May 28, 2012

6 Essential Design Lessons From Sushi

May 28th, 2012 - 2 mins read

The thing is, humans are aesthetically fickle. If something looks good, we’re interested, if it doesn’t, see ya later. You could have the most groundbreaking, life-changing, innovative, do-or-die content, but if it’s ill-designed then you’ve pretty much scored an own-goal before even making it onto the pitch. Of course, the importance of design (web, graphic, or otherwise) is something companies are achingly aware of, and something on which a hefty sum is spent in order to make sure we do pay attention. Here’s some amusingly on-point design lessons that you could learn from sushi, which we stumbled upon care of Inspiration really is all around…

1. Tell A Story For Your Clients

Traditional sushi chefs in Japan regale their customers with stories about the local ingredients so essential to their cuisine, engaging people with the food they’re eating and the area they’re in. Stories have the power of engagement that as a designer you can leverage, either within your work or in pitching to clients. As if anyone can really be bothered to sit through the same-old shpiel.

2. Simplicity Is Key

Ditch the faff, sort the wheat from the chaff. Take infographics – the successful ones take a premise and simplify it to its key points.

3. Uncover New Paths

Apparently rice originally had a very different purpose in Japan, used to preserve the fish from docks to market, and was therefore fermented with a very strong flavour. It was discarded until the 18th century, when people started reducing the fermentation levels. What has all this to do with design, you say? Well, the point is, coming up with a function or a solution to a problem you didn’t even know was there in the first place is crucial. Good design makes use of things that other people overlook or ignore.

4. Details, Details

The same level of detail that sushi chefs must pay to the fish they’re dealing with to avoid a hurricane of food-poisoning can be applied to good design: checking every small nook and cranny for potential problems, unnecessary distractions, and all that jazz.

5. It’s All About Presentation

Pretty self-explanatory really. The presentation defines the design, and crystalizes the reputation of a particular company, brand, or designer. It also creates conversations, crucial.

6. Juxtaposition: The ‘Secret Sauce’

Simplicity paired with tiny moments of intense detail or “flavour” is a philosophy that can be used to create designs that are intriguing and unexpected.

So there we are, good design is the difference between a campaign causing an insignificant ripple or an almighty tidal wave in the field it’s targeting. Go forth and unleash. First though, we might go grab a California Roll or two…

May 28th, 2012 - 2 mins read