Future Design Thinking: I’m on a design boat!

With the internet surging with new social media, and technology exploding everywhere we turn, it’s seems like an ocean of amazing vistas are offered to designers that were never available before. We stand at the threshold of technologies never conceived of, except in the mind of people such as Jules Verne. Laughable ideas such as going to the moon are now commonplace, where very few even pay attention to lunar missions. We can see to the farthest galaxies and communicate with long-gone friends from grade school instantly. Even if they are on the other side of the world.

So we swim in the great age of change, wondering how to assess the dazzling new tech in our lives, trying to grapple with the innovations of software and ever growing demand for design around those sparkling gems of techs. It’s like we’re treading water in a vast ocean of advancement.

It’s a little overwhelming at times, but just as the industrial revolution didn’t change the basics of humanity that were needed on the daily basis, so this digital revolution hasn’t changed how we look and things or what basic good design is. 

As we ride the waves of change and try to satisfy the multitudes, the most complicated designs come down to the simplest of solutions.

The elements and principles of design.


Line, Shape, Direction, Size, Texture, Color and Value


Balance, Gradation, Repetition, Contrast, Harmony, Dominance, and Unity

It’s so chaotic at times that we tend to just ‘throw things together’, and there has been a good deal of new design talent emerging in the internet scene. However there is a troubling trend: so many designers don’t seem to know the basics of design.

So many are missing the boat and drowning in the surge.

There are great designers, and very grounded artists; but so many new designers seem to be copying and pasting the classics or the trends, but don’t try to go beyond the mimicry. In fact, is seems as if many of them are afraid to.

How is anyone supposed to innovate? Are we stuck with the massive trend of the year, or can we try to spin that trend into something unique? How do we satisfy our clients but stay true to the quality we want? Again, the answer is the simple foundation of the Elements and Principles of Design.

If we know and grasp them, then it’s a foundation laid for a building that will not easily be swayed with the wind of trends and fashion. Trends are recycled, and fashions come and go, but the basics of design, and how the eye perceives ‘good’ and ‘bad’ design won’t ever change as long as humanity has eyes and a brain.

There are thousands of books and resources on the subject, and it’s recommended every designer have at least one reference book with them, to help them through the tough challenges that clients throw at them.

In 10 years, technology will have doubled or tripled in terms of advancement at least 10 times. That’s about 20-30 times the level of advancement we have now! We can stay safe from being carried away by the surge of waves by relying on the elements and principles, which will serve as a center for us and a grounding for anything we would ever want to do for a client.

The design industry is sink or swim, but remember we’ve got a boat!