One Designer’s Reflection on Unused Work

Last year, for his presentation at the HOW Conference Armin Vit took a look at sample of 100 of his old logo designs, either ignored or discarded after other designs had been selected by clients, and attempted to extrapolate meaning. What really attracts me to this article is the visual presentation of the statistics culled from his analysis. 30% of the designs are abstract, 42% use typography, 58% use a graphic icon or illustration. Fascinating. It never dawned on me to examine my creative work in this way.

Beyond gratuitous visualizations, he also takes some time to reflect on how the designs are now somehow lost on lonely storage media. This aspect of the design process is something I have pondered numerous times. In the past I used to fill sketchbooks up with ideas and drawings, but that was years ago. Now much of work, well let’s be honest, all of my work is digital and rarely sees the light of day again after a project is over. Thumbing through old sketchbooks is immensely more gratifying than scrolling through cold files on a CD. All the time spent creating each piece of work, now lost.

Armin’s presentation was such a creative reason to pull it out again and give it all another chance at meaning.


Image courtesy of chethan shankar on Flickr

Leave a Reply