Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The use of design and type terminology

     Their are many different reasons why communication with the language of design can help each individual accomplish the goals set for that particular project. In order to understand fully what a customer or a design group wants, the proper language must be used. This will give the design an equal balance in concept when each of the designers comprehend what they want to achieve.

      For example, I had to do a project a couple years ago with a group of students involving a special event. We had to create a greeting card for Saint Patricks day. We struggled in the beginning because we didn't understand each others concepts. When we spoke in terms of design, our concept started to form. The downside to using this language is that some principles of design language are not fully defined and can be misleading to others working with you.

    I personally would only use the design language when in the right environment. Working at a design company would be a good example of this. I would not however use this when giving  a public speech. To some, using such language would just sound like gibberish, and leave them with more questions then answers. When pitching a project idea, to say a former employer, I would simplify these terms, rather then use the full extent of which I learned. A great way to look at this would be to compare culture languages. If someone spoke spanish and no other language, you would want to use only that language, otherwise they wouldn't understand.


  1. Using the “design language” is appropriate when you are speaking to or with other designers or people who understand the language. If someone isn’t aware of the “terms” then the language might otherwise sound like “gibberish” like you said. Also, like you mentioned about speaking to a crowd of people where most might not understand. Then it would be more appropriate to speak in layman’s terms rather than design terms, especially if you want them to understand what you are talking about. I think each situation is different and you have to “feel” out the situation before making a decision on what type of “language” you are going to use.

  2. While we don't need to show off how smart we are by speaking only in design-specific terms, we can be responsible for educating. If you're in a situation where some non-designer's work could use some improvement, wouldn't you want to explain to them WHY you are suggesting changes? You can help them to understand design without sounding pompous. If the headline isn't clear, let them know they can improve the clarity of the message by using a heavier weight of the same or contrasting typeface. Show them how they can provide a center-of-interest for the design. Explain basic rules of contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. As designers, we have an obligation to educate our clients and our peers.


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