“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s’ the veneer—that the designers are handed this box and told, “Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”—Steve Jobs
“Design is a way of life, a point of view. It involves the whole complex of visual communications: talent, creative ability, manual skill, and technical knowledge. Aesthetics and economics, technology and psychology are intrinsically related to the process.”—Paul Rand, from A Designer’s Words.
Groupon’s rise to success has, in great part, hinged on fresh, clever writing, and steering clear of old adages, clichés, and even pop culture references. In an article by The New York Times, one staff member underscores their focus on fresh, original perpectives:
” ‘People have grown numb to the elements of advertising that pander to their fears and hopes, that insult their intelligence with safe, bland approaches at creativity,’ says Mr. With, who at nights and on weekends is lead singer in the band Volcano. ‘We’re mixing business with art and creating our own voice.’ ” *
Mr. With’s sentiment could easily have come from the design community, where, like all creative fields, the aim is often to evoke surprise, response or reaction from the audience, while this is often challenged by tactical restraints defined by marketers and other areas of business. It is worthy to note that Groupon’s success comes in part from dodging the safer, tested routes of communication that design clients often think they prefer; Groupon’s success and commitment to originality underscores that design clients who are willing to commit to original voices, in both the written and the visual, are arguably more likely to create a stronger brand presence.
* Excerpt from The New York Times article about Groupon and the role of clever writing in the company.
From the School of Visual Art’s Products of Design Program:
“Designers have the power
to transform the world.
Products of Design transforms
designers, educating head,
heart and hands to reinvent
systems, create new types
of value, and catalyze positive
change through the business
Functionality is so over-valued in design, and we’ve kept design very small in that way. Functionality is the sheer minimum. If your house burns down, what do you take? The cat in the window that you got from your mother, or the chair you have?
— Marcel Wanders
“As competition intensifies, design offers a powerful way to differentiate and position a company’s products and services. In increasingly fast-paced markets, price and technology are not enough. Design is the factor that will often give a company its competitive edge.”
—Philip Kotler, Northwestern University,
Kellogg School of Management