The Value of Design – The Power to Influence, Educate & Inspire

WHAT?
Design is omni-present. It cannot be escaped. Everywhere you look, every object you see, every book you read, every billboard in your line of sight, advertisements in magazines, newspapers and on TV, every article of clothing in your wardrobe, the plates you eat from and even the bed you sleep in – all are the result of a design process.

HOW?
The design process begins with a core idea – what are we making, what purpose does it serve, to whom is it directed or being sold? From there, the idea is refined into a solid concept – what is the general look and feel of the object or piece? Will it be a high-end product or a dollar-store item? Next, artistic renderings give the idea visual form – sketches and/or digital images are developed, various visual representations are explored. Once a graphic direction has been chosen, the visual is further refined until a final design is produced. From there, the object or piece is taken through a production process, whether it be printing for business cards or brochures or manufacturing of a cell phone or pair of shoes.

WHERE?
Design encompasses a number of specific disciplines which produce our entire visual environment:

Graphic Design – product packaging, advertising, brochures, signage, business cards, banners, etc.

Industrial Design – products of all shapes and sizes – cell phones, appliances, furniture, automobiles

Fashion Design – clothing, shoes, handbags, hats, accessories

Architecture – houses, structures and buildings

Interior Design – selection of the objects that determine the look and feel of the interior of a room or building including: wall materials, paint colors, fixtures, furniture, artwork, draperies and decorative items

WHY?
In the world at large, design is a powerful tool, used to influence people’s perception of whatever is being presented – a company, organization, product or place. With a combination of colors, images and typefaces, graphic design can introduce and educate people about a cause, problem or solution. It can help create an emotional connection around a subject to bring people together, inspire them to think and to act. It can help break through the visual “noise” of the day to deliver a message, perhaps a significant one.

WHO?
In business, image is everything. Good design can help a company increase its credibility in the minds of its target audience. By looking at a company’s brochure, web site or advertising, a good idea can be gained about what that company stands for and what segment of the market they serve. Is it a luxury or economy brand? Aimed at a younger or more mature audience? Branding is the application of design to assign a distinct “personality” to a company or organization. A brand’s look and feel provides a clue as to what the company does and what it stands for. Is it a luxury brand like Mercedes? A counter-culture brand like Hot Topic? A lifestyle brand like Apple’s iPod? A company or product’s “look” – from the product itself to packaging, advertising and store design – can often be directly linked to its price point. One can easily discern a “cheap” product from something that “looks expensive”. While it’s difficult to explain in written form, we are all trained to easily distinguish quality goods from low-end imitations. All these impressions and perceptions are the result of design. Pretty powerful stuff!

From an individual perspective, design can be a means to express personal identity. Whether it’s a pair of Chuck Taylors or a Prada handbag, an Andy Warhol painting or urban graffiti art, a Ford or a Jaguar, design, in its many forms, combine to create an exterior personal “brand”.

The power that design holds to influence us in our everyday lives cannot be overstated. It’s all around us. Good designers know how to use that power to improve people’s lives by informing their decisions and drawing attention to important topics.

Bathroom Designs

In the literal sense of the word, a ‘bathroom’ means a room where bathtubs are replaced by showers and steam showers. More specifically, ‘a room where one bathes’ ise a better definition of the word.

A half bath contains a toilet and a hand basin. A three-forth bath contains a toilet, a hand basin and a shower. A full bath contains a toilet, a hand basin and a bathtub with a shower.

Bathrooms are usually designed in a way that both hot and cold water is used in significant quantities for bathing. From a beautifying viewpoint, the bathroom seems to stand as quite a challenge to the interior designer. The materials used for the ceiling, wall and floor coverings are required to be water resistant and must be easy to clean. The use of ceramic or glass, as well as smooth plastic materials, is common in bathrooms because they are easy to clean. However, such surfaces easily become too cold to touch and so waterproof bath mats or even bathroom carpets are used on the floor to make the bathroom more comfortable. On the other hand, the floor may be heated, possibly by strategically placing heater conduits close to the surface.

Electrical appliances, such as lights, heaters and heated towel rails generally need to be installed as fixtures, with permanent connections rather than plugs and sockets.They contribute a lot to the ambience of the bathroom.

Bathroom design is extremely important, as one spends moments alone in this room to read, think and bath. One can easily adorn the bathroom by choosing shower curtains, cubicles and carpets and fixtures to match a theme.

The Magic of Design

There was a time people thought the world was flat. At another point in history it was believed that women didn’t have the know-how to run a business or change a tire. Then there was the one about man not being able to fly. Over time all of these fairytales have proven untrue.

So it is with interior design. Until recently, many people held the belief that having their home decorated by an interior designer was reserved for the rich and famous. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Fact is, many people of average income who live in a middleclass neighborhood are frequently surprised to learn they can easily afford the services of an interior designer. In other cases, many folks prefer to learn tips about design so they have the flexibility to redo a room on a whim. Either way, you have more choices today then ever before.

It is not uncommon to completely redo a room for a one time social event such as a birthday celebration, a graduation or a wedding. With some simple tips, even the most inexperienced person can easily spruce up a room.

Before you begin, think about the style you are interested in. Is it art deco, traditional, Mediterranean, western, modern, or contemporary? These are only a few of the multitude of choices you have. Think through how functional the room will be with what you have in mind. Avoid rugs and chairs that stain easily if there will be a lot of traffic in the room.

Be very careful to scale your furniture to the size of the room. If you have a very large space you can break up the area into little sitting groups or area groups. You can easily shift the “feel” of a room with the use of lighting and/or plants. Area rugs are another tool many designers use to break up large spaces. A variety of paint colors and wall textures can make even the most mundane room come to life.

Small space decorating is fast becoming a favorite topic for many people as real estate prices rise. Think priorities when it comes to small spaces. Do you need to use an area of the room for more than one reason? In some cases you can easily convert the kitchen table to your workspace provided you have cabinet space handy for supplies. A chest of drawers can easily serve this purpose by holding office supplies, linens, or even computer components.

If you are considering utilizing the services of a designer, do your homework. Check their portfolio and references. Find out how they are to work with, did they deliver on time, were they easy to work with and did they listen to the homeowner. If you get an affirmative answer on all of these and their fees are suitable to your budget, then take the leap. Often, interior designs services are provided at no additional cost to you, and will give you the extra edge you need to create exactly the feeling you want for your home.

A great designer can make recommendations you may not have thought of. Ultimately, their goal is for you to be ecstatic with what you were able to accomplish together. After all, you are the one that has to live in the space long after the designer has done their magic.

Copyright: © 2004 by Melody Foster

Web: www.thecozyhome.net

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