|Text from Igor Arih|
|What doesn't benefit - brings damage|
As a young designer in the early 1990's I was not familiar with the Japanese philosophy of "Invisible design". A young punk rocker, I admired the magnificent power of Sex Pistols graphic language that was created by Jamie Reid. Later I was influenced by the most publicised European designers, such as Neville Brody, one of the first stars of design that would impact my career. I designed newspapers, packaging and ads, and am pleased to continue to do so now. But despite the fact I was occasionally awarded for a good idea, my artistic language was not substantially different from others.
Once in the 1990's I was told by a client at a presentation that my approach was too trendy. He said: "Good design is the one you don't notice." The ad indeed had a witty concept, yet its design was very complicated. I equipped a simple message with too much artistic surplus. Desiring to prove my virtuosity as a designer, I stifled the message. The witty contents remained buried under the semitransparent curtain of contemporary acrobatics in design. The client's comment was justified. The hint that good design should be invisible kept resonating in my head long afterwards. You know the feeling when you fail to understand something in its entirety, yet it seems to be a great truth. Soon afterwards I accidentally came across a text on Taku Satoh, one of the pioneers of Japanese invisible design. In one of his interview he says: "When I was about 12, it was really popular to 'automobile-ize' your bike with all kinds of accessories: rearview mirrors, brake lights, turn signals ... So I put on all these accessories, one at a time. I took that bike to the point of no return. Then I faltered. 'What next?' One day, I took everything off, even the fenders and the kickstand. I reduced that machine to the very minimum at which it could still be a bicycle," he concludes. A process then started in my head that has changed my attitude towards my own profession to the bone. Always when I had really good contents to work with, I tried to kill my designer's ego (the hardest part of the process) and to minimize the visual design to the point when its only remaining function was to navigate the contents. Just like the young Taku Satoh "stripped" his bicycle, I thought about decorating less and less often. I have been increasingly interested in how to design a form that doesn't stifle the contents, quite the contrary, it opens a channel for the contents to burst out.
I now know that the concept of invisible design can only be applied to superb products. Those that have unique contents. When I realize I am dealing with a great idea, I start thinking about the bare essential to make the idea communicate its speciality even clearer. What is the bare essential in the form, for its contents to burst out? What is the appearance of the form that requires the minimum of time and struggle form the beholder to get the message? It is really simple. You have to remove everything that disturbs you. Therefore I follow the principle "what doesn't benefit, brings damage".
Igor Arih, WNBS DESIGNER
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1. alex said
Pri današnji poplavi raznega oglaševalskega materiala, prav paše na čase malo spočiti oči na izdelku, ki sledi pravilom 'nevidnega oblikovanja'. Pa tudi osebna komunikacija z njim se mi zdi bolj pristna.
2. Gregor Šebijan said
V večini primerov zelo res.
samo v razmislek:
Kaj je boljše?
Popolnoma golo žensko telo ali žensko telo zakrito na predelih, ki dopuščajo domišlji svojo pot?
3. generic said
Well, and what further?
4. Arry said
5abRK0 Walking in the presence of giants here. Cool thinking all around!
5. Titia said
Great common sense here. Wish Id thoghut of that.
6. Betsy said
Wait, I cannot fahotm it being so straightforward.
7. Elliptical said
I suggest adding a facebook like button for the blog!