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Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Calvin & Hobbes Super-Stupendous Guide to Design

Even if the only thing you’ve ever designed is a mashed potato volcano with gravy lava, you’re a designer. We all design in some way or other. The best of us get paychecks for their designs. The worst of us have to appreciate our elegant disasters for free. The best designs reach out and pull us in with their creativity, wit, and ingenuity. From the cardboard box of Calvin & Hobbes’ wisdom, five ways to better your designs:

1. Learn to see things differently:

One of Calvin’s most powerful traits is his childlike ability to see things differently than the grown-ups around him. Where they see mundane reality, Calvin sees the fantastic, the monstrous, and occasionally, the downright weird.

Like Calvin, designers must also learn to see things differently. Where others see text, designers see a typographical baseline. Where others see a photo, designers see the golden ratio. In everything, we should learn to see the underlying beauty that holds it all together.

2. Take time to educate yourself:

While anyone can learn to see things differently, designers can’t just depend on their vision to get by. They also need to be able to explain that vision to others. And for that you need the proper background and vocabulary.

That doesn’t necessarily mean going to an art school and majoring in design. There are some fabulous resources available to those who are willing to take a little time to teach themselves.

3. Originality isn’t everything:

In the world of art and design, originality is highly prized, but sometimes the emphasis is a bit too strong. The point of design isn’t to be original, but to speak a message effectively.

If a highly original design does it, so much the better. But sometimes the traditional is all you need.

4. Pay attention to the details:

One crucial part of learning to see differently is the importance of details. A great designer has the ability to recognize when changing things “just so” will take a design from good to brilliant.

5. Keep exploring:

In the end, a designer always needs to keep exploring, to learn new things, to learn new ways of seeing, or to relearn old ways. Exploring is what keeps things feeling new, regardless of how many times you’ve layed out a page or designed a logo. What are you waiting for? Go explore something!

#All images excerpted from It’s a Magical World by Bill Watterson.

Source:Even if creativity is all about hiding your resources, I am giving you source of the adapted post: The Calvin & Hobbes Super-Stupendous Guide to Design By Joshua. I like this article because of its originality and a keen emphasis on explaining the design as child's play. From now on, Bill Watterson (the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes ) is god to me and Calvin & Hobbes as will form holy trinity with him. Thanks to Nimmy for providing link to such a simple and beautiful article.I have also experimented with blog and make it colourful.


  1. nice post
    Designer must have eyes full of innocence and unconditioned sense like children, heart full of wit and humour, mind to learn, explore and adapt new things....

  2. kafi achha laga padh ke.dil ki sari tamnna -e arzoo ko nush farmate hue.kalam se so awaz uthayi hain...mehfil aam mein dur talak jayegi..auro ko sandesh ............aur dil ko sookon pahunchayegi......jyada nahin bus kuch aap jaise logo ki hi jaroorat hain...fir gdp growth badh jayegi

  3. "Äideistä parhain" is finnish :)

    I honestly don't know that many Swedish movies. I can recommend the "Arn"- movies and "Ondskan (The Evil)" I haven't seen the latter but it's supposed to be awesome. It's based on the book by Jan Guillou!

    Seems you're good at comics and stuff, do you like work with that or is it just a hobby?

  4. Responding to your other comment now :)

    Haha well no problem ;). Good thought by the way!

  5. Ahh, okay! :) Is it interesting, your job then?

    I want to work with either journalism or language when I grow up :) Where in India do you live by the way?

  6. @Amit,Kabir and Anon.
    To Design is to innovate. In the words of Bill Watterson only--- "If you ever want to find out just how uninteresting you really are, get a job where the quality and frequency of your thoughts determine your livelihood. "
    Creation is painful and then nourishment even more hard. But the fruits of the great design is magnamous.Thanks for your words..



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