By: Ed Henninger
When you look at a newspaper—any newspaper, anywhere, anytime—what’s the first thing you see?
For more than 30 years, I have stressed the need—no, the demand—for good newspaper design.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been talking about good design for so long that those who hear me are turning a deaf ear.
So maybe you’ll give more credence to others. Maybe the following words of design wisdom will help convince you.
“Good design is good business.” — Thomas J. Watson
“The artist in me cries out for design” — Robert Frost
“All problems are solved by good design.” — Stephen Gardiner
“The details are not the details. They make the design.” — Charles Eames
“Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design is so simple—that’s why it’s so complicated.” — Paul Rand
“Design works if it’s authentic, inspired and has a clear point of view. It can’t be a collection of input.” — Ron Johnson
“Design is not for philosophy. It’s for life.” — Issye Miyake
“A good designer must rely on experience, on precise thinking and on pedantic exactness. No magic will do.” — Niklaus Wirth
“Designs of arbitrary nature cannot be expected to last long.” —Kenzo Tange
“Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs
“Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them and executing the best solution.” — Ivan Chermayeff
“Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design.” — Tom Peters
“You can be a mason and build 50 buildings, but it doesn’t mean you can design one.” — John Malkovich
“There are three responses to a piece of design: Yes, no and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” — Milton Glaser
“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.” — Lindon Leader
“Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design. It’s decoration.” — Jeffrey Zeldman
“Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.” — Brian Reed
“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” — Joe Sparano
“A designer is a planner with an aesthetic sense.” — Bruno Munari
“Design is intelligence made visible.” — Alina Wheeler
“A designer can mull over complicated designs for months. Then suddenly the simple, elegant beautiful solution occurs to him. When it happens to you, it feels as if God is talking! And maybe He Is.” — Leo Frankowski
IF THIS COLUMN has been helpful, you may be interested in Ed’s books: Henninger on Design and 101 Henninger Helpful Hints. With the help of Ed’s books, you’ll immediately have a better idea how to design for your readers. Find out more about Henninger on Design and 101 Henninger Helpful Hints by visiting Ed’s web site:www.henningerconsulting.com