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What if nobody cares? – By @elisaczerwenka

What if nobody cares?

Saul Bass was an American graphic designer and Oscar-winning filmmaker. Best known for the design of movie title sequences, film posters, and logos. Ever since I came across his work at uni, I adored it. Have a look at it. It’s brilliant. 

When Saul Bass’ name recently came up again in a book crit, I researched his work and found the following quote. I have rarely connected more with a quote than this one. 

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.”

Beauty is one of the reasons why I was drawn to study in the visual arts in the first place. What is beauty? You ask. That’s a subject that I have not only written my thesis about; I also know that no amount of words will do its definition of justice. But let me suggest another way of describing it. 

I define beauty in my work by how I define ugliness. Ugliness is not a state, a style, a font choice or a look; it is simply the absence of caring what it looks like. Or how my design hero Sagmeister says it “The antithesis of beauty is not ugliness, it is carelessness,“. 

I care—a lot. Whether I am drawing notes, a spreadsheet or my shopping list, I want to make it beautiful. And some nights, Ellie and I stay up until the early morning, to get the craft right. Call me obsessive, but this is just the way my brain works. And I love it. 

If you don’t care about the beauty of your work, chances are it will get ugly. And to make matters worse, other people won’t care about your work either. Why that matters? Well, do you not want people to look at your work? Do you not want them to give attention to it? This is your job, by the way, getting people’s attention. And beautiful things draw people’s attention like nothing else.

So in an ideal world, nobody in advertising should ignore beauty. The reality is, advertising is full of work, where beauty got less than one brain cell of thought. If any. And it is clear why: Tough deadlines, craft at the last minute, the ignorance of its importance… There is plenty of reasons why people wouldn’t care about beauty. And why I do understand how this might happen industry, I have no excuse for my work to be ugly.

So I will keep trying to make beautiful things. Some people might not even notice the difference. You might look at my work and don’t think it is that beautiful. But here is the thing. Even if nobody cares, I will. And that’s all I need to know.

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