The creative team at BatesMeron works hard to come up with design solutions that are invisible. By that, I mean we use design and creative copy that allows our clients’ vision to take center stage—not the other way around. We believe the designer’s hand should be unnoticeable in the finished product; otherwise, a “hiccup” may occur and distract the audience from the real message.
It goes without saying that our team is hyper-conscious of the invisible work of others that shapes our environment. But what if you’re not exactly in tune with this sort of thing?
The solution lies in Roman Mars’ enthralling podcast, 99% Invisible, a radio show about the work of architects, designers and urban planners that goes mostly unnoticed. The episodes examine everything from life-threatening architectural mishaps (“Episode 110: Structural Integrity”) to the remarkable complexity of cartoon backdrops (“Episode 85: Noble Effort”).
Mars is a radio genius. His shows have a captivating rhythm and he tackles complex subjects with language that is approachable and free of technical jargon. They’re educational, enlightening, but most of all, entertaining. You don’t have to be a designer or architect to enjoy his work—and that’s the point.
One of my favorite episodes, “Episode 109: Title TK,” goes behind the scenes with Catchword, a naming company based out of Oakland, to break down the moves that go into naming a brand. They discuss the importance of mouthfeel (a topic covered by Rachel in her recent blog post), the abstract-descriptive name spectrum, and where to find sources of inspiration. This one really is a must-listen!
Here are a few more episodes I’m especially fond of to get you started. Hopefully, after a few episodes, you too will begin to take note of the invisible work that surrounds us. Happy listening!
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