Design to Please

Design to Please

Day 08 of #30DaysOfStartingUp

Hey friend! Did I mention that I am a type nerd? Yes, my past few years of career orbit around typography. Here is some proof, I made all of these.

Saying that I am a type nerd also slips the information away that I am a design minimalist - I like simple, black and white, typography-centric design. I hesitate to incorporate photography into my work. I prefer Adobe Illustrator over Photoshop.

Today, merely day #8 into my startup life, all of that have changed! I spent a whole day designing this:,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

and this:,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

These are the images for the Brand Personality Workshop Kit sales page. When I kicked off today’s work, I started by looking at marketing design examples. A few trends I noticed:

  • Colorful, highly saturated colors
  • Incorporate photography or 3D objects

In other words, I discovered that a prettified version of a real-life scene is more marketable than a pure 2D digital style. That made sense! In a digital product marketplace, everything is digital inherently; digital style doesn’t draw attention anymore. I see a lot of people are calling back the old-school “software in a box” to their digital product marketing, for example:,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

I teach design at the School of Visual Arts in New York. In one of my classes, I tell students always to be aware of trends, to serve two purposes:

  1. avoid the trend when needed
  2. follow the trend when needed

Today is one of the situations that I have decided to follow the trend. I am designing to please the eyes of site visitors. No, there is no shame in that! Design is to solve a problem. Today the problem is how do I grab people’s attention in a busy marketplace, so they would stop and look at what I am offering. The solution I found is “Design to Please.”

Designers should develop their styles, and I do have a style preference, shown in the work I linked in the first paragraph. But it doesn’t hurt to do something else when the problem needs me to. It was an enjoyable break from the style I am familiar with.

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