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Judge a Book by its Cover

All of my life I have heard the saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” We all know what this means, don’t judge things by their outer appearance, but rather what is on the inside. Sure, this sounds nice, but it’s not realistic.

As a matter of fact, we humans are born with eyes for this exact reason. They give us vision; they allow us to judge. Vision is a primary sense for detecting good, bad, danger, and an array of emotions. Following smell and sound, vision is the third sense to kick into gear. You can’t always tell if you like something by smell or sound, so instinctively, you resort to vision. This middle sense is very important in relation to the subsequent senses, touch and taste. It’s not something that we think about, but we don’t like to touch or taste things that we can’t see. At the very least a lack of vision makes us uncomfortable, but could force us to dive into deeper emotions such as fear.

So why does judging get such a bad rap? There are infinite things in the universe and it would take forever to sift through all of them. Are you really going to read every book? Download every app? Talk to every person on earth? Nope. You are going to make instinctive decisions using the senses that were given to you.

As a designer, I strive to use the power of vision to my advantage. Designers help align visuals with the core of an idea, creating unity and consistency throughout a brand or product.

When you can combine what you see with the rest of your senses – how you hear, smell, touch, or taste something – amazing things can happen. For something to be successful, design must be consistent from the smallest of details to the largest of features. Here are a few examples of companies that are using their design super powers:

• An app icon that represents the features inside your app (wunderlist or shazam)

Wunderlist app icon and iPhone iOS UI.

Shazam app icon and iPhone iOS UI.

• A color that unifies your brand and products (Apple)

Assorted Apple things.

• A style that unifies your content (MailChimp)

Various Mailchimp UI.

People are judging your book by its cover, your app by its icon, your product by its landing page, your brand by its logo, and you by your skinny jeans. It may or may not be correct, but it’s happening. Live on the edge, judge a book by it’s cover.

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