How a designer responds to a brief is the most important factor in determining the outcome of a project. Briefing documents need to be studied closely, yet following them slavishly is not always advisable. We should challenge bad briefs and dig deeper into good ones.
What makes a good cover design? The secret is not to attempt to retell the story. The author might have hundreds of pages to indulge in endless detail; the designer has only a small space to visually replicate the book’s content. Good cover design uses a visual shorthand, and bypasses the heavy-handed spelling out of the story.
Problem solving is a part of being a graphic designer, but most graphic-design briefs are not ‘problems.’ In fact, they are the opposite; they are opportunities to create something new and unexpected. If we insist on treating all briefs as problems waiting to be solved, our responses will be constrained by the need to provide rational quantifiable solutions, when in fact we should be letting rip with the rebel yell of unfettered creativity.
Commercial sites are encouraged to follow the guidelines laid down by the World Wide Web Consortium’s rules on web accessibility, but as yet there are no requirements for private-sector websites to adhere to the amended Rehabilitation Act compelling federal agencies to make their electronic communications accessible to people with disabilities.