When you purchase a book, the first thing you interact with is the cover of that book. Even if you’re not a designer, you get attracted to the design on the book cover, the illustration, the typography, the material of the paper, the finishing of the cover, and a number of other graphic elements. Once you’re through examining the front of the book, you flick the pages or read the summary at the back. Even during this time, you focus on how readable or engaging the book is.
The same way, when visitors visit a website, their first reaction is towards the design of the homepage and the subsequent pages. Whether it is a business card, a restaurant menu, a logo design, the first thing people usually focus on is the design. Thus, we need to agree that design plays an integral role in anything you make or create.
Undoubtedly, people often judge graphic design based on its aesthetic appeal. Graphic designers are hired to make branding and marketing designs more appealing for consumers.
In this article, I will be covering the following aspects of aesthetics in design.
· What is aesthetics?
· What role does aesthetics play in design?
· What is eclectic design aesthetics?
· How to use eclectic design techniques in brand designing?
Let’s kick in.
We hear people use the word “aesthetics” quite often, whether we belong to the interior designing or architectural designing business or the graphic or web designing industry.
To be able to add aesthetics to anything, we need to first understand what it means. According to Interaction Design Foundation, “Aesthetics is a core design principle that defines a design’s pleasing qualities.” While how a design functions is important, aesthetics is concerned more with beauty.
In his paper on Design Aesthetics: Principles of Pleasure in Design, Paul Hekkert explains that aesthetics is derived from aesthesis, which refers to “sensory perception and understanding or sensuous knowledge.” With this definition, it can be said that aesthetics is not simply how a design looks, but also about the kind of experience it provides.
The Interaction Design Foundation shares that the term aesthetics stems from the Greek word “aisthetikos”, which means “sense of perception”, and is related to beauty in philosophical study.
Some of the classic philosophers spent their lives figuring out the true meaning of beauty. In fact, Plato divided the world into two parts: the world of appearances and the world of forms. He said that beauty is an idea and whatever we make in this world is a shadow or reflection of that perfect form of beauty. With this in mind, we need to re-observe the way products are designed — according to a certain perception of what beauty is. The aim is usually to make things visually attractive.
Nevertheless, it is important to realize that aesthetics is a rather wide-ranging word. For example,
- For every person and every group of people aesthetics is different
- For every business and industry the definition of aesthetics is different
- In every decade, the meaning of what is beautiful has changed
What may be liked by me may or may not be liked by you. However, there are certain rules of visual aesthetics that people universally agree on and with these basic building blocks.
And when we are applying aesthetics into our designs, it is important to ask ourselves, what is beautiful and what is ugly? Sometimes what is ugly to me, maybe beautiful for you and vice versa.
The Encyclopedia Britannica explains, “Anything might be seen as beautiful by someone or from some point of view…” Know that beauty is subjective, and also pretty vague. For example, contemporary designers consider minimalism as beautiful while many other designers think elaborate logo designs are just as aesthetically sound.
Role of Aesthetics in Web Design
In her research paper, The Role of Aesthetics in Web Design, Lisbeth Thorlacius writes that in web designing, aesthetics is about design elements such as colors, typography, pictures, sounds and visual effects.
Thus, how a professional web designer chooses the elements of design changes the way a website looks and feels, and also what it communicates. This means that the aesthetics of your website determines a lot about its appearance, personality and purpose.
In his article, What Role Do Aesthetics Play In The Design Of A Website? Steven Bradley of Vanseo Design shares aesthetics may or may not be a conscious choice for a website design but every website has it and people not just look at it but also judge it in the unique ways they perceive beauty. Thus, the role of aesthetics in website designing or any other form of brand designing is becoming increasingly important.