In Design We Trust

How To Design Like Saul Bass.*

When people start talking about design we tend to visualize a group of highfalutin individuals in black turtlenecks (not, necessarily a Steve Jobs reference) standing around arguing about the degree in which a line should curve. Design then comes across as petty almost, or perhaps, unattainable. We have a reaction to the word that keeps us at an arm’s length distance from it.

The problem with that lack of connection to the illusive thing some people call ‘good design’ is that without taking the risk to create good design, good design will never manifest. And, damnit, what is a world without good design?

A man build great brand design at Stirr Creativ agency

Okay, I realize I’ve used those two words together far too many times in that last paragraph, but here’s why; creating said masterpiece can be as easy as writing it four times in a two-sentence paragraph.

How you ask?

Well, the truth of the matter is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if you exercise that eye, what you behold tends be beholden by a larger range of people. Again, I apologize for my overuse of the word—just kidding I won’t say it again, but you get the point.

A sign showcasing great design

Practice makes perfect.

Or as close to perfect as any piece of art can be. The point I’m making is that, great design (did you notice how I changed that up?) is far more attainable than we tend to believe, and it is something that audiences desperately desire. The fact of the matter is, without good design your potential customers or clients are not going to give you much time before deciding, ‘meh, I liked (insert competition’s name here) website better.’, and like that, boom, they are gone.

Where do you start?

One of the most tried and true ways of training that artists eye is by looking at great pieces of art, or in this case, design that did well in the space your brand operates out of. Andy Warhol may not fit your aesthetic, but if you take some time to look at his work and think about what worked and why, you are exercising that muscle. Spend time researching great ad campaigns, brands, and art across a broad spectrum, whether you agree with their success or not. The more you expose yourself to successful design, the better your own will be.

Great brand design on a wall at Stirr Creativ agency

It’s science.

Well, sort of, but you get it. You can work to create a brand, website or social media marketing campaigns that are great, if you take the time study, and give yourself the permission to take the risk to fail. As ugly as that word may sound, failure is actually a very positive thing, it just means you tried. True failure, in the classical sense of the word, is not trying in the first place and letting all of those potential leads slip through your fingertips.

So, go on, get out there and create! Or, if you are still really doubtful of your ability, or just too busy to put in the time to learn. You can always ask for a little help from friend (hint, hint).

*Not true, cause you gotta be Saul Bass to design like him, but hopefully this blog gave you the jump start you needed.

Leave a Comment