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Developing an eye



As a Design Consultancy, this is very important to us. After all seeing and feeling are the basis of good Design. We feel that it can be developed over a due period of time, here are few of our thoughts on caring and developing an eye for good design.

Human mind is very interesting. Interesting not for the fact that it is the most complex but for its ways of functioning or adaptation, for sheer beauty of seeing. Our mind’s perception of the world around is most interesting. It isolates so much information, multiple tasks so that you can focus.

Since the beginning of time it’s been there, if we go back to medieval age bison can be found painted all over caves, merely because for the medieval man it was the most challenging animal to hunt, hence our perception of the animal changed. Size of the bison compared to humans in cave painting is a reminder and a very good example of how we perceive in context of our surroundings.

Simply put by Anais Nin

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

Beauty about this statement is that our perception is more of a result of what we are able to know, as of what we expect to find is not new. Seeing is a result of one’s culture, belief system, religion and so on…

This formally comes under cognitive psychology, what cognitive psychologists call a “perceptual set”. Beautifully explained through the following examples:

When professional cooks see, they see more as compared to mere mortals because they have improved on their senses.

When Doctors see MRI scans, they are able to diagnose because they know anatomy, with experience and practice they have trained themselves to notice slightest difference from the image.

When Architects see they see through the walls literally. They see the structure, columns, layout…

When we see Design, we see through to the technology, architecture, typography, brand language, communication…

Much like in the second experiment above, professionals see things differently. In terms of design, as it is a visual medium, major part of communication non-verbal, really good brands leave a subconscious mark. Abstract art is a really good example of this level of communication, artists like Rothko, Rajendra Dhavan’s work leaves a permanent mark on the viewer.


To Design is to see, designers see more and more precisely. This is a blessing which comes through hard practice. This can be frustrating at times when the client come along with a moderate eye. Major part of a designer’s job is to communicate what good design is, to make invisible, visible. Designers are to design as doctors to medicine, or architects to buildings. Of course there are good and bad designer, doctors and architects, and most of us fall somewhere in between.

One can develop an eye for design without ever going to school or even having designed personally, you can pick up some knowledge about design from (good) design books.

Much similar to self medication, you can self medicate yourself if you gather basic knowledge about human body but that does not mean you can start operating of people.

There is no doubt that if your perceptual set is comparable to designer’s point of view, it will be easier for you to see design in the same way designers do and that will help your brand, business, project or company in more ways then one.

As much as seeing mistakes, it’s always easier than doing things (comment sections are a very good example of this)

Imitation initially is the best way to learn, it helps immensely finding your own voice. Theories can be a bit of a hurdle when it some to development of skill, as the saying going “Perfect your rule and break them” only when the rules are so imbibed in you and only then true innovation/experimentation is possible.

More one learns about the process of human expression – music, architecture and art. It’s sheer joy to enjoy pure beauty of it, the care and detail in the work put in.


Filed under: Brand, Design

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Kann collective is a multi disciplinary design studio that drives a brand centric solution for forward thinking and design conscious brands in lifestyle, luxury, creative and art domain.

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