On Presentation: Be Deliberate, Never Accidental

Sebastian Horsley

“I do a lot of things for effect, which is not to say I am superficial, but that I know how to put ideas across.” – Sebastian Horsley, Born Aug. 8, 1962.

Our job is to put ideas across.

And to that end, we need to be deliberate about our use of every possible aspect of a given communication.

Of course there are the words that comprise the message, and we all understand the importance there.

And there is the design of the page, too. Another one most people get.

Now, in this age of instant video streaming, the language of cinema is becoming more important for us all to learn and master.

Music. Lighting. Angles. Sound. Tone. Color. Sequence. Motion.

The palette which we all can use to persuade the masses to fulfill our will has grown in complexity, but also in power.

And we must be deliberate with that power.

And when I say deliberate, I don't mean that every aspect has to be planned and perfected. But what I mean is there shouldn't be any aspect of your work that is the way it is by accident. It should be a deliberate choice and should be consistent.

So for example, I don't focus on graphic design for my own stuff. I prefer a minimal, almost bootleg quality to my material. It's plain, and that puts the focus on the content. It's not FOR people who would skip it for being “ugly”.

I'm aware that things need to have a “look” but I am DELIBERATELY choosing to minimize that aspect, as far as the “Cult of Copy” project is concerned.

Black and white mostly. Simple fonts. Focused on text.

And I try to keep that “style” choice consistent, so that my material all seems to be of a kind.

But I'm not talking only about aesthetics.

Functionally, there are psychological reasons that I deliver my material in this way.

In other words, I have an IDEA about me and my work that I want to put across.

Just like Sebastian implied one should get good at.

So since my idea is “put the focus on the written content,” it makes the decisions about everything else simple. Everything else can be stripped down and simple, so as not to distract from my core idea.

So what’s YOUR big idea?

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