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What We Do And Why It Matters

Written by
Richard Slemaker
Published
May 25, 2016

If there’s a theme that ties together most of the conversations I’ve had in recent months, it’s this: Good design matters.

The creative director in me is hyper-aware of the infinite ways branding and graphic design impact our lives, all day, every day. And through eight years at the helm of Modern in Denver, I’ve become more attuned to the fact that our entire world, from typeface to topography, is the product of design. Practically everything you touch today was designed.

But good design? Well, that’s a bigger conversation. Good design is what makes our homes not only more beautiful, but more livable. Good design drives business and technological innovation, propelling us further and further into the future. Good design, in the mundanity of a seat-belt latch or the majesty of a modern operating room, saves lives. At its most fundamental level, good design inspires us and changes the way we see (and interact) with the world.

I’m biased, of course, but I feel strongly that this celebration of good design—matched with a desire to deconstruct and better understand it—is what distinguishes Modern in Denver as an outlet for stories about architecture, branding, art, technology, graphics, and the people who move these things forward. And it’s this passion tor telling stories and making connections that has driven our involvement with the inaugural Denver Design Week this summer.

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If it’s not yet on your radar, Denver Design Week is eight days of education, home and studio tours, keynote presentations, expert panels, dialogue, collaboration, and social events. More than 30 cities around the world host some version of a Design Week, where boundaries blur between creative disciplines, and local design ecosystems are strengthened. Now we’re bringing all of this to Denver, and in the process, celebrating – and elevating – the standards of good design.

Why? Because good design matters. That’s why we do what we do. From the ideation and editorial stage to press check, being a designer means solving problems and moving things forward. Belonging 10 an organization like AIGA does, too. We all want to contribute. We’d all like to make a difference in some tangible way. Good design may be no more visible to the naked eye than gravity, but each wields immeasurable unseen power.

There’s a famous quote, attributed in various forms to various people, that I first heard from Adam Judge: “The alternative to good design is always bad design. There is no such thing as no design.” Think about that today as you do your work, and think about how you’re moving the world forward, one layer at a time.

The next step is talking about it with anyone who’ll listen. And I know where you can find them.

William Logan is the founder and creative director of Modern in Denver.

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