Principles of Great Design: Craftsmanship

by R27 CREATIVELAB on Saturday, 16 January 2010

Extract from a great post on

I love beautiful things. There’s very little in the world that takes my breath away quite like an object that was lovingly crafted, built with care and passion, and presented with the sort of pride that befits a marvelously well-made item.

That which is beautiful is increasingly difficult to come by in a world where a premium is placed on speed, and things are made to be disposable. We often sacrifice real craftsmanship at the altar of expediency. While we are still capable of recognizing the value of something that has been expertly constructed, we often choose the cheap and easy option instead.

For years, I shaved my face with a disposable razor. It did the job just fine. It was straightforward and easy. It even looked flashy. And every few weeks I’d pop off the disposable end, throw it away, and replace it with a ridiculously expensive new cartridge. I blew hundreds of dollars on razor cartridges over the years. And I never got shaves that I felt were perfect.

About two years ago, I switched over to a beautifully crafted and expertly honed straight razor. I bought a hand-made heirloom razor strop, an excellent badger-hair brush, and some high-quality shave cream. I’ve never had better shaves in my life. The process has changed from an occasional annoyance, to a pleasurable ritual. I have tools that I will have for the rest of my life. Tools that will, likely, outlive me. They work better than my old tools. And, in the long run, they’re cheaper than my old disposables.

The difference in the level of craftsmanship between my old disposable razor and my new straight razor is vast. There is a significant and noticeable difference between cheap, mass-produced products, and hand-crafted, carefully detailed ones.

The standard line in this industry is that most clients don’t really know the difference between good design and great design. While that may be true, I contend that it is always possible to detect the hand of a dedicated artisan in her creations. To that end, I want to examine what we as designers can do to bring quality craftsmanship to our work.

Read the full article and comments at source by clicking here.

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Best Regards Rajesh