With our Design Around the World series, we’ve interviewed designers from 18 different countries and counting. We ask a few of the same questions in each interview, to compare each designer’s different way of thinking within the context of their culture.
One of the questions we always ask is this: What does good design mean to you and why do you think it’s important?
Many answers echoed each other, affirming truths ingrained in us as designers. Others brought new perspectives to light. All of them reminded me why I believe in design and love doing what I do.
Good design connects feeling with logic
"Good design is not just a pretty design — that is a given. What's most important to us is that the story holds water and strikes an emotion with the beholder and most of all, that it makes an impact on somebody's organization and in somebody's life.” - Yah-Leng from Foreign Policy in Singapore
“We believe in design that makes people move, makes them feel, makes them happy or sad and forces them to do something. We want to find connections between logical things and the deep feeling around us.” - Studio Melli in Iran
Good design changes society
“A ‘good design’ that I identify with makes it possible for more people to improve their quality of life. Even if it is improved a little, I think it is a good design.” - Nod from A Black Cover Design in China
“Design isn’t something we really need in order to survive as a species, but good design helps us somehow put form and sense into what we see around us. I’d say design can’t really solve issues in our country by itself, but it can help in how others perceive these issues and influence them to change it.” - Plus 63 from the Philippines
“We think design is a way of movement. We have been working on not only client projects, but our own personal projects in an effort to share our voice with our society. In that way, collaboration with nonprofit organizations has meaning for us. We think our role as designers is making effective visual language that conveys their voices and ours. That makes a meaningful change for society. That is why many of our clients are nonprofit organizations and cultural institutes.” - Everyday Practice in South Korea
Good design solves a problem
“For me, good design is coming up with the best (clever and thoughtful) solution to a problem. It’s important to show that designers can contribute to the success of a small business, help a community recover from disasters and even assist in developing effective government programs.” - Dan from Plus63 in the Philippines
“Good design isn’t just about aesthetics or design according to our own preference. We reckon good design should provide a solution to a problem that could make a positive impact on a business and do good for society.” - LIE studio in Malaysia
Good design sells
“Good design… is design that excites, sells and perpetuates.
We always want to be remembered for making products and projects highly recognized, and for solving problems. Each project that leaves the studio should be a reason for pride and desire.” - Isabela from Sweety & Co.
“Why do people always design something new? Why do manufacturers change the packaging of their product all the time? They want to be seen, to be recognized, to stand out on the shelf full of competitors. After all, they want the product to be sold. Whether it’s commercial or non-commercial, good design reflects the ideas of a brand.” - Christina from Backbone Branding in Armenia
"Humanity is complex; good design helps us enjoy our complexities when we can and brings simplicity when we can’t."
Good design is design that works
“I think good design is important because it just works. It’s really that simple. Less headache in trying to figure out what things are about.” - Seyi from Dá Design Studio in Nigeria
“Good design works. It just works! Humanity is complex; good design helps us enjoy our complexities when we can and brings simplicity when we can’t. In graphic design, good design is resolved thought made visual. Good design is clarity, purpose and appeal. Good design feels like a missing rib, it fits just right. Without good design, we’ll all need meds.” - Dami from Dá Design Studio
"Good design works around human capabilities... It’s our job to get everyone on the same page about something."
Good design communicates clearly
“Good design is important because it make our lives run more seamlessly. A piece of good communication design, for example, makes you understand a complex message in a matter of seconds. The interplay between the image, shapes and words creates something complex and occasionally unexpected. Good design works around human capabilities. It is so important, especially in the world today, when we are inundated and drowning in information, to get messages across as clearly, quickly and effectively as possible. It’s our job to get everyone on the same page about something.” - Jean from Farmgroup in Thailand
“The beautification that design offers is obviously the cherry on top of the cake that’s communication. Good design then becomes the foundation of good communication.” - Animal in India
“Good design communicates efficiently and offers a strong differentiator for brands. These days it’s all about connecting people with products and services — not only for the product or service attributes, but for sharing a philosophy of life, a way of thinking.” - Daniela from Anagrama in Mexico
Good design changes behavior
“Good design for us is not about making things look and feel good; it should also change people’s behavior in a positive way, and we feel it is our job to continue educating our clients on this.” - Constant in Hong Kong
Good design is dynamic
“Good design is attentive, experimental, brave, honest and transparent, rooted in its context and of the moment; specific to its context but broad in its reach. It captures the essence of a subject and is flexible enough to evolve with it. It is simultaneously unique and universal.” - Dale from Hoick in South Africa
To see a lot of good design from countries like Pakistan, Nigeria, Brazil, Iran, China and more, catch up on our Design Around the World series.
Hi, I'm Tobias, a German designer living in New York. I'm the author of this blog, nice to meet you!