In the book Designers are Wankers, author Lee McCormack interviews graphic designer Neville Brody, founder of London-based Research Studios, about challenging convention.
Then I started to realize quite clearly that social rules, specifically graphic design rules, were irrelevant. They were created by different people for different societies at a different time to solve different problems. We were still being taught that this is the way we had to do it. It led me to thinking that anything was fair game, anything was challengeable.
Brody gives an example of how page numbers are used as the traditional scale to indicate progress through a book. However, it is only tradition as anything can be used that progresses – a color flowing to another color or a shape changing form. Before you follow the rules, ask yourself if they serve a purpose or are based solely on tradition. Brody concludes, “once you start thinking like that, you can tear everything apart.”
You can read the entire interview here.