Design is about Constraints


One of the things I learned in school was that you need constraints when designing something. Giving a designer complete freedom, perhaps by saying “do whatever you want” is a bad thing, and not very realistic.

You can’t just say “design something” and expect greatness to appear. Whatever you need designed will have certain specifications, such as size, colors, cost, etc. If you’re dealing with a client that can’t provide you with the details that create constraints, that should be a warning sign.

A true designer should embrace constraints, and immediately think of ways to push the very edges of the constraints, but still stay within them. Thinking outside the box is fine, but most often you’ll still need to fit everything within the box when the project is complete.

I did manage to find one article about this concept, and it’s from WIRED Magazine, which I think is fitting: Design Under Constraint: How Limits Boost Creativity

August 13, 2012 · Posted by in design, misc  


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