I am Eric Carl, currently employed at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles as a web designer and instructor.

On this blog I will reveal all that I know and love about art, design and the creative process.

From Twitter:

Frank Chimero on Visual Consumption and the Designer’s Ego

I generally try to avoid regurgitating content from other blogs around here, but I thought this little morsel of insight was too nice not to try and share with a few other people. Frank Chimero has this to say from a recent interview he did:

Showing design for design’s sake only tells you that a thing exists and describes how it looks, not why it exists. To consume that way is to live on a very cursory level, and I think that leaves us wanting.

Frank is in a way referring to sites like Ffffound or other curated art and design blogs that frequently post nice work devoid of context. He’s spot on here. I actually rarely visit Ffffound because I find that not only does it present work in a vaccum, but it keeps me a little too aware of what’s in right now. I’d much rather be a little naive and produce work that appeals to me personally that get too concerned with what the current hot topic is.

He also has this to say:

“Oh, design is about everything but design, so all this other stuff. Design exists for food and culture and linguistics and dog walkers and the city and agile programming methods and the federal deficit and the Hubble telescope.” Life is much happier once you see design as a cultural vessel, and realize it’s more productive and more nourishing to focus on the culture than the vessel. It’s a great lesson in humility. Forget that designer’s ego stuff: we’re servants.

What more can you say? Thanks Frank. I’m guilty of the designers’ ego as much as anyone else and stuff like this is a refreshing dose of reality.

Make sure you follow Frank’s blog for more of his thoughts and check out his great illustrations while you’re at it.



  1. Jeff Finley February 8th, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for reposting this Eric. You’re right about FFFFound – it can be inspiring but also draining. When a design is stripped of its context, your forced to judge it by it’s visual look and feel and style. I think as we mature, we start to realize how empty design can be w/o meaning.

  2. Nicole Lavelle February 12th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Hey Eric Carl, great thoughts! I’m so pleased that our Scout Books interview with Frank has given people so much food for thought. I know that I’ve read it over and over again, picking out new bits of goodness.

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