Matt Balara has asked some of the “top faces” in webdesign to come up with clever answers to the question “What’s design mean to you?”
Below please find what Andy Budd has to say – I find it remarkable and somewhat re-assuring that he is stressing design to be first and foremost about problem solving which is exactly what was rammed down my throat during my degree and emphasized in Bob Gill’s lecture in Leeds quite some time ago.
Thanks to my department’s good relationship with Leeds University a coach load of Hull students had the opportunity to visit this lecture/one man show/book promotion on their premises.
After a little retail therapy (aka purchasing the latest Trojan dub plates from that nice basement record shop near the Cornmarket) and a mighty tasty and reasonably priced Japanese lunch with a friend I strolled up to the University grounds and realized once more the distinct difference between visiting a proper campus with somewhat a community feel to it and visiting the lesser cousin of a University based 60 miles in another county… But enough whingeing about certain inadequacies in Hull, enter Bob Gill the man, the legend, the Graphic Designer:
Now I’m naturally very sceptical of hype but being a founding member of Pentagram and holding the D&AD’s Lifetime Achievement Award suggests a certain degree of design competence.
And Bob looks the real Mc Coy, too: sporting a grey parting and a black roll neck jumper (seemingly a prerequisite for the sophisticated designer) topped off with a broad New York accent and presto, all the clichés are there.
It also has to be said that Mr Gill definitely likes the sound of his own voice but as most of the stuff was half meaningful and carried a certain entertainment value, that was quite alright and respect goes out to him anyway for just making the effort of crossing the Atlantic for a single appearance in West Yorkshire.
The talk, which comprised of many excerpts from his new book and a short question and answer round, anyway was definitely worth placing your bum in a lecture theatre for 90 minutes and all the wisdoms drilled into us during our course seemed to be addressed i.e. the notion of Graphic Design being about problem solving, embracing client disapproval as a natural thing and the old favourite lateral thinking. If anything else hearing this from a design celebrity made you feel that we haven’t been taught utter nonsense and that these ideas actually apply to the real world.
Finally I am now the proud owner of a signed copy of Graphic Design as a Second Language complete with an illustrated dog turd by Bob Gill. The relevance of this shall remain a mystery to anyone who didn’t attend the lecture on that memorable day when “Bob did Leeds”…