If You Build It, They Will See It

Some people go to all the trouble of designing and producing buildings, only to make them ugly. Why not hire an architect who understands proportions? Select beautiful colors for the paint? Arrange landscaping that beautifies? Did they really save time and money by building ugly?

Birdhouse Among the Flowers

Beauty is one of my core values.

Even if beauty isn’t one of yours, consider how much advertisers spend to catch our visual attention, and remember that visual learners are in the majority. So whatever you make, you might as well make it beautiful.

I’m preparing for a new class. Therefore, I’m revising a PowerPoint ancillary beyond recognition, saving few textbook images and throwing the rest out. Not only do these slides need editorial improvements and additional content, they’re unbearably ugly. The color scheme lacks contrast, the fonts are small, and the text is dense; therefore, it’s unreadable. There’s no attention to the symbolism of color. The illustrations are cheap clip art–worse than none at all.

Beauty doesn’t always have to cost a penny more than ugliness. It does require time and caring. It’s only a little more time and caring, compared to the scope of the whole project. So as long as you’re building something, please make it beautiful.

Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011

Photo © DM Baker, iStockPhoto #000001800069

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