If in doubt, start at the pub

I’ve been at Valiant for three years and it’s recently dawned on me how much I’ve been learning about design. I didn’t study art past the age of 15 and have never described myself as ‘a creative’. I’ve always analysed, theorised and been opinionated but does that mean that I’m not creative or unable to appreciate design? This is not perhaps the place for a discussion on the theory of creativity, however I’ve decided to break out of my ‘not a creative’ role and appreciate design in my own way.

Being part of the design process and listening to the studio’s rationale has trained me to notice design so much more.

What have I learnt?

Everything in design is subjective. We all have our preferences when it comes to design, things we like and don’t, even if we can’t articulate them. If in doubt, it’s the designer’s job to create something that’s right for the (well-defined) brief…so trust them!

On the other hand, there is most definitely a right and a wrong. Subjectivity only comes into play when you’re looking at something that’s hit the mark. How do you know if it has hit that mark though? It’s about taking notice.

Where you can start?

At the pub. It’s always a good place to start anything. When you choose your bottle, whether it’s beer, cider or wine, take a moment to look at the label. I’ve started to notice every label and how I feel about the design, where the logo is placed, what information am I supposed to read first, how have they communicated the flavours and ingredients, how it’s been printed, what I like about the use of colour and what I don’t like.

When choosing a drink at a bar, the badges that are on the pumps have to give you a lot of information when you’ve got to make a quick decision. Have they done that with bright colours, or have they filled the space with the beer’s name or the breweries name? If you’re picking a drink from the fridge and have to lean over to choose, which label grabs your attention? You might see an image of a strawberry and pick that one, not thinking about anything else. If yo

u can’t read anything on the label, would you skip that one by? I have definitely seen the most unusual bottle and picked a drink on that alone…’of course I want to drink that, the bottle is in the shape of Buddha!’

You can also check out the work we’ve been doing with Siren Craft Brew recently here. We’ve all been thinking about how important design is for breweries and the design decisions that need to be made at the pub. It’s not just me, honest.

So what?

Great design is so very important to business success. Success could be growth, profit or acquisition all of which can be supported and accelerated with great design. Read Anneli’s article ‘We design because we care‘ for a better insight into empathetic design and what that means to your customers and your business.

A design decision has been made on almost everything you see. The fun part is that it’s up to you to decide if that was the right decision.

And, as the saying goes, there’s a TED talk for that. And there is, enjoy!

Image credit: iStock.com/ClaudeMic
Thumbnail image credit: Alphotographic