Bryan Taylor

Thankful for Good Design

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many things: family, hope, and health all quickly come to mind. I am also thankful that everyday I get to design something that will be added to this community. And I get to help others engage in something of value because of that design contribution.

I know I am not alone in this appreciation. I just had a conversation today about the gratification that comes from enjoying a truly fine meal, where all of the details have been thoughtfully considered, anticipated, prepared for, and creatively solved in order to cultivate a meaningful dining experience. That is good design.

Most of us value time in a beautiful park, or even just sitting in the comfort of a well-crafted chair. Design is all around us, and good design is naturally enjoyable — even for those who have never designed before, because good design is often found in places we hardly recognize. In fact, good design almost draws your attention away from itself because everything just fits and works together.

While good design can all but disappear, it is far easier to spot bad design.

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” — Dr. Ralph Speth, CEO of Jaguar
As many good design examples as there are to find, there must be at least as many examples of bad design. Sometimes we get wrapped up in a utilitarian spirit, and find ourselves bypassing an aesthetically pleasing decision in favor of that which is quicker and easier. But quicker and easier in the immediate doesn’t produce a quick and easy longevity that matches. And as we have all discovered, trying to save a few dollars and hours up front usually costs more of both in the long run.

There is a misnomer floating around that seems to think that good design is too expensive and requires too much time to indulge. The truth is that good design is too valuable NOT to invest in.

Tap & Growler allowed us to shape its complete customer experience.

When we approached our work with Tap & Growler, we were given a space in downtown Eugene, Oregon, that had been gutted and was waiting for us to shape its full potential. We were given the keys to the brand, to the environment, to the experience that would be shaped for customers. And with that trust we were able to truly do our best work, bringing to life a new venture that is warm, inviting, and has staying power in an industry that is quite transient.

“This approach helped us achieve 300% of our projected opening night sales. Since then, we estimate that Drawn’s work is directly responsible for as much as 40% of our revenue.” — Patric Campbell, Co-Founder of Tap & Growler

Good design doesn’t exist just to please those of us with particular aesthetic taste. Good design exists because it is beneficial to us all. It contributes to our community. It pays dividends in the work environment with engagement and retention.

And this is what I love to try and contribute every day. I am thankful this week for the opportunity, in small ways and large, to contribute some good design value to our community, to our City, to some of the brands we interact with, to common spaces we get to enjoy, and hopefully to many more opportunities to come.