Have you ever seen some design work and you can instantly form an opinion about the designer responsible for it? I’m not talking about good design, I mean bad design work. But first let’s talk about furniture and clothes.
If you go into a 70 year old person’s house you’ll see different furniture than you see in a 30-year old’s house. The 70 year old also dresses differently. He’s got a sport’s jacket on with a large pattern and a wide tie.
The scary thing is that 40 years ago, the 70 year old was 30 years old, and he dressed the same way then that he dresses today, and at that time he looked at those who were 40 years older than him and he couldn’t figure out why they dressed the way they did, or why they bought such weird furniture.
It seems that everyone, at some point in their life, gets stuck in a certain time period. It’s as though someone flipped a switch, all of a sudden George, who was 37 in 1978, immediately lost all sense of progression with respect to personal adornement and what he liked to sit on. He just froze, stylistically speaking.
Maybe it’s because they don’t care. George, at 37, just realized he was tired of putting on a show and decided to just go with what he had, because he didn’t care enough to get new stuff. Why buy a new chair when this old one works just as well? Who cares what it looks like?
But maybe it’s because he does care. To him, everybody else is weird, and he’s like the only cool guy he knows from where he’s from. Man, they’re selling this jacket for $1.00 at the thrift store? Are they crazy? This thing is a babe-magnet, and nobody will notice this coffee stain on the left elbow if I keep my arm tucked around my back like I’m holding a bouquet of roses, which will help me even more with the ladies down at the senior rec center…
Regardless, my plea to you designers is to not let this happen to you. If this were 20 years ago I would have said don’t stuck in the 80′s, which sounds a lot better than telling you not to get stuck in the 10′s (it just doesn’t sound quite right). Don’t stop caring about keeping up with the progression of good design. And don’t let anybody flip that switch on you that convinces you that what you’re designing is good and without reproach and rids you of any ability to objectively compare your work to that of those around you.