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The Power of Good Design

by Jenn Jacobson

I recently watched an excerpt from a documentary about Aaron Draplin, a graphic designer who shows no shyness in his passion for design. The excerpt tells a story of how Draplin purchased an old 50’s motel sign from a Russian couple who had taken over a Missouri motel. While in Missouri picking up his sign, he asked the couple to see the new sign which would be taking it’s place as display outside the motel.

The new sign proved to be a huge disappointment for Draplin, who explained the design as an act of disrespect for the history, background and already established characteristics and success of the motel. The extent of the sign’s characteristics included a simple gradient, bad line drawings and of all fonts, BLIPPO!

As a designer, I have seen an alarming trend in the introduction of, we’ll call it, “lacking design” throughout American consumerism. Up until a few years ago, it seemed to me as though our culture had actually accepted the idea of paying money for garbage. Fortunately, bad trends don’t stick around for long and I’m thrilled to say that I’ve seen many companies and designers take major strides in understanding the power of what good design is and can be. Not only aesthetically, but intellectually as well.

Brands like Ecouterre, conferences like Acadia and online educational resources like TED all contribute to not only good design, but meaningful design as well. The introduction and ideology behind Cradle-to-Cradle design, Biomimicry and the use of both throughout modern day products and design are phenomenal ideas that I encourage you to familiarize yourself with.

And while there will always be “lacking design” throughout the marketplace, the ideas and aesthetics behind today’s creative companies are constantly evolving and in my opinion, improving which is reason to believe there will be a very well designed future ahead.

Sunset Motel Signage, Missouri

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Before                                         After (Unfortunately!)