So Many Chairs

I want to talk about style. What does it really mean? How do you get it? Does it really matter? I mainly just want to further my understanding of style by writing down some thoughts and ideas. Warning! The following is completely opinionated.

What does style mean?

It means you’ve carved out a niche where you can be easily recognizable. People seek you for your ability to look a particular way. Sort of like wearing Banana Republic because you like smooth sleek colors and fabrics. Or eating Mexican food for the spicy entrees.

How do you attain style?

I don’t really know. It’s like saying how do you find love? Some say love finds you, well, maybe style finds you. I would like to think this quest involves hard work, research and dedication. However, I’m sure that alone doesn’t provide you with a unique style. It’s almost like pacing around a large room with many different types of chairs. Some exotic looking, some very simplistic. Every now and then you have a seat, paying close attention to how it feels, looks and functions. Then you move to the next. Over time you learn about all the chairs in the room and begin to build your very own where you can finally sit with comfort and assurance. At least thats my guess.

Does having a style really matter?

No, not really. In some instances it hinders you because your confining yourself. If a company or firm is recognized for their style it can hinder them more because they become known for that style in the industry and risk being pushed to the curb. If you look at companies like Sagmeister Inc. (http://www.sagmeister.com/), Weworkforthem (http://www.weworkforthem.com) and Cyclone Design (http://www.cyclone-design.com/) they are highly recognized by their great styles. Eventually three more companies will come along with fresh new styles that attract attention and they’ll be flavor of the week. If you look at companies like Pentagram (http://www.pentagram.com), R/GA (http://www.rga.com) and Hallmark (http://www.hallmark.com) that have stood the test of time; you’ll see they don’t really have a style. They have an eclectic collection of designers that create solutions that evolve with time.

Personally I stay away from locking myself in a style. If it happens to find me later on in life I’ll probably be ok but at this point I’m still testing out all the chairs.