Aquí's Design Language

January 29, 2021

Introducción al lenguaje del diseño

En medio de todo el trabajo lingüístico que estamos haciendo para el sitio web, hemos reflexionado recientemente sobre el término "lenguaje de diseño" y lo que significa para Aquí. Todos sabemos lo que es el lenguaje: para decirlo de forma sencilla, puede ser un conjunto de palabras, símbolos o reglas que se utilizan para comunicarse con otros (una persona o un ordenador). Después de merodear bastante tiempo en la búsqueda de Google, hemos encontrado una serie de definiciones existentes de lenguaje de diseño que varía dependiendo de la función (UX, Branding, etc.). En lugar de presentártelas, te diremos cómo hemos definido el "Lenguaje de Diseño" para el debate que estamos manteniendo hoy. Siga leyendo para saber más.

Nuestro lenguaje de diseño: Un sistema de comunicación que consiste en valores y reglas que cumplimos y que sirven para mantener la coherencia de nuestro diseño.

Nota: La aplicación principal del lenguaje de diseño en este artículo se centra en los diseños que hacemos para Aquí Design - nuestra página web, el contenido de las redes sociales, etc.

Our Values

Every designer has a set of standards that they prioritise in their design process, that goes without saying. We often ask ourselves: What do we care most about when creating designs for Aquí?

Consistency

There is a way to be creative and consistent at the same time - they are not mutually exclusive. Consistency in design brings about familiarity which in return reflects personality. We want people to recognise Aquí through the attributes that our designs display. Over time, our audience can get to know Aquí better, in a way that a good friend does; forming a telepathic connection that contextualises our designs.

Quality

is a no-brainer. Quality to us means getting the bare minimum right while thinking of ways to take our designs one step further. To err is human, to forgive divine - we have to catch ourselves when we make mistakes that we shouldn't, even if it is a seemingly unnoticeable detail. As Evelyn - the most meticulous amongst us - often puts it: “It's the little things that makes a difference." The quality of what we produce determines how highly we regard ourselves. Instead of striving for perfection, we want to create works that we know we would be proud of.

Clarity

In any kind of communication, it's always about getting to the point. But as an average person has an attention span of eight seconds, our designs have to get straight to the point. At Aquí, we try our best to make things clear for our audience. “Don't overcomplicate it" is the mantra that has led us to the clean and minimalist style you see on our website or social media channels. If you don't already know, one of our greatest fears is the occurrence of a communication breakdown. Analysing the flow and tonality is crucial in order for the right message to be brought across.

In order for our design approach to be user-centered, it is important to consider what kind of experience we would like to create. They have to feel at home," Evelyn raised a good analogy. It has to be intuitive - being able to find things you need; uncomplicated - being able to navigate with ease; welcoming - made for everyone.

Design Elements

Beyond the emotional aspects of the brand, what did the choice of typography and colours mean? There was an unexpected turn of events while we were having this discussion on a Zoom call. María, our founder, ran us through the thought process behind the branding of Aquí Design. Yu Ting and Evelyn also got the chance to share their first impressions of Aquí, giving us a good comparison of the intention versus perception of the branding. All of us were being brought back in time to witness the magic that created the brand that we are now a part of.

María bringing us through her design process

Typography (and design motif)

The typeface that we all adore dearly - that is, Grumpy - was to our surprise not the first few typefaces that made it to María's art boards. It was close to the third iteration of the branding process that the current face of Aquí then became part of the picture. Oh, where do we begin to talk about our love for Grumpy? This eye-catching serif typeface never fails to steal the show. Unlike what its name suggests, Grumpy appears to be playful and bold; always bringing life to our designs. Tell us that isn't the most gorgeous looking letter 'A' you've ever seen?

Did you know: our design motif (also known as our pattern) seen in many of Aquí's branded collaterals are made with parts of the typeface. The design system brings consistency to the range of designs that we make for Aquí, building a more holistic brand experience.

Colours

“We're a design studio, the focus will always be about our work. My rationale for the monochromatic colour scheme was to have a strong branding that lets the work speak for itself." — María

Aquí's iconic black and white identity was developed to place focus on the things that matter most – our works. As a design studio that produces visuals on a daily basis, it is important that the branding helps elevate and sharpen the look of our designs. At the same time, as our trophy typeface Grumpy is loud by nature, the brand needed the other design elements to balance out its personality. The look and feel that this colour scheme has achieved is one that is minimalist, crisp and chic (as many of you have told us - thank you).

How do we know we've gotten it right?

“When people are inspired by what we do. It always feels like we got it right when people reach out and tell us we've made an impression." — María

María will never forget the day she showed the Aquí website to her grandfather. “You're an artist! This is art!" he exclaimed. For Yu Ting and Evelyn, they will never forget the first time they landed on the website, thinking to themselves: “Wow, this is so cool." On having this conversation, the team had also realised how each of us are similar in our thoughts and approach, which means that the design language we have developed has a huge influence on the way we work, successfully translating our values into our works. “We are aligned with one another, that is why we are able to produce designs that are consistent and purposeful," Evelyn said. Our current design system allows us to explore new grounds yet remain authentic and true to the brand. “There is something about our style that is non-conforming and ever evolving," Yu Ting commented.

To wrap this up, we think that the purpose of having a design language is to question the meaning of the design elements within the systems created. Intentional designs are like maps - important in guiding people on their journey.

If you haven't had enough of our language talk, click here to check out our newly translated Chinese website.

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Joe: Our Design Resolutions for 2021

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Kiss, Marry, Kill: PANTONE Colours

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