Book review: “Do/Design – Why beauty is the key to everything” by Alan Moore

When it comes to web design, whatever that is, amidst the ever-evolving technologies and changing tastes, there is a timeless, underlying principle that often gets overlooked: beauty. For local business owners and mid-level designers, understanding and integrating this notion is pivotal. Enter Alan Moore’s “Do/Design – Why beauty is the key to everything,” a compelling exploration that reiterates the importance of beauty and its undeniable role in every design facet.

design as art cover

For those who might be jaded by the dry, technical aspects of design, Moore’s book serves as a refreshing elixir. He delves into the intricate marriage of art and design, asserting that it isn’t just aesthetics for aesthetics’ sake; it’s about passion. This passion, channeled correctly, leads to designs that don’t just meet a functional need but also resonate emotionally with its users. I couldn’t agree more. In my own experience, designs that truly shine are those underpinned by passion and a genuine desire to create something beautiful.

Moore’s writing is evocative, blending the lines between the utilitarian nature of design and the expressive world of art. His sentiment that “beauty is the key to everything” isn’t just an abstract philosophy; it’s a tangible tool for businesses and designers to differentiate, connect, and thrive. Particularly for local businesses, understanding this can be the difference between blending into the background noise and standing out.

While reading, two poignant highlights from the book resonated with me. The first, “Only work with good people,” is a testament to the idea that our professional and creative environment influences the work’s outcome. Surrounding oneself with passionate, talented individuals creates a feedback loop of positivity and innovation. The second, Muhammed Ali’s succinct and powerful poem, “Me. We,” encapsulates the interconnectedness of individuality and community. It subtly suggests that while individual creativity is vital, the collective response and experience it garners are equally crucial.

design as art cover

The format of Moore’s book further makes it a standout. Its concise, pocketable size ensures that it’s a handy guide for designers and business owners on-the-go. This easily accessible design keeps the essence of its message at the forefront.

However, the book isn’t without its minor shortcomings. For a treatise that emphasises the power of visuals, it feels somewhat paradoxical that “Do/Design” doesn’t feature as many images as one might expect. Moreover, while the included images offer insights, their quality could have been better. A richer array of high-quality visuals would’ve bolstered Moore’s narrative, providing readers with immediate visual references to the beauty he so eloquently discusses.

In conclusion, “Do/Design – Why beauty is the key to everything” is a thought-provoking exploration that champions the importance of beauty in design. Moore’s eloquent prose and poignant insights are both a rallying cry and a gentle reminder to designers and business owners: embrace beauty, be driven by passion, and see the wondrous results unfold. For my fellow designers and business owners, I cannot recommend this book enough. Not just for its teachings, but as a testament to the beauty we ought to strive for in our every creation.

Pros: A well-written exploration into the intrinsic relationship between beauty, art, and design. Its pocketable size makes it a convenient companion.

Cons: A noticeable lack of visuals and a missed opportunity in providing higher-quality images to enhance the narrative.

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