Volume 1, Edition 1
Winter 2020

What is Design?

Small planet icon
An introduction and exploration
"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well." — Brian Reed, front-end developer and musician

That’s great, but what exactly is design? And how can something be designed well?

You might hear the word “design” and jump to the thought of decoration —— maybe a colorful event flyer or a cute birthday card. While those aesthetic elements do contribute to design, we have to remember that design is more than just pretty colors and fonts. It’s the process. (Trust it 💪).

Design has either left you feeling great or frustrated. Christmas lights? They’re beautiful until you need to disentangle the monstrous knot you made last year. Or what about a USB cable? It’s almost impossible to plug in the USB on the first try (it takes me at least ten 😔✊). Whether the inconvenience is minor or major, a designer’s goal is to make their audience’s experience better.

You might be thinking, how can I make a meaningful impact with my design?

Well, I’m not an expert, but what I do know is that any design encompasses these three things. 

  • Your audience
    Know who you’re designing for. Chances are an elementary schooler won’t be too intrigued by size 12, black, Times New Roman.
  • Your choices
    Design is as much of an art as it is a science. If your intentions are solely just to create something beautiful, you can drive yourself into accidentally creating a bad design. Understand your true intentions behind your visual choices. Your answer shouldn’t be because it looks good.
  •  Your solution
    Design, no matter what form, aims to solve a problem, and problems often have multiple solutions. Designers don’t settle 😤. Create multiple iterations of a solution before deciding on your final choice. It’s important to understand how you got from your problem to your solution.

The exhilarating thing about design is its substance. Sure, our eyes can feast on something aesthetically pleasing, but in true design, beauty is secondary. Audience + Choices + Solution = process = design.

Truth is, even if you may not consider yourself a designer, you’ve probably designed something before. Have you ever written a long email or text to someone but broke up the text into segments to make it easier for the other person to read? There you go! You’ve designed something! 🥳 In all seriousness, whether we consider ourselves designers or not, design is a part of our lives. It’s likely that everyone has different definitions of good design. You can check out what some designers at Google consider to be a good design and why here. The next time you engage with satisfying design, take a moment to think of why that design works.

User experience design focuses on people’s overall interaction with a product.
Graphic design focuses on communicating art and messages visually and aesthetically.
Industrial design is mass producing consumer products for use.
Motion design brings art to life with animations and visual effects.
Game design utilizes elements of art for the purpose of creating entertainment.
User interface design is about all of the visual components of a screen’s interface.
Architecture is the planning and creation of buildings and physical structures.
Illustration is communication in drawing.
Typography is the style of letters and characters of language.
Sound design uses auditory elements and music to create moods.

Examples

The UI of Space X’s Dragon 2
Stanley Kubrick’s, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Winners of NASA’s 3D printed Mars habitat created

Who are we?

Navigating an increasingly digital world as a person and designer can be scary; that’s why we’re here to help! Creative X is a collective of designers from all disciplines. Prior to our founding, there weren’t any digital design clubs at Rutgers and it was difficult to get started alone. Now, thanks to our members the community is a place for everyone to learn from each other and to grow together. Let’s make Rutgers the best design school it can be!

Meet the Members

Yunoh Park

"Design is anything that's been thoughtfully arranged. Some good examples would be the solar system or sliced bread 🍞"

Willow Yao

"Design is creative problem solving. It considers the context of the situation in order to understand how to meet people's needs. I look completely different from you (an alien :O) because we live in distinct environments. We're each designed thoughtfully to successfully adapt to the different challenges we face."

Derek

"Design is pouring hours upon hours into a project so that one day, some person will look at what you've accomplished, pause, and say "nice," before continuing on with his day."

Sarah

"Design is about creating certain emotions. It is about expressing certain ideas and feelings."

Samir Patki

"Design is the process and display of a purpose or emotion. Your UFOs have been made with a purpose, right?"

Andy Hwang

"Design is storytelling. Sharing the story behind the product, business, service, etc."

Join us

What is design to you? Join our discord and let us know!