Some of you may have noticed that when hold down the ‘Shift’ key and the number ‘8′ you get the asterisk. Even if you got that far, you may still be wondering why I chose this symbol as the main icon for my portfolio site. Simply put, sometimes a visual isn’t enough. An onlooker may be drawn in and fulfilled by a beautiful painting purely by the image. But more often than not, the experience of viewing a visual piece isn’t complete without reading the accompanying text. Similarly, a design artifact is only half complete once the wireframes are drawn. The accompanying annotations are essential for understanding what the designer meant.
I’ve always been fascinated with the relationship between word and image. Although I love the idea of creating art for art’s sake, a portrait without a placard for the audience feels like a half-complete experience. The artist may not need to explain their intent through language, but as an avid art lover and designer, my understanding and fulfillment deepens by reading the artist’s description of the point of view embedded in their work.
The asterisk is my metaphor for the text which necessarily defines design. Hence this site’s tagline, “the definition of design”. Sure, I could have left all of this unexplained, leaving you to marvel at the beautiful logo and site design by my dear friend Missy Kelley, but that wouldn’t be very Shift8-like, would it?