Q: How do you know when something you’ve designed is successful?
A: It’s a little thing, a little Spark that makes something memorable or beautiful or unforgettable. It’s very hard to describe and people have very different ways of describing it. [Alexander] Gilman once came into my class at the school of visual arts, and he was trying to describe this very thing in my two-dimensional design theory class. He said that the thing we’re shooting for is to create a dynamic design. He always comes to the class with a hot cup of coffee–because he knows he’s going to do this–and says, “what you want your work to do is, you want your work to do this–…” and he spends five min. trying to get the hot cup of coffee on the edge of the desk so it’s just right at the very point where it might go. No one can take their eyes off of it. And that’s what I try to do with my work.
Above is an excerpt of an interview with Paul Sahre from the book How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer. Sahre is discussiong the absolute need for tension in design. I happen to emphatically agree.
Poster above by Paul Sahre