The joy of tables…

It’s very easy to think that graphic design is all about highly creative ‘funky’ designs, with lots of weird and wonderful colours and typefaces. Although sometimes that is true, that isn’t its primary purpose, fundamentally, graphic design is about clearly communicating information and ideas.

Simple is beautiful

As much as I enjoy creating wonderfully creative designs, I also get a kick out of reproducing what could be seen as mundane data in a neat and accessible way – exactly what graphic design is supposed to do. This can even be as simple as designing a table of numbers so that it can be read easily,  by using clear borders, legible type and selective colour to highlight key areas. This love of simplistic and repetitive data was tested recently with a client project which involves 1200 tables! Admittedly by the end of this project, I may not wish to see another table for some time, but the joy of seeing simple, effective and consistent tables will still be with me (just).

So next time you think design has to be all ‘artsy-fartsy’ just remember that perhaps the largest graphic design job ever was the one to create a standardised ‘visual language’ for the UK’s road signage. It was started in 1957 by The Anderson Committee and designed by Jock Kinnear and Margaret Calvert, and has remained largely unchanged until today. This design has stood the test of time and its main function was to be legible at higher road speeds and reduce the dependency on words so that it could be universally understood, hopefully you agree with me that this doesn’t stop the final result being beautiful as well as beautifully simple.

Pixooma may not be required to design a project of this magnitude (well not yet anyway), so in the meantime, we will continue to produce designs that are beautiful, but which more importantly ‘work’ and fulfil their function beautifully 🙂


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