Ok so…a few months ago I introduced a very talented shoe designer friend, who I adore, to a second friend. Then my second friend’s friend asked what I did; was I also a shoe designer at which point my shoe designer friend said no you are really a product designer.
This sat a bit uneasy with me.
I mean I have been working as a shoe designer with a good company’s R&D on conceptual shoes. Did this make me not a shoe designer? I am designing shoes but for the future. Is there another job description for this work? You should know I have a degree in Industrial Design and in Fashion Footwear. Is this about ideology?
So this comment went out of my mind and a few months later I was applying for a shoe design award fund. Again finding, I was articulating I design shoes. Asking myself why is it so difficult to categorise? My rich and varied background knowledge is good for ideas, solutions expressed through design, right?
Then last night I stumbled upon a homecoming… in the unlikely source of a ‘graphic’ designer I had forgotten about, the late Massimo Vignelli.
I want to share this with you.
Massimo is best know for designing Helvatica Typeface, the New York City Subway map and graphics. But his design work did not stop there or with the iconic posters for Knoll, he designed furniture, Venetian glass lighting, homewares and much, much more. His legacy contributed to the philosophy where I studied design at the University of Cincinnati. The idea that design, good design was clear, clean, honest and this understanding was the skill that was transferable to all design seroquel pill. This philosophy mirrors the aim of ballet dancers to be ‘clean’, actors to be honest and the interrelation of elements to be restrained and complementary as we see in gastronomy. There is a pleasure in utility made beautiful, in a way the utility is highlighted by the clarity of the beauty. Where new manufacturing and materials were always viewed as an opportunity to bring good design to everyone.
So is a shoe designer something so different from a designer. Or can a designer with knowledge, research and understanding contribute to the design of shoes? Let’s hope the latter!
Some quotes and work from the late, inspirational Massimo Vignelli…