After Life – Stephen McCarthyPosted: January 28, 2016
Today we had another After (university) Life talk, held by designer Stephen McCarthy. It was fairly different from the last one I went to, Alex Jenkins’ upbeat quirky manner was contrasted strongly by Stephen’s ‘straight-to-the-point’ no bullshit attitude. And I think this was partially the reason why a few people walked out half way through. No-one likes the response “oh, you do road signs and posters” when you tell people you’re a graphic designer and Stephen’s talk was about just those things.
Some things did come up that I found really interesting though; the creation of the London Underground map and a few Isotype designers I intend to do a bit more research on. The idea of getting closer to an overall universal language and learning about the strengths and problems that hinder its effectiveness is something I am really interested in, and I might go as far as to say excited by (don’t worry, this isn’t another paradox situation).
Stephen also gave some advice that would be beneficial to all designers, not only those in the serious, government side of things. He said that we should “be consistent, not uniform.” And “you should never ask how (a design) should look”, ask only what it should do. The design needs to be virtually invisible and act primarily as a way of communicating the content clearly in its context.