This post has been lurking around in my mind for some time. The motivation to write this post emerges from an inner feeling about the importance of good choice of colors and design in just about everything–course projects, flyers, promotional material, cover of a book, web design and much more. In fact, as I think about it, I realize that I have been trying to say this for quite a while, maybe from an age when I saw some color combinations in a magazine advertisement that were not very appealing (at least to me). Or maybe, at some point I saw a website that was in no way aesthetically pleasing not only to me but as I later discovered to a number of people in my professional circle. I certainly feel better as I write this piece in sharing something that many would already know and even have a far better sense of than I do. However, I am quite sure that there are quite a few others who may appreciate this perspective on aesthetics.
As a start, I will take my readers on a journey through the beautiful Appalachian mountain range in eastern United States. While returning from a conference in South Carolina, I was mesmerized by amazing fall colors as I drove through scenic valleys. Fortunately this was the time of year when fall colors display their magic. At certain points, breathtaking views compelled me to stop the car at any nearest rest area so that I could enjoy and appreciate the beauty of those mountains and most importantly the awe-inspiring fall colors. Such natural beauty, fresh air and unforgettable colors are enough to make any trip memorable and make long drives enjoyable. Pictures in this post may already have caught your attention. These are some that I took using my cell phone. While you enjoy these, let’s try to understand what aesthetics are all about.
What is aesthetic?
Merriam Webster dictionary defines aesthetic as: “of, relating to, or dealing with aesthetics or the beautiful”, “pleasing in appearance“. A person having an aesthetic sense would be the one who recognizes and admires beauty. Moreover, such a person may see harmony in beauty.
So the basic idea behind the word aesthetic is beauty. An important question arising here is that beauty can be relative–what may be beautiful to me, may or may not be beautiful to another person. You may have also heard the famous saying “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. But then there are so many things we see around us that most appreciate. Tress for example, usually have green leaves that change colors as part of their natural cycle. I feel that we all like the way trees are, their color and the inherent beauty in them. The sky also has a nice blue color that is soothing and in the background just fits perfectly well with trees. This leads us to thinking that whatever is in nature is indeed beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. We often hear words like deep blue sea and sandy white beaches. After all, there is something about blue sea and white sand that attracts people.
So I see beauty in nature as the most aesthetically perfect, as you may also. Nature provides abundant colors that we admire and appreciate. This means that anything that matches the color scheme in nature would also be somewhat beautiful when we make it. Think about how the color scheme in nature inspires artists into making masterpieces.
We may safely conclude that a person having an aesthetic sense would have an eye for appreciating what is already there in nature. That sense of aestheticism would reflect in his/her work and make it appealing. We can enhance beauty in whatever we do by taking inspiration from nature.
I believe that good design matters. Good choice of colors in our work is important because that speaks of our aesthetic sense. I also feel that it is not hard to produce works that are aesthetically pleasing. Nature has abundant examples of beautiful design, wonderful color combinations and a voice saying that yes that’s how it was meant to be. All we have to do is observe with a careful eye and implement what we learn and observe. So next time when you end up designing something as trivial as a power-point presentation, think of how you would see color combinations and design in nature.
I would like to leave you with a video that I had earlier watched. It’s a wonderful depiction of the beauty in nature not only in terms of numbers but also color and design. So sit back, relax and enjoy the wonders of nature!