architectural thought from modernism to post-modernism.

I’ll be the first to admit that my main source of design inspiration for website design is other websites, but if that is the only place I am looking, things tend to get bland. I think that is the point Greg is making. Lets get back to the basics of color & graphic design theory, think outside of the box model, and look to alternative sources of design inspiration for 2005.

Note: I slipped a link in there to my article that was posted today at sitepoint: Color for Coders – Color and Design for the Non-Designer. Please take a look and post some feedback. I tried to make it simple enough for “the programmer guys” to understand, but I also tried to pack some real color and design theory in there.

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