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No one could have predicted the pandemic, or how this pandemic would change how the world functions- or how designers design?
Take something that is designed that you use, for easy points of reference, let's take a car. A car’s design matters, you have a function for it almost every day and you would prefer a visual design that matches your likings.
Soon after the invention of the wheel, the design of a 4-wheeler motor vehicle was seen in use, and from the Flintstone age, till date, the fundamental design of car has not changed grandly. Sure, aspects like aerodynamics, features like sunroof and types like hatchback, sedan and SUV have been released along with many other advancements in the automobile market. But at the core, a car remains an engine with seats on it, running on 4 wheels. That is the fundamental design.
Imagine a futuristic car- I’m assuming it would be a luxury vehicle with LED panelling on the inside and on the outside, probably running on Hydrogen and probably can go from one to a hundred miles in less than 3 seconds. But that is not the design aspect that we are talking about. When timelessness is added to a design, there is a quality that remains invisible and as we all know, good design is almost always invisible.
With established practices, theories and guidelines written by giants of the design industry, it is easy to refer and create timelessness in your work. Although, even without the guiding document, all you have to do is go back in time. Functionality was prioritized and form always followed function without the influence of having to sell more product, ‘creating a demand’ and other capitalist ideologies.
2001: A space Odyssey was one such film that put that extra effort in creating believability and genuinity in props they were shooting with. They went the extra mile and gave it a thought, to go deeper into the story, and give products and environment around the characters some thought. That gave rise to such a system that influenced the real world and gave way to many timeless technology and UI designs. So much so that the UI still stays relevant till date.
If we were to list characteristics of any timeless design, be it digital products or tangible hardware, they would be followed somewhere or the other. It is Universal, adaptive, inclusive, simple, and pragmatic. This will ensure that the design has longevity in relevance.
It comes through a simple practice of not thinking about the future, or sales, but about the function. Rest will follow. The Ambassador is one of the best examples of timeless design in a motor vehicle. We all know why.
At Slangbusters, timelessness remains an unsaid approach towards anything that is created in our studio, be it a UI, a brand name or even though pieces like this one. My name is Manas and I try writing without the prejudice of how many people it will reach. I write with the motive of who it reaches and hope you consider approaching true timelessness in your next project. Maybe collaborate with us?
— by Manas, Content Strategist, Slangbusters Studio