Simple is different than boring.

When people ask what I do for a living, I tell them I’m a graphic designer and an instructor, but I like to think of myself as a creative problem solver. I enjoy being able to create from scratch and not only make something beautiful, but have it meet the requirements of the client and the industry. I always try and keep it simple and clean, but not boring. Nearly all of what I do is related to either fashion or home and is done for print, web or presentations. I never get to do something completely of my own, and that’s fine as I see my personal art as something I get to do for myself.
One of my design philosophies relates to simplicity. I stress to my students that there is a big difference between simple and boring, but it’s a fine line between the two. I believe that good design can be achieved nearly methodically, but it does take work to push it from good to beautiful. Overthinking can ruin a good design, yet without thought you cannot cross that fine line past boring. Take this simple example below. Both are the same; white type on black ground with an underline, but they’re not the same. I’ve thought about basic things; color, type use, layout, graphics.
I LOVE good product design. When something that you use on a daily basis can be used without thinking, the designer has done his job. Design like this is timeless. None of the products below look old or out of date. The Braun radio shown was designed in 1958 and yet it fits in today’s environment! It inspired the first iPod! That chair has been around forever… I couldn’t even tell you who designed it. Not only is it beautiful, but it doesn’t stand out. Watch TV close and you’ll see that chair everywhere. THAT is saying something. Leica’s cameras have changed little on the outside, yet they are as beautiful today as they have ever been.
I look at these things when I’m out and about and find them beautiful. I tend to look for the beautiful in everything, and it’s there, always. Finding beauty in the small things makes life just a little bit better. One of my “hobbies” is business cards; if a store or restaurant has a card, I take it… I have a box full of them and I use them as inspiration. Type design is an art.
Look around your house or desk… what do you see? Ok… one more simple beauty;
*wolf whistle* Ok… I’m done.


  1. Once again, young man…. brilliant! Simplicity is king! Just because you have every tool at your disposal you don’t have to use it all. Think about the last three Star Wars movies. The city scapes were jammed full of every kind of craft and building the CGI guys could generate. The result? Overload. It was too much to take in. Then, think about the first Star Wars movie from 1977. Luke looks out over the horizon and sees the two suns. Simple. Uncluttered. Memorable!

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