Design is Play

The video ‘Great design is serious (not solemn)’ where Paula Scher explains design as ‘serious play’ and ‘solemn play’. She explains that ‘serious’ design is spontaneous and possibly ‘the first of its kind’ because it encourages invention but not perfection, whereas ‘solemn’ design is socially correct, perfect and common. Scher also states that it is possible to be too educated for ‘serious play’ because it’s the learning experience and the discoveries during education that allows ‘serious play’ to occur. This encouraged me to not think about the possible implications and restrictions and to have an open mind when brainstorming ideas, therefore allowing creative ideas to develop. Previously I was inclined to unintentionally allow preconceived ideas to obstruct my creative process. For example, my knowledge of the printing process would automatically effects my initial ideas of my printed projects due to cost implications, time constraints, difficulty of processing etc. However this video persuaded me to be open-minded and realise that there are likely to be other solutions that I could be ruling out due to my preconceived issues.

An article found on AIGA’s website ‘Where design is going, and how to be there’ by Cheryl Heller (2013) also emphasised the importance of putting restrictions aside and approaching situations with an open mind. Whilst Heller explained the importance and potential graphic design has, this statement stood out to me; “…design has the capacity to invite, motivate, engage, entertain and delight people, moving them to action, inspiring them [communities] to believe that something better is possible. It is a vision in which designers are the leaders we need now.” This is very important to me as a designer because I intend to motivate, engage, entertain, inspire people to do something better in my designs. This can be seen with the ideas of my road safety posters because I aim to motivate, encourage and engage with the public to make the community a better place.

Heller, C. (2013) Where design is going, and how to be there. Available at: [Accessed 4 January 2013]

Scher, P. (2009) YouTube. Available at: [Accessed on 1 November 2012]

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