What makes great design memorable?
Maybe it comes through in some unique process or technique, or perhaps you have that special style that was developed over years of practice. Whatever it is, something about it shines through. And let’s be honest. When we pick our favorite work, either our own or from others, it’s probably…well, kind of weird.
Here’s a list of some weird and unique designs that we love:
Sagmeister & Walsh
We couldn’t really have a blog post about weird design without mentioning Sagmeister & Walsh, whose agency created some of the strangest and bold designs around. Their name is almost synonymous with ‘weird design’. But that’s also part of what makes the work so memorable. That, plus the high levels of practical craft that goes into their design.
Left: Obsessions Make My Life Worse And My Work Better, 2008 Right: Book Cover – Things I have learned in my life so far, 2008
The contemporary buildings by Frank Gehry take on shapes that seem to defy almost every conceivable architectural rule. The twisted and abstract forms create a contrast to stand out against the surrounding and more regular cityscape.
Left: Stata Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Right: Dancing House, Prague, Czech Republic
Wain’s name as ‘The Man Who Drew Cats’ is definitely well earned. The late 19th to early 20th century artist left behind 1000s of illustrations of cats in many different styles. Most notable of which may be his series of colorful kaleidoscopic cats. The psychedelic depictions came well before the 1960s counter-culture movements and could easily be mistaken for much more current pieces.
Louis Wain, Untitled cat paintings
Carved by Polynesian colonizers between 1250 A.D. and 1500 A.D. the iconic stone faces, or Moai, at Easter Island are more than meets the eye. The instantly recognizable faces are actually full body figures buried under shifting soils.
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist creating sculpture and installation. Kusama found early success in the 1950’s and became one of the most important contemporary artists in Japan. Her immersive installations bring viewers into a colorful surreal world. Many of of her installations use mirrors, which magnify the environments into infinity.
Left: Love is Calling, 2013 Right: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016
These giant geoglyphs are located on arid plains in southern Peru. Some are even larger than 1 mile across. The ancient lines are believed to have been created between 400 and 650 AD. The shapes take the form of animals, trees, flowers and more abstract geometrical forms.
Finding Your Unique Voice
Even if it’s sometimes a bit uncomfortable, it’s good to push those boundaries. After all, stepping outside of your comfort zone and expressing your most personal thoughts can be frightening. Expressing these thoughts may spark stronger criticism than just playing it safe, but it also allows you to create more genuine connections with people who appreciate your ideas.
So go forward. Be bold, be experimental and let your weirdness shine.