Design has a great impact on our daily lives. However, we rarely realize it.
Let’s ask ourselves: What does design mean? How important is it in our daily lives? Is it so important that it affects our social and personal perceptions?
Before we understand what design really is, it is important to remind ourselves how we absorb information.
The way we perceive the world is through our five senses, sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. These senses allow our mind to better understand our environment. Depending on the type of experience, these senses work together to help us form perceptions while at the same time triggering emotions.
As we move forward in life, we begin to build a library of experiences, that we go back to when needing help in order to make quick decisions. These sensory experiences work closely with other factors such as the environment, age, beliefs and influences (social, celebrities, friends) and help us navigate life by influencing the decision-making process.
At a basic level it is very easy to see how the above senses and additional factors can determine our choices. Designers and marketers have for decades positioned products and services in such a way as to influence the consumer public. That is, all of us.
What is design?
Let’s start with the dictionary definition of design: purpose or design behind an action, event or object.
The word “design” can have many definitions, but it usually comes down to two things – design aiming to find solutions or artistic design. Both forms of design have helped the humankind to transcend the modern world. Our ability to use design as an expressive system or as a process for developing solutions is evident throughout our primitive stages.
Solution-based design is in other words creative problem solving. The designer recognizes or understands a need and then tries to find solutions. This is done through a creative process, by observing the environment, people, figuring out what is missing and how it can be improved.
Artistic design is a little bit different. It is a way of expression, an emotional need, something abstract. It is a process of experimentation that uses all means (painting, sculpture, etc.) to convey the message of the creators. This form of design requires the audience to participate in the narrative on an emotional and psychological level.
Design is born out of our desire to elevate our experiences, whether on a practical or on an emotional level. It encourages us to explore and experiment, it is a process that is etched in our DNA. People who were able to express their creative nature were able to see things from a different perspective.
Whether it is visual or applied arts – such as graphic design – the goal for designers is always to create strong images so as to attract the attention of the public. They can then pass on their message with relative ease, many times without the public even realizing it.
How does design affect our daily lives?
Whether we realize it or not, design surrounds us. Take a look at the book next to you, the phone in your hand, the sign outside your window, or even the website you are browsing. All these elements have been carefully edited by designers.
Design helps us get involved, keeps us connected to the world, helps us navigate our way through physical and digital spaces. It has the power to persuade and strengthen the decision-making process.
Wherever we encounter the language in written form, we see the work of font designers and typographers. Graphic design influences and sometimes enhances our commitment to the products we buy, to the places we shop. The visual language, images and colors are carefully designed to reach you, the reader, in a specific order.
Good designers invent ways to connect their creations with human emotions. Creating objects or ideas with which we are emotionally involved manages to influence our choices.
The results are largely unconscious or subconscious. Whether it is good or bad is debatable, but we cannot deny the influence of design in our lives.
Design (graphic design in our case) is more than just beautiful images and fancy fonts. It is years of understanding and experimentation, learning the necessary tools, and knowing what works and what not.
Everything we see around us is carefully studied and designed to evoke a desire. Whether this is for a good or for a lifestyle.
So, the next time you see your favorite ad while watching your favorite program, take a minute and think “why?”