Seventeen Brief Things to Know About Michael Bierut. A Q&A with Method‘s creative director. A profile of the production and design studio Imaginary Forces. Sounds like a typical day here at UnBeige, but that’s actually a list of articles in one. design, the new design supplement of one. a magazine, the quarterly publication of The One Club. The 12-page magazine-within-a-magazine is edited by Warren Berger, founding editor of one. a magazine, and debuts in the Winter 2008 issue (pictured at right).
The new supplement is indicative of one. a magazine‘s increased emphasis on design and its ever-expanding role in advertising. “In the world of marketing and, more generally, in business today, design is more critical than ever before,” writes Berger in his introduction to one. design (we must note that the presence of that space after “one” is maddeningly inconsistent throughout the publication). He goes on to discuss the many disciplines that come under the umbrella of design and the field’s resulting identity crisis. “Marketers are still trying to figure out what it is, why it’s important, and what it can do for them,” notes Berger. “It would help if designers did a better job of explaining design.”
And so in the lead-off piece, an interview with former Apple creative director Clement Mok, one. design asks “What does a designer actually do?” Mok’s responds that “Basically, what a designer does involves understanding one’s intent, and then creating a plan to accomplish that.” Seeing as that sounds suspiciously like the American Heritage Dictionary definition of “work,” Mok confesses that the design process “does need to be codified” and suggests looking to the processes mapped by design pioneers.
For example, Jay Doblin (founder of the Doblin Group) laid out a process and it’s basically the same one we all go through as designers, and he called it The Grandiose Theory of Design. But to some people it felt more like science and project management, and the creative folks said, “We don’t need this.” But now I think we’ve come to a point where it’s going to be important for us to have this, partly so that we can better explain design to clients.
It takes a bit of wisdom from Bierut to highlight the virtues of leaving things Grandiose Theory-free: the freedom designers feel to tackle a range of issues, from the need for a better cheese grater to saving the world (or designing a cheese grater that can save the world, as the case may be). “Designers have responded very enthusiastically to world problems,” says Bierut in the last of one. design‘s 17 brief things to know about him. “[I]n the end, it just comes down to individual people with compelling ideas who can find the ways to make those ideas felt. The right designer in the right place can make a big impact I think.”