The Well-Designed One


Let's do this. That's me coaching myself into a long night behind a computer screen after a long week behind it. No doubt a common occurrence, that's what you get when your only talents involve technology and the fine lines within a design.

Co-designers at Hudl often ask how my hobby is the same as my job — sitting behind a computer screen. For them, their hobbies are creative but different: painting, weather-obsessing, hand-lettering, furniture building and the likes. I've tried them all (aside from the weather one, that's all you, Kevin) but I just can't latch on to anything. They're fun for me and I love doing it for S's and G's but as my mother-in-law once said, "Brandi, I feel like you only like things when you're good at them."

I'm not the most creative person in the world. I'm not the best with illustrations or animations or sketches, but I love design. I love typefaces, colors, hierarchy, layout, organization, and the general rationale behind why a design is good or bad. I love going to a restaurant and obsessing over the details of whether their menu is good or bad. I love reading a program for a play and finding the misspellings or accidental errors from a quick production turnaround. I love opening doors and appreciating or griping about the direction the handles face. You know what I'm talking about, when you push but it's actually a pull. Put a sign up or turn the handle — problem solved.

I love the organization behind design — the strategy — the why and how. It's why I built a toolkit at work to let non-designers access designer work in order to better sell Hudl. It's why my husband rolls his eyes whenever I reorganize the dishwasher. Or why my movies are alphabetized, my tray on my coffee table faces a specific direction, and why my Beanie Babies growing up were organized by type of animal, then color, then name. WOW, I'm pathetic.

Design is crazy. It's not just how it looks, but how it feels and functions. At it's core, good design is unnoticed. No one talks about how an interstate on-ramp is accurately designed, but if it was bad you'd have accidents, casualties, or at least citizens griping about it to city officials.

I started writing this as an intro to a year-in-review post I'm hoping to put up with photos and videos and all the great (and bad) things that happened this year. But I got caught up in my passion and just let it ride. If you've made it this far, thank you! You're probably a designer. And like me, you're probably meeting a potential client tomorrow morning to talk through the work you will do again behind a computer screen because your love stretches far beyond the required 8-5.

Brandi Arnold1 Comment