What Beer Can Teach Us About Design

This post is a guest post written by +Vail Joy, a professional writer, designer and developer with a vibrant background in music business, photography and social media. When she is not contributing her expertise to blogs and e-zines, she is writing for the free website builder, Wix.com. Check it out here.

Just bout everyone loves beer, but this post isn’t about the inevitable epiphany we all have whilst drunk or how our forefathers have used alcohol to drive the creative process. A nice chilled beer on a hot day is a recommended break from the daily grind, but I’m here to talk about critical thinking. Beer, of all things, does an excellent job of demonstrating how easily we miss important aspects of our work and the world around us.

Michael Davidson is a scientist at Florida State University in the United States. A few years ago he applied some critical thinking of his own to his work – molecular biology, and decided to take a look at some beer under an electron microscope. What he saw were completely unique and fascinating patterns emerging. When combined with color, a fascinating array of art was born. Let’s take a look at what Michael discovered and how we can apply these techniques to our own lives.

Nothing Is What It Seems
At first glance, this image appears to be something like a close-up of a flower, but it is a Belgian Lambic, magnified thousands of times. The greatest enemy to creative success is boredom with your environment. A fresh perspective doesn’t always require vacation or new and exciting places. Instead, try looking at things differently, closer, from a different angle. In design, this translates to trying new ways of combining color or texture, or putting a tilt on the safe and standard grid to liven up a layout with diagonal lines.

Belgian Lambic

Jamaincan Lager

It’s All About the Details 
We sometimes get so overwhelmed with the scope of a creative project that we forget the numerous parts that make it possible. Stepping back too far grants us a glorious view of the whole, but what of the details? Take pride in every pixel, cubit or iota of your creations by allowing yourself enough time to zoom in and criticize each curve, line and shadow. By adding miniscule touches such as texture and shading to an interface element or logo, your work attains a completely different level of completion and professionalism.

American Malt Liquor

Australian Pale Lager Raw Square

Inspiration Is Everywhere
This Irish Pale Lager and Belgian Tripel possess a remarkable resemblance to the geometric patterns and arrangements we’ve seen time and again in album covers and posters. Inspiration can go beyond the mundane limits of the subject matter you are given and extend to everything around you. The result is a completely personal work that only you could accomplish. The next time you are staring at your monitor in blank apprehension for the next idea to arise, begin asking questions of your tea, your mousepad, or the bee buzzing around the window. How do they work, what do they look like up close, and what feelings do the colors and textures invoke?

Irish Pale Lager

Belgian Tripel

Taking It All In
Websites like this one are an invaluable resource for daily inspiration, but hopefully this exercise helps you ignite the inspiration brewery already at work in your mind every day. Have any of your works been inspired by something unusual and unconventional? Share your story and link in the comments, we would love to hear about it!

For more photographs from Michael, visit his BevShots gallery.

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This post is written by a guest writer. We give everyone the opportunity to share their stories with us. In return they're allowed to place a little intro about themselves at the beginning of their post. These little pieces with information often contain some links with info about the writer and their works. If you're interested in writing for us, don't hesitate to contact us and we will see what we can do for you!

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