I Love SOCIAL Design

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Hi guys , for some years I have been hearing about design concepts and for me ones that interests me is that says that Design  is a tool and a knowledge to improve people’s life.  There are so many aspects … Continue reading

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I Love Patterns

Oh yes, I love patterns! As a concept, they are integral to the way we live. The sun rises and falls everyday, and we use it to count the days, months and years that we plan everything around. Our cells form patterns when looked at through a microscope. The heart beats regularly and the lungs breathe in an out in a (fairly) steady rhythm to keep our bodies running. But this blog is about design, not word soup. Here are some examples, not not an exhaustive list of all the patterns I love:

1: Islamic Patterns

As they are not allowed to directly depict Allah or the Prophet Muhammad, Muslims artists use patterns as a way to celebrate the divine  I suppose these patterns are the Muslim equivalent to statues of the saints or stain glass windows. They are inspired by both natural and geometric forms. I like them for their intricacy, the craftsmanship that it takes to carve them, and the fact that they are abstract enough to appeal to non Muslims. They are accessible on a purely aesthetic level.



2: Tessellating Hexagons in Bee Hives

Okay, this is not really design. The bees just build their hives this way. I suppose some people may believe that God designed bee hives, but that is a discussion for another time. Anyway, plowing ahead: The hexagon is the most efficient and stable tessellating shape and I find it amazing that swarms of bees manage to co-ordinate and build their hives in such a logical and ordered way. Behold:



3: M. C. Escher


The last example I am going to give are the patterns created by M. C. Escher. Again, I am impressed with the complexity and craft they took to make and the mathematical skill of the artist. Animals, fractals, impossible dimensions, it’s all there. Not much else to say really:


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Design I Hate

I hate design that’s unnecessary.

example: individually wrapped bananas, ‘blank’ pages

- neither serves any actual or immediate use but takes time and attention to understand or unwrap. – they slightly insult the intelligence of the person interacting with them. – they are wasteful

I hate design that doesn’t properly achieve it’s goals.

example: understanding the VLE

- understanding the VLE was complicated, there were a lot of steps to get through and the information was scattered. – there were other working, accessible and familiar sites that served similar purposes.

I hate design that compromises.

example: my pepper grinder

- made in a ‘classic’ design and materials i.e. wood but made with cheap mechanisms. – it was slightly expensive due to the design and the materials but is essentially worthless as it doesn’t work properly

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Design I Love

I love design that helps me enjoy the world.

example : Instagram.

- it transforms the introverted nature of looking down at your phone into an outward looking action. – it takes full advantage of the iPhone as a camera, a viewing screen and as a web enabled social network device. – it’s fun and immediate, really simple to use and free.

I love design that mixes mediums.

example : Jenny Chen’s books and .gifs

 - they’re a beautiful and simple idea that’s also actually a satisfyingly complex mechanism. – She has really exploited the physical and tactile elements of printed paper. – she has then really successfully translated this into a .gif for advertising.

I love design which is beautiful in itself.

example : decorative light-bulbs and furniture joints

- both are essential and everyday useful items. – the decorative features are founded in and expanded from their key components. – the objects are simple and familiar whilst also being new and engaging.

I love design that challenges principles.

example: Teddy Girls (shot by Ken Russell)

- Their clothing challenged ideas of clothing as signifiers wealth, status, occupation and age. – The girls who embraced it and adapted it were challenging gender in clothing and defining a new kind of femininity.

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I Hate Two Specific Dior Perfume Adverts

I started writing this post in order to tear down a couple of  perfume adverts and justify me including it in the hate list wemade on Monday. My initial hatred was inspired by these pretentious classics, incidentally both by Dior:

You will notice that they are a few years old, this is because I have not watched TV for the last few years and these are the ones that stuck in my mind.

In the first advert, they are essentially selling a smelly liquid, yet the adverts tell you literally nothing about the smell. Does it smell like flowers? Like fruit? Like a women languishing in a bath of liquid gold? Oh wait, that is not a smell. It reveals nothing about the product other than it probably costs a lot of money. If it wasn’t for the shots of the product you would not know what it was selling at all.

The second example is in fact, according to the advert, a new seduction by Dior. It is not actually a perfume. This may go some way to explaining the sexually suggestive imagery that seeps from every pore of the leering, greasy advertisement. It is selling a concept rather than an actual thing, evoking feelings of animal lust, danger and ‘the chase’. The first example is no different in this case, selling the idea of glamour and luxury accompanied by a porn soundtrack.

Now we get the the heart of the matter. These adverts promise excitement, sex and wealth that the product can not deliver. They are all concept and false promises which is why I initially hated them so much. However this is not confined to Dior perfume adverts, it reflects the state of advertising today; to be consistent I should say I hate the whole industry.

This is simply not rue. One glaring contradiction would be the famous Guiness advert which I God damn LOVE:

This is equally as ridiculous as the above perfume adverts, and tells you nothing about the glorious and refreshing taste of Guiness. However, I love this and hate the others. Here is another Guiness ad that I do not love as much, but yet does not inspire in me the same kind of hatred as the perfume ads do, despite being equally if not more ambiguous and nonsensical:

It is here that I realise a horrible truth. The only reason I hate the perfume adverts is because I am not interested in the world of fashion and luxury. Armed with this knowledge I went to Youtube to find some more Dior perfume adverts and see if I could view them through a more objective eye. Here is what I found:

While still not revealing anything about the smell, as per the standard, it did not make me feel the same gut reaction as the others. It is quite artfully shot and manages to be nostalgic whilst immersing the viewer in the busy backstage environment pretty effectively. I don’t like it but I can appreciate it as a piece of film. I don’t know what it is about the panther and gold bath, but I hate them. Irrational it may be, but there it is.

by Alex the Hypocrite.



tl;dr version: I hate perfume adverts, but cannot explain why. I love the Guiness ad with the horses.


I am trying to embed the videos so they don’t spill out over the frame, bear with me

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As I was going through our love list, the words such as Wonder and Non-Mechanical, which I mentioned over the discussion, are not defining themselves to the fullest; therefore I want to reiterate them to bring more clarity…

Here, wonder, is a type of emotion,


For e.g.: Designs that directly connects to target audience through Love, Hope, Wonder, Motivation etc… I will come back on visuals of this in my next post.


Right now, I like to illustrate some examples of Non-Mechanical, but it would be better if I define them as Witty Designs which break the mechanical pattern of thinking.

For e.g.:

Witty Advertising

Witty Logos

I do remember two designing books on it: Cutting Edge and A Smile in the Mind.

A Smile in the Mind – Witty thinking in graphic design, by Beryl McAlhone, a writer with a special interest in design. He focuses on the graphics which give the most pleasure – the ideas that prompt a smile. The book selects the cream of witty work from designers across the world.




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1st meeting, love_hate list

First meeting, first thoughts about what we HATE in design. Our strategy is to collect and show as many examples as we can. (in the boxes) The list needs some more discussion, but these first ideas are also very interesting and a good starting point.

And here are the things we LOVE in design!  :) I think this part was easier for everybody. Examples in the boxes again, looking forward to the next meetings and posts about design.

May the Design be with you.




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let’s start blogging! have fun everyone!

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