What Is Good Design?

Jank or Swank?

We believe design is an elegant balance of three elements: form, function and intention. The intellectual argument we make for good design often includes all three elements, and uses examples for comparison. Then, we have to consider bad design. Where one of the elements lacking, like a three legged stool with one leg cut short, it makes for an uncomfortable and perhaps awkward moment.

There are plenty of other arguments to be made about what is good design, but there are few ways to put it simply. What is good design and what is bad design?

Capsule has decided to start an ongoing study, using a variety of examples via our website, of what is good and bad design. And, to simplify the issue, we have provided only two possible answers; JANK or SWANK.Jank is bad design and Swank is good design. Simple. While we enjoy and certainly value the intellectual conversation, we wanted to simplify the debate.

So, we have been gathering artifacts, moments and parts of our culture to represent one or the other. Some of these have already been posted; many others are yet to come. Review as you like and give us your vote; JANK or SWANK. This will be an ongoing study and we will report back on occasion to offer insight and hopefully amusement.

Thank you for participating. We appreciate it.