What we can’t talk about

During the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, some countries looked super-slick in their ceremonial outfits (e.g. Italy), but some nations’ choices resulted in serious fashion fails (just google it).

Can we talk about taste?
“If you mention taste nowadays, notes Paul Graham, a lot of people will tell you that ‘taste is subjective.’ They believe this because it really feels that way to them. When they like something, they have no idea why. It could be because it’s beautiful, or because their mother had one, or because they saw a movie star with one in a magazine, or because they know it’s expensive. Their thoughts are a tangle of unexamined impulses.

Most of us are encouraged, as children, to leave this tangle unexamined. If you make fun of your little brother for coloring people green in his coloring book, your mother is likely to tell you something like ‘you like to do it your way and he likes to do it his way.’ Your mother at this point is not trying to teach you important truths about aesthetics. She’s trying to get the two of you to stop bickering… Saying that taste is just personal preference is a good way to prevent disputes. The trouble is, it’s not true.”

My 2¢: Design isn’t about photoshop. It’s about psychology. A good designer understands that his goal is to influence a customer’s psychological state of mind and perception of your business. You want to work with a designer who knows about how people behave and what makes them take action. Ultimately, you want to work with a designer who can help you capture sales leads. Isn’t that what you want?

July 29, 2012.