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What Form of Design do you Love?

What Form of Design do you Love?

Following on from my last article on Advice for Aspiring Writers, I wanted to start being more specific about the things we love and the things we should most obviously follow in our life.

So, I love design.

I started my own career stacking shelves for a leading supermarket and although most of the time I felt like I was in an irreconcilable state of creative death, I did find time for design. I used to hide behind the soap powders in the warehouse, take my tiny notebook out and try to design different systems that would encourage customers to buy more. I once designed a huge A1 visual information report for the Supermarket Manager and went and presented it to him and he said he wanted to put me in touch with the Organisations and Methods people of head office in J.Sainsbury.

In my spare time i was being stalked by an old guy next door to design him a foolproof system for winning on the horses.

So design was in my blood, even before my career really took off.

In the early days I used transfers to make visual information designs. I couldn’t draw or write very well, so i used to use the transfers to add titles and headings on my blueprints. I used rulers a lot and different colour pens. I also used to cut images out of newspapers and stick them on.

What i was creating was very much like today’s infographics, only my blueprints were like road maps to help people understand a particular area of knowledge faster and more simply. One glance at the map and the viewer would instantly see all the most significant factors associated with that area of knowledge. So for the Supermarket manager, he could see instantly which area of the shop was most profitable and which area of the shop got more traffic.

What i was doing was distilling down all the data into a visual arrangement that would enable one person or many people to see the big picture (literally), which enabled them to improve decision making. The Supermarket Manager could now see instantly where he could improve his profits and what products to place and where. He also had a very simple way of communicating the problems to his managers and they to their staff. From one simple map, so many issues and problems became clear to everybody in a way they could all take action to improve the productivity of the shop.

Now, bear in mind this was in the early 1980’s, when we didn’t have computers. Just think what can be achieved now!

This has been a short story about my love for design.

I wonder what your love for design is? Do you have a story to tell?

If you do, then feel free to tell it here. Or forever hold your piece. lol


Written by Stephen

Steve Ryan is the co-founder of Young Web Builder with Oliver Neely.