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The Importance of Timeless Design

A few thoughts around timeless design, iPhone 5c, print and web design

Importance of Timeless Design Banner
The new iPhone 5c is shiny. So is the accompanying new IOS, as Apple says goodbye to Skeuomorphism and jumps on board the Flat Design express. My first impression of the new iPhone and interface was “pretty!” but with further consideration, I had serious doubts about the longevity of the design. In ten years, will I remain as impressed, or will it appear silly and outdated in comparison to whatever new design trend is currently favoured? This got me thinking that, perhaps, rather than following trends, we should be striving to create something that aesthetically ages well or something that is “timeless”.

What is Timeless Design?

So what is timeless design? Basically, it’s something that is ageless. Something that cannot be identified as belonging to a certain period. It is something that can be aesthetically pleasing and appreciated beyond the ebb and flow of the current and latest trends. As Aaron James Draper, the poster-boy of timeless design states in an a featured article in the Globe and Mail, “The universal quality of a good logo that can work in 1977 and in 2007 – that doesn’t die… That’s not fashion. That’s function.”

How Can We Create Designs That Are Timeless?

So how do we create timeless things in print and web? How do we avoid being sucked in by the latest fads, while still creating something that is palatable to the client? This certainly is not an easy feat. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the things that appear on 99% of current websites will soon be viewed as design relics. Ahem, sliders?! They’re so 2013!

I think, perhaps, timeless design comes down to two basic things: simplicity and good typography. If we keep things simple and err on the side of minimalism, we will always create designs that are aesthetically pleasing and continue to be relevant long after they have been created. The same goes for utilizing good typography. You really can’t go wrong with an elegant font that is used well, right?

The Longevity of the iPhone 5c

Perhaps that is what the new iPhone and accompanying IOS is missing – simplicity and a classical approach to design. It sure looks pretty now, but, like all trends and fads, it will soon be deemed outdated or cheesy or, if it’s lucky, “old-school”.  So for your next web or print project, why not use  a simple, minimalistic approach so that your design withstands the test of time. And maybe hold it on the slider, ok?



About The Blogger

Jessica Gilfillan - Portrait

Jessica Gilfillan – Guest Blogger

Jessica Gilfillan is a second year Web Design and Animation student at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. She is interested in responsive design, creating an accessible web for all and mastering PHP.

In her spare time she likes to crochet, practice yoga and hang out with her hound dog, Ruby. She also hopes to learn how to play the banjo in the near future. You can follow Jessica on Twitter @jessicaanngilly.

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