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Precepts for designers

Monday 20 May 2002

From ‘This is what I have learned’, presented by Milton Glaser at the AIGA National Design Conference some weeks ago:

All I ever wanted to do was to make images and create form. This instinct for form-making seems to be something that is very characteristic of our entire species. It's one of the things that almost defines humankind. I like the idea of cultures that do not have an idea of art as a separate activity from their daily life, such as many African groups, where there isn't a word that approaches the idea of art. They are very interested in containing magic but that is another thing. Among the Balinese, there is no word for art. They just say ‘we do things the best that we can.’ Which is a nice way to think about what we all do. I am going to tell you everything that I know about the practice of design. It is a sort of collage of bits and pieces that I have assembled over 50 years. It includes a lot of things I've said before but I've repackaged them rather attractively. This is what I've learned.

Glaser then talks about these ten precepts:

1   You can only work for people you like
2   If you have a choice never have a job
3   Some people are toxic avoid them
4   Professionalism is not enough or the good is the enemy of the great
5   Less is not necessarily more
6   Style is not to be trusted
7   How you live changes your brain
8   Doubt is better than certainty
9   Solving the problem is more important than being right
10  Tell the truth

You can read the whole of his talk, in this pdf.

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