Monday, September 15, 2008

Back to The Drawing Board

"It's actually a good exercise to have to redesign something" says freelance designer Gabriele Wilson." Quite often, the designs end up being stronger than when they started."

There's an article in October's PRINT Magazine entitled " Kill Your Darlings". Catchy title, huh? The article is about eight book cover designs that were scrapped and the ones that made it to the book shelves. I recognized quite a few of them. If you have ever worked with a client and had to toss something you really invested a bit of time and care in, you know how hard it is to let go. Start over. Go back to the beginning with a fresh design audit of the project. When you are the client working with a new design team, it's always a bit of adjustment. Simplicity and clarity are hard work.

Part of you knows that it is kind of like eating your spinach, It will make you stronger. But part of you is kicking and grumbling about it just the same. Here's a clue. The quicker you get over yourself, the more fun you get to have with the good stuff. I did not get to the fun part of a big redesign until I found myself looking at the current PRINT Design Culture Media Magazine and the COMMUNICATION ARTS Photography Annual 49 yesterday. Then the oohs and ahhs started taking over again. Possibilities, fresh stuff. Hm.

We get a do over redesign each week don't we? Well, you knew it was Organizing Monday, what did you expect? If you have read any of the last few weeks of Mondays here, you are familiar with a certain striped To Do list I have been using for the studio work. I have yet to complete a week's worth of DO's. And especially this past week when this design do over cropped up, sat right down in the middle of everything and demanded my attention; that little list sat begging like an orphaned dog in the pound.

Am I supposed to kill that darling? All I can say is that for today, one of my 3 Most Important Tasks is to find out why those numbers are not working on that striped list. I suspect it has something to do with that nasty word, compartmentalization. And I think THAT is an ability that may be attached to gender. That other one. Or is it an artist thing? When that right brain is called into action, sometimes the left one just has to wait its turn. Any clues will be appreciated. Got your 3 MIT's set? Yep. For now 3 is the number I know works. So I am sticking with it today. And that big redesign project? I killed my darling there. Well they had to kill theirs. I thought it only fair. And now this fresh stuff...ooh I am thinking this could be lots of fun.

Ever had to do a big do over? Did it end up being fun?


ParisBreakfasts said...

My middle name is Re-do, but often it's a mistake..
go figure...I redid well re-painted the background today..
But maybe I should re-do the walk to the waste basket..
Each to their own re-do.
3 - I'm there with you.

Janice C. Cartier said...

I swear I am so sticking to 3 today. 3 is a very stable number- triangles and all. I love that re do that trip to the trash basket...LOL...

I am going all Indiana Jones in the marketplace on this flourishes with a saber, just a dead center shot , real basic and go from there this time.

ParisBreakfasts said...

On my 2nd re-do of this Brazil Birthday cake cover...

Graham Strong said...

Re-dos usually make a piece stronger. But sometimes you can also lose something in translation. These would be the "darlings" you referred to earlier -- it is certainly better to kill them before you get too attached.

And if you are attached, keep in mind that the stuff you fall in love with often doesn't work anyway. It is the stuff you worry about most that tends to get the best reactions.


Janice C. Cartier said...

Graham- LOL Then I am sufficiantly relieved. Because I am most certainly worrying over this design. I am laughing too because I think in the end Hemingway will be my copilot on the design, that is if Hemmingway could design the way he writes. Thanks. You amde my day.

PB- Brazilian Birthday...ooh, that sounds fun!! Needs music.

A Brush with Color said...

hmmmmm...I tried to leave a comment but it disappeared. Odd.

Ever re-do? Ohhhh, yeah. It's so hard to go through that, especially when you've invested time and efforts and you've gotten your brain wrapped around a project a certain way--but I will say sometimes being forced to change things or shake things up has produced the most creative ideas and solutions as well...but it's not easy...I don't envy you--good luck!

Janice C. Cartier said...

Hm, same thing happened to me with the last comment...?

I am better on this today. It is true. I think the ideas I am playing with now will in the end be much, much better. That whole destructive part of creation... Maybe there should be a part of project schedules that are actually called the Ro do?