This year, I’m growing two types of tomatoes.
One is a genetically engineered frankensteroid disease-free monster powerhouse aptly named “Beefmaster”. Our summer has been chock full o’ tomatoes thanks to Beefmaster, all perfectly sized, ripened and bright neon red. Picture perfect. They taste how you would expect though. Average. Store bought. All the King-Kullen-Kroger-Piggly-Wiggly-you-name-it-supermarket tomatoes you’ve ever had in your life wrapped up into one.
The other is a bit more difficult. They call it “Hillbilly.” It was slow to grow, raped by Horn Worms, and we are just now harvesting the tomatoes. But man what tomatoes! Full of character. A fiery rainbow of reds, oranges and yellows. Character for days. They taste like everything you’d want. And much much more.
So what does this have to do with design? Well, everything.
In the pursuit of say, a website or a stationary package, many people choose the easier, cheaper, faster or less considered path. And that’s quite understandable (and in some circumstances necessary) given today’s business market. But does the end product result in something that is memorable or unique? I would argue that taking such an approach always results in a watered-down version of what could be great design.
The extra work and effort analyzing the design problem at hand always yields better results. Take the time to develop your content before the design process starts for a website. Collect logos and advertisements from other companies that your admire to give your designer a better idea of the styles you like. Understand that just because others in your industry may use blue, you might want to use red. This extra effort to go the extra mile will be greatly appreciated by your designer and will result in the best design for your company.
Remember: Sameness breeds monotony and mediocrity. It doesn’t matter if it is a website or a tomato.