Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Essence of Good Design

I have written previously about how comfortable I find sitting outside hospital buildings. The architecture is not the source of nightmares that it can be for some people. This does not extend to all things medical, however. In fact, I have a dislike verging on the phobic when it comes to doctors. Nurses I'm happy with - in general they have a sense of humour and a detached attitude which I find almost relaxing. But doctors...eurgh...they're up there with spiders in my opinion.

So when I decide I need to see a doctor (which, you can imagine, does not happen often) it is with a sense of trepidation tinged with terror. And this happened just the other day. It was my first visit to this particular surgery, having only recently moved to the area (recently! It's nearly been a year...but that's far too early to have to consult a demon of the MD rank) which seemed to make things doubly difficult.

Although not relaxing, the GP waiting room proved a rather wonderful distraction. First there's the people watching. Highlight of this trip was a rather lovely Asian woman and her baby who had just discovered all the sounds he was capable of making. Most of them resembling the gurgles of a human digestive tract in distress. Well, I say this. I was in a GP's waiting room. It could very easily have been a human digestive tract in distress and I just didn't correctly identify the culprit.

Anyway, my main point for writing then grabbed my attention. Although I never would, I'd love to be able to take my camera everywhere I go. And I have never felt that quite so much as now. On the wall, amongst the posters for stroke information (FAST - Face, Arm, Speech, Test) and Flu Jab schedule was a lovingly crafted piece of design.

You know when you see a poster and almost feel like you have a glimpse into the psyche of the graphic designer? Never have I felt this so strongly. The raven-black background. The stark white font. Text perfectly balanced against the brilliant red blood drop taking up two thirds of the space.


Yes, here was a medical information poster created by someone who desperately, in the secret dark places of his soul, wanted to design book covers for Stephanie Meyer. Malaria by Twilight.

Coincidentally, I had blood taken and it was done with a level of skill and care I have never met before. You don't think that my local GP is actually a front for a coven of Vampires, do you...?


  1. I wish I could see this poster. It must have been good... to have stuck with you!

    Hi! I like that you're blogging more. I haven't heard from you in a while. I hope you're doing good! :)

  2. Hiya! I'm away in Wales at the mo but will be back with proper internet privileges next week. So get ready for a mass of comments! In the mean time, how are you doing?