The only words I understand in the song below are “Time To Say Goodbye.” That’s it. But I love the song.
This song I understand even less of – nothing. But whenever it comes on my Rdio playlist, it instantly puts me in a good mood.
The enjoyment of music is difficult to explain. Yes, you can talk about how certain types of music affect different chemicals in the brain and increase dopamine. But if you walk up to a random person on the street with headphones and ask “Why do you enjoy listening to music?” their answer will probably be something like “because it makes me happy” or “I don’t know. Because I enjoy it.”
The same is true about good design. The average small business owner doesn’t know what makes good design or bad design. Neither does the average consumer. They don’t know what kerning is, about typography, contrast, repetition, or any other technical design elements.
While great design has many technical elements that could define it as good, the average person has an emotional reaction, just like they do to music. Most people can’t explain in detail why they like a certain design or image beyond basic descriptions like colors or shape. Most music analysis doesn’t move beyond lyrics, a beat, or instruments.
Both music and design we have a hard time valuing despite both having a massive impact on our lives.
We feel the affects, but don’t often translate that into monetary value. How many people still torrent their favorite band’s music? How many people ask designers for free logos or promise “future work” in exchange?
Everything around you has been designed by someone, whether it was beautifully or poorly crafted. A designer touched whatever you’re reading this one. A designer sculpted your coffee cup. A designer shaped the car you drove to work in.
Design is everywhere and maybe because of that, it isn’t appreciated as much it should be. At least good design.
Connect with me on Twitter: @BenNesvig