By virtue of design

I have been taking some time to develop a new design and having it properly work as a journal of thoughts. That meant gathering some old writings and shaking the dust out of them, rewriting pieces. Always a good experience. I want to make use of this opportunity to put on words some thoughts about the force behind this iteration and also about design in general. I plan on making this place a sitial for experiment with design while allowing me to write comfortably.

This site works above WordPress and its front design grows around the excellent p2. I wrote before about the state of comments and the outlanders policy on the site and it is time for the pendulum to go steering back to its former place. At the shade of P2, comments are now more blended with the site. It works wonders in Webkit and looks quite good in Firefox. I do not know about the rest of the herd.

As individuals who are deeply involved with design we ought to question from time to time the implicit ideas behind the notions we follow. Some time ago Jason Santa Maria wrote a nice article about proportions and ratios and how they matter to design on the web. Leaving behind all the singularities he writes about, the question leads itself to the actual role and meaning of design. To understand how a medium should deal with design principles we should question how design works in and of itself, because that means how it copes with said principles. Then the inevitable next step are the ancient faces of form and content.

When it comes to my view of form and content I hold content as having its shape –always. And design is, in this sense, the content itself given that it changes the perception of the body of words in a page —what is often and thusly regarded as the content. Design is not about giving a message; it constitutes the very message due to the fact that we perceive the synthesis of the content and its shape. We cannot separate content from design. What we perceive as content is actually the union of the very content and the design that conforms it. I argue that maybe the quest is not to find what new principles the web unleashes, but how the canon of perception may be applied to it and evolve from it.

I do not believe that design is conveying information per se. I believe design is the information and the information is the design as they are molded into one unity; and as one unity they remain so long as the perception takes place. I do not think we can regard the information separate from the design that shapes it –this is, at the moment someone perceives the unity. The thing is that human expression through the web is still conveyed by virtue of perception, and our perception does not elude the guides and rules it has followed throughout time.