Wednesday, February 17

The Film "Objectified"

Back in the day when I had my own agency, I hired a young, talented, and very creative designer named Ryan Rosenberg. We recently reconnected on LinkedIn, and he now has his own agency. LOVE how that works! Here Ryan writes a guest post about a new film that inspires creativity.

What's your experience, Ryan? Jim.

As a designer, I have the tendency to get extremely wrapped up in the projects that I’m working on. Tunnel vision sets in as I pump out iteration after iteration for my clients, and I often lose sight of how very important, influential and vital our work is.

A reminder of this fact is a documentary film that I saw recently called Objectified, by Gary Hustwit (this is the same guy that made the film Helvetica, a must see for all you font freaks out there).

Objectified reminded me that almost everything that we touch and use on a daily basis started out as a concept. It took deliberate decisions by a designer to bring the concept, whether it be a new design for a potato peeler or a piece of computer hardware, into the physical form – the features of functionality, easy of use, beauty, etc. were all carefully weighed and labored over.

As well as the film touching on why objects are designed the way they are, the people who design them, and how we interact with these objects, it also explores the emotions we feel and what it says about us as consumers when we purchase these objects (didn’t you feel cool the first time you got your iPhone? I know that I sure did...I still do a little bit.)

Although Objectified focuses primarily on manufactured objects and industrial designers, anyone with an appreciation for aesthetics will be able to take away valuable lessons from this film. The message that resonated most for me came from Jonathan Ive, the Apple VP of Industrial Design, who is the principal designer of the iMac, Powerbook, iPod, iPhone and iPad. He offers insight as to his design ethos and methodology: to constantly reduce and strip away all unnecessary form and information with the end goal being that the final piece looks almost “undesigned" – so that when you look at it, you can’t picture it looking any other way.

Imagine that – a client looks at your work and says, “It’s perfect.” Now that would be great, and something we as designers, marketers and advertisers should always strive for.

- Ryan Rosenberg, Owner of Delameana Design

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