Seeking constraints in a web design world

Over many beers, and one smashing bout of Checkers with friend and illustrator Jesse Hora, we transparently discussed our love for print design and our ideological positions on web design. The web offers the ease to do complex things in a short period of time. Web design in extremely high demand. It’s a cost-effective way for most businesses to speak to their customers. And it’s also limitless. The beauty is in it’s flexibility.

So, naturally I dig it. At Doejo, we’ve designed and developed `close to 200+ websites in just under 2 years. I love the versatility with web design. I love the way I can just hop in and rock house in Photoshop, break form and translate to HTML/CSS and post live to a space and open shop. In some cases, within a matter of hours I can sell a product, distribute music, spread an idea. I can launch, take down, relaunch, and tweak to my heart’s desire. 

But web design also lacks inheritable constraints. Constraints we often take for granted. There are no boundaries, and no end. Unless we create them, we’re only bound by… (I am not even sure how to end that sentance.) Print offers immedate contraints. Implications that are permanent, assuming you don’t start over.

With web, it’s difficult to define the end of a project. Such is why we have ongoing relationships with the majority of our clients. The web is, simply, moving. With print, there is a no-questions-asked end to a project/idea/campaign. It offers the simplicity of just being there. It’s interactive, without obligation. And lastly, it’s physical. You can take it with you, leave it behind. If you hate it, you can tear it up. If you love it again, you can tape it back together.

We’re enamored by the agility in web design. We try to push it’s limits, and we act all surprised when we find (again) out that we can do just about anything with it.

We should look to create more constraints in web design. We need to force ourselves to respect the craft, and focus on the fundamentals; color, balance, contrast and use these to create clarity around ideas with the help of typography, illustration, and photography. We should get back to our roots, and get our hands dirty. The web is the most flexible space in the world and I think that’s simply badass. But as web designers we should continue to seek constraints, and we can look to print for that