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Have you ever noticed that the average designer looks like they are in the band? Ever notice the odd coincidence that so many music people also dabble in design? Ever wonder why? Let me play a few chords of the common bond between music and design... When a musician begins learning, let's say... guitar, he (or she) first learns how to play the notes, but then begins to learn on a higher level how different notes and sounds make up the songs that create his moods. He learns the chords that stir him up, wind him down, and make him wax melancholy.
The longer he plays guitar, the more he learns the characteristics of the sounds and is able to see the direct correlation between chord and emotion. He learns how to use his instrument to create whatever reaction he desires. He can make the audience laugh, cry, bang their heads or squeeze their lover's hand—all with the choice of notes and the combination and speed thereof. A great guitarist is someone who has mastered the elements of music and combines them like a mad scientist to create specific response. He does not merely play the guitar. He plays the audience.
How different is design? Instead of using the tools of notes and timing, designers use color and shape to instigate a response. In the same way, they combine elements time after time and begin to learn the responses they create in the hearts and minds of the viewer. This correlation between the musician and the designer is a simple bond... the study between creative inputs and human outputs. Great chefs, great comedians, great interior designers all have it—it is an innate drive to know an audience and bring elements together that would captivate them in some way.
The reason a guitarist often makes a good designer is that he/she has already strengthened their sense of deliberative mood setting. They bring the same root logic into a new medium and they are far ahead of those that are just starting to hone that gift. The challenge, as it is with musicians, is that they often only learn to play their songs for just one group of people. Sure, you know how to make a 20-year-old sing a worship song, but can you master the sounds of the 60-year-old's worship set? In the same way, many designers can only play design tunes that reach certain age groups. They are not masters of their craft, but yet masters of their target audience.
To the musician and designer: never stop studying the correlation between your elements and the response that follows it. At the same time, never stop expanding the reach of the notes you play. In doing so, you become all things to all men... reach them.
Great Thoughts... Never thought about it before.
Posted on Fri, Mar 6, 2009 @ 8:51 AM CST
Amen.The longer I've played guitar, the better harmony and balance I'm able to achieve in design.
Great article. Thank you.
Posted on Tue, Mar 17, 2009 @ 4:21 PM CST
As a guitarist i played my guitars early in the morning for 3 hours after that i take a break and do my other stuff then i work on my designs.
This how i do in normal routine.
I work 10 hours a day, on sunday no work.
Posted on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 @ 2:44 AM CST
My feelings exactly. I'm not just saying that either, as I am a graphic designer and an electronic music producer. You hit it right on the head with your statement "In doing so, you become all things to all men... reach them."
I had prayed and sought God as to which of these two gifting was to be my calling and destiny in life some time ago. while I didn't get the "this one, not that one" answer I was looking for, a while later I felt the pressing to put music aside for a season. Not knowing or seeing a specific reason why, I did out of obedience to what I felt the Spirit was telling me to do (the only thing I could think of was that this was a type of Abraham/Isac situation; would I do it was the thing being asked).
Long story short, I did, and in that time doors were opened that I would never have had opened or would have seen were in front of me all along.
I've since branched off into a field that only makes perfect sense. Graphic design + audio production = motion graphics.
Posted on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 @ 2:37 PM CST