Countdown…less than one month until the launch of the new Cochise County website.  I don’t sleep much anymore.  I’m moody and totally *freaked out by minor details and sudden unexpected obstacles.  My former coworker at Zefer, Holly Blankstein, referred to those types of things as an “added layer of complexity”.

I am a designer before I am a web developer–which drives IT people up the wall–it drives most people up the wall.  Brian, you totally know what I’m talking about, “That dropdown menu is 2 pixels lower on the nav bar in Firefox than it is in IE–dammit!  We can’t go live yet! I want beta testing on all platforms!”

I am quite capable in the technical aspect of web development but wont sit still for substandard design.  I am a visual engineer and deserve respect. 


Am I showing signs of cracking?  No!  I just refuse to settle.  Could you imagine Michelangelo’s David if he was all, “Whatever man, that looks cool.”

Here’s the most fucked up thing about being a good designer, the better you are at what you do, the more people think it was easy.  If you do something really well, it’s seamless.  Transparent.  If you do something mediocre, you’re screwed.  Do plastic surgeons deal with this?  No.  If a plastic surgeon does a great job, he or she gets rich and sometimes famous.  If a designer does a good job he or she gets, “We need a logo!”  Expected for free no less because we just have this string coming out of our ass that you simply pull and logos fall out.  It’s most embarrasing going through airport security. 

My former IT boss at the county called me the “Earth Tone Guy” because he thought what I did was easy, like staying within the lines in a coloring book.  I hated that (although I really was rather fond of him).   I hate that people think designers, “Make it pretty”.

Fuck you and yer pretty!  We make it awesome and appealing.  You know why they brought back the VW Bug and the MINI Cooper?  Classic design!  You can’t go wrong with the classics. 

 Why doesn’t Volkswagen bring back the Carmengia?

I want one!

Talk about a classic!  Someday when car companies run out of ideas again the Carmengia will get another chance and I’ll buy one.  Or maybe I’ll win the lotto and be able to buy a restored one.  I’ll drive it around Southern Arizona with a big white scarf…

I’m wishin’ and hopin’ that I’ll someday we’ll get the respect and acknowledgement that we, as visual engineers, make a difference.  Let me tell you folks, if it looks really  cool, simple, elegant and evokes an emotional response…there was a talented designer behind it. 

I’m rambling.   I better go to bed now–so I can lay awake all night and ponder the best way to format my navigation scheme so that it’s optimized for all users.  Who am I kidding?  I’m not going to sleep until May.

*freaked out means that I’m consumed by my project–it doesn’t mean that I’m in need of intervention or that I can’t handle it. 

5 Thoughts on “Wishin’ and Hopin’

  1. Hang in there. Overhauling a website like that is madness!

  2. Alice on 05/03/2008 at 2:41 PM said:

    I love the Carmengia, I want one too, in yellow.

    Also, I know what you mean with the make it pretty bullshit.

    Love your blog, man.

  3. Oh, the gia is sweeeet. My friend has one and he had it painted 1982 Porsche blue. It is a beauty.

    However, if I were you I would avoid wearing a long white scarf because you could end up like Isadora Duncan.

  4. I agree with Kevin-Andrew, no decapi-cobban please!

  5. I hear you on all counts. There doesn’t seem to be the push for usability like there was back in the day. In the excitement of “Web 2.0” and new ways to code, design and readability seems to have gone to the wayside.

    I’ll be seeing you guys in a few days, so rest up.

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