Contradictions

May 22, 2010

I believe that very little, if anything, in life is black & white. There are always shades of grey, whether it’s totally obvious or a bit more subtle. Throughout life, we change opinions, beliefs and principles. And in most cases, I don’t think this is a bad thing. A lot of people I know believe different things now than they did 5 years ago, and they are better people for it. Even opinions that you held a few months ago can totally change, as long as you have valid reasoning for it.

It’s amazing how many people try and live their lives, and base everything they believe in around a specific label. Whether it’s political with conservatives and liberals, or religious with christians and muslims, or artist and designers with different styles such as modernists or futurists. In my mind, it’s almost impossible to adhere everything in your life to this label. Eventually, somehow or someway, you will encounter a contradiction. One belief will clash with another. But this doesn’t disqualify those beliefs.

In fact, I think if you do have beliefs that don’t necessarily agree with one another, you are a more interesting person in my book. The graphic designer Jan Tschihold spent most of his career as a fierce advocate of the New Typography, which meant clean sans-serif fonts to increase legibility, abolishing traditional serif fonts. And yet, near the end of his career, Tschihold designed Sabon, a classic serif font. Does this tarnish everything he worked for previous to this, or make him dishonest in some way? No at all. He recognized the room for traditional serif fonts in design, and accepted it.

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