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Design is more than veneer

Design is more than veneer

“In most people’s vocabularies design means veneer. But to me nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers.” Steve Jobs

‘The fundamental soul’ ; that’s a pretty big statement, but he believed it totally. He was, of course, probably thinking of products when he said this, but if this is true of things manufactured, there is no reason not to believe it to be true of all designed items, including brochures, advertising, websites, buildings and so on.

This is why those companies and organisations who ask several design agencies to do free pitches for the reward of getting paid are sadly seeing design as veneer. They do not understand that to get the right solution requires quality discussions, it requires the designer to really understand the organisation and the brief. Without this, those asking for the pitch will always be taking a risk in a pot-luck system, which is why they have to ask several companies to do the pitch, wasting the time of all of them except the one who wins the job. No design company can produce the fundamental soul of a thing in a free pitch situation, they can only produce a veneer.

Excellence in design goes deep, if it doesn’t it is mere frippery and surface, and those experiencing that design will sub-consciously sense that.