The cost of obsessing over design perfection

Published in

6 min read

14 hours ago

A person holding a magnifying glass
Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

A television commercial recently caught my attention. It wasn’t anything extravagant, just a simple promotion for a protein shake. However, as I watched, I couldn’t help but notice a few graphical inconsistencies from my perspective.

One scene showcased authentic peanut butter and chocolate swirls, followed by beveled and embossed three-dimensional graphics, finishing with similar but flat two-dimensional elements. Upon further investigation, I believe the three-dimensional graphics were intended to depict their logo. Nonetheless, the animation as a whole felt somewhat haphazard.

I couldn’t hunt down the specific commercial in question, but I did find a YouTube video for their Cafe Latte flavored shake utilizing similar graphical elements:

Video screen shots of a protein shake advertisement

In truth, the commercial’s design was okay — it simply got me thinking. Regardless of my or others’ opinions on the graphics, the encounter made me contemplate how designers can often be our worst critics. Our externalized judgment, viewed through our individual lenses, sometimes exposes our arrogance and self-importance.

We sometimes overlook that we’re not designing for other designers. Our responsibilities begin and end with the needs of our clients and the audiences who engage with our designs.

Often, designers obsess over perfection in all the wrong places. We become preoccupied with superficial elements such as graphical treatments, typefaces, and trendy styles, losing sight of what truly matters about design: communication.

Perhaps the protein shake commercial had inconsistent graphics in my opinion. However, the critical factor is the communication of content and how it resonates with the target audience. If some semblance of brand continuity exists and the customers and clients are happy with the result, why does it matter what we…

Categorized as UX

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