I’m too Sexy for that Style

I’m a designer you know what I mean
My design does little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk on the catwalk yeah
I shake my little design on the catwalk

Right Said Fred’s mocking of overly arrogant models has a haunting note of truth for designers as well. The reality is that we as designers are arrogant. That’s not a bad thing though, as long as it’s justifiable and healthy. After all, through the style we use on any given product we are shaping the very perception of that product.

Be a good arrogant not a bad arrogant.

The difference between good arrogance and bad arrogance is very small but spans galaxies. One is difficult to attain and the other ever so easy.

Good arrogance means that in your confidence you recognize that there is no style that is beneath you. That every type of style has its place in your tools of art and functionality. Good arrogance is related to your confidence in your ability to create a gorgeous hybrid between art and functionality using style. It’s something that not many people in this world can do. And, unfortunately, good arrogance among designers is also just as rare.

To often designers find themselves saying something like “I’m not going to use any style that resembles iOS because I’m not going to buy into the corporate 1984 propaganda and be a cog in the machine. I’m a designer, I exist outside of the machine.” Replace the previous with whatever rant about a given style is appropriate and you have a pretty common theme among designers.

Well here’s the reality, there are more styles between heaven and earth than you may know. Besides, what makes you so qualified to rule out the use, or at least part of the use, of a given style? Of course if you have people lined up to pay you homage then feel free to disregard what I’ve said.

Me, I’m not so great that I have people lined up to pay homage to me so I don’t rule any type of style out. In fact, I keep a folder of random bits of stuff that catch my eye of different styles. I also, to make sure I don’t get to comfortable in my comfort zone, make it a point to go out and visit different cultures, place where different types of people hang out, buy books with pictures, talk to other designers about their styles, I even just grab my camera and walk down the street snapping pictures of things that I think I can adapt to a design.

I, nor my designs, will ever be too sexy. Are you or your designs too sexy?

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