Wrapped present with ribbon

What is Design Worth?

Too often I’ve heard some variation of the following conversation:

“Designers make things look pretty.”
“What does that mean to you?”
“Well, they make things look good.”
“You mean, understandable? Usable?”

“Yeah. Whatever.”

Historically, we haven’t used metrics to communicate the value of design in business development, so as designers we are constantly tasked with making it clear for the misinformed that it is more than art and cool pictures we’re bringing to the table. “It’s rational…” Using our methodologies to solve problems with solutions that are practical, relatable, and understandable is a skill set that goes beyond skinning and decoration. If you’re reading this and are regularly involved in these conversations, which camp are you in? Do you find yourself wondering why handling elements like typography and space require any kind of unique strategy for a piece of work? Or do you find you’re often defending that design is not the same as art is not the same as decoration?

I feel there is a hole in the discussion, and as creative professionals, we can work to shine light on the discrepancies and try to get our team members on the same page.

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