Good Designers Complete, Great Designers Discard

Recently while redesigning Z-Up (It’s still a mess), I realized halfway through the process that my design didn’t fit the branding of it at all. See, for Z-Up, I used the whole cardboard box metaphor, representing the files that one can upload onto it. For my “redesign” of it, I started going for the whole airmail envelope look, with the diagonal stripes on the borders. Yes it looked pretty, but I soon realized that it just did not go with the branding I had established for Z-Up. It was poorly thought out, and done on a whim, with little thought to how well it works for the brand.

After mulling it over for a while, I made the decision to completely discard what I had done so far and start anew, this time taking the branding into consideration. Yes, it was quite painful to just toss away hours of work (it took a while to get the borders right, and they _still_ didn’t quite align), but it was a move that had to be made. Being a great designer doesn’t only mean making pretty layouts— it’s knowing when to discard parts of/entire designs if needed, for the purpose of making the end result even better. Sure, this is a step backwards in the redesign of Z-Up, but I think it’ll benefit it more in the long term.

Plus, having Z-Up look like an airmail envelope would be quite confusing to newcomers; they might associate Z-Up with email, because an envelope does not imply storage, whereas a box does.

Posted in Art, General, Technology, Web
  • Tim

    Boxes are FTW.

  • Alec

    If this is true, than I am the best god damn design in the world…i think I have discarded every design I have ever thought of.

  • Paul D’Amora

    That is something that most designers can’t do, because it truly is very hard to throw away hours of hard work. Hopefully some day I’ll master that skill.

  • Dan

    Yes it is very very hard, it took quite a bit of thinking to scrap my Z-Up design, and I still regret it sometimes, but I know it’s for the good of the brand.