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The age old question that has had families break up, businesses tear in half and designer’s fist fight with customers in the parking lot. No stop; maybe it’s not that serious. Are you kidding me? It is probably the one thing all of us are always trying to achieve: good design!

There is so much literature and advice out there that sometimes it’s difficult to cut through the clutter and yet in essence that is what good design also does. I am not going to go to deep into what and how but rather for a light discussion look at what I perceive to be important characteristics of a good design.

When I think of designing, anything! Words like innovative, functional, and intuitive sometimes also aesthetic, long lasting and honest comes to mind, but can one really put that much effort into a design?  You bet.

Let’s get back to the designer and the client fighting in the parking lot (Ok that doesn’t ever happen) designers are generally passive people passionate about design calm about everything else! The more you have to work from the more you can deliver. Go and check out this article to find out what you need to get thinking before you get your designer to design anything

I bring up this GIGO a lot: garbage in garbage out. To ask a designer to create a logo for a pet grooming company will yield little results in terms of designer buy in and delivery. You do get the savant designer that will do the research and try and understand their client and work tirelessly to get the greatest design of their life to their client. Yes, only to be met with misunderstood changes and a sense of hopelessness. Let us save the designers shattered emotions and rescue the client’s brand.

The process of thinking about your brand identity and or design work will ultimately bring forth the best in any designer, all those wonderful words that we assigned to great design earlier on is just around the corner.  There may be many more definitions of great design but these are the ones that matter to me! It struck a chord with my interpretation of brands.
This is my preferred characteristics:

Functional
the whole reason for designing anything is for a purpose of? Yes if the design fulfills that purpose then I say where half way there if it fulfills that purpose and touches you emotionally the designer has captured the essence of the brand and you are in good hands!

Innovative
This is a very difficult character trait to bring to just merely brand design but if you take into consideration the essence and emotion of your brand this might be the differentiation factor that you could be missing out of! Does your brand design add value to your image, does it improve your company name does it bring function and value to the table?  Very interesting things to think about.

Aesthetic
meet the arch rival of functional, yes beauty and power is perceived to rarely mix in modern society but once you get past the first few designs you will start to see that indeed something can be useful and aesthetic at the same time capturing the amazing power and value of your brand whilst portraying its quality finish and attention to detail yes it has to look good!

Intuitive
hundreds of designers have stood at the table looking at the brief and wondering how they can make this brand intuitive the do everything! It’s not always about being intuitive concerning the product or service offering of a brand sometimes it’s being intuitive about the essence of the brand. A big shoe and now fashion company’s logo Swoosh doesn’t say running shoes but it does say something about the brand You know that brand?

Longevity
When you create a brand identity or design, you have to create it to withstand the test of time. We rarely get it right but it should also be something to stretch for to try and achieve!  Think f the future think if the way we are evolving and create for tomorrow!

I wish to make a special honorary mention of design being able to connect to the viewer on an emotional level, not for everyone but for the target market it has to be more than just a brand! It has to evoke some feeling (Good feelings, mostly!)

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts around the characteristics of a good design if you have anything to add or share from you r own experience or input please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas below!