Wilson Pickett, Design Theorist, 1942 - 2006
Anyone formulating a methodology for design practice must somehow reconcile two things: the need to address the objective practical requirements of design problems, and the desire to create solutions that are original, aesthetically pleasurable, and somehow expressive of the designer's unique point of view. Through the ages, some of our most revered aphorists have attempted to sum it up, from "utilatas, firmitas et venustas,"
to "form follows function,"
to "graphic design which evokes the symmetria of Vitruvius, the dynamic symmetry of Hambidge, the asymmetry of Mondrian; which is a good gestalt, generated by intuition or by computer, by invention or by a system of coordinates is not good design if it does not communicate."
All good attempts, but too Latin, too overused, too long. Also: they do not rhyme.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mister Wilson Pickett.
When Wilson Pickett, The Wicked One, The Midnight Mover, was interviewed in Gerri Hirshey's wonderful 1984 book Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music
, he was 43, a good decade-plus beyond the years when he dominated the pop charts. Born in Prattville, Alabama, he moved in his early teens to Detroit and was plunged into a tumultuous milieu: Jackie Wilson, Little Willie Brown, Joe Stubbs, Eddie Floyd, dozens of singers and groups all looking for the next big hit...
In Praise of Slow Design
Cover of the New Yorker, Charles E. Martin, 1946
I got what I wanted for Christmas: The Complete New Yorker
, which, as you probably know, is a digital archive of every issue of the weekly magazine since its first on February 21, 1925 on eight DVDs: every cover, every page, every story, every cartoon, every ad. I've been going through it compulsively ever since. I've read the work of Dorothy Parker, J...