Color Correction is Worth 24hrs of Rendering, or, Comic Sans Is The Devil

There are things that I like to do: Play music, dabble in video, etc. There are other things that I don't care about at all: bow hunting, Chinese calligraphy, etc. It's very interesting to me that when I am doing what I love, I am incredibly picky about it; when I'm not, I'm not. I will spend literally 24hrs of computer resources because a video I am working on really could stand to be just a little bit brighter. It won't be perfect, but it will be darn close. When I built the fence in my backyard though, there were many things that were just good enough and I don't even care that I didn't go the extra mile (my father-in-law the carpenter could point out all the little things I didn't bother with from at least 30 feet away though). I notice this behavior in others too. Today the marketing team at work (who sit on the other side of the cubicle from me) were talking about choosing fonts. Immediately (as font discussions inevitably do) they started talking about the horrors of Comic Sans. The use of this font, ever, according to them, is tantamount to design suicide.

This phenomenon is interesting. The more knowledgable that we get in a certain field, the more detail oriented and flat out picky we get.  The blessing of learning a craft is that you get better at it: I'm a better musician that I was years ago, our marketing team are presumably better designers than when they started. The curse is that you see imperfections in the work of others and have less tolerance for them in your own work.

I think the worst part is the resistance that comes from those that don't know any better. I think people are trying to help when they tell you that "it looks great" "no one can tell" "that's not even that important." However, it's the little things, the things that no one but those that do the craft notice, that separate ok work from excellent work. I can't tell you exactly why top end Italian furniture is better than Ikea, but I can tell that it is. My non-musician friends can't tell me why a mid-level local musician working hard at his craft sounds better than a lazy beginner that can't bother to practice, but they can tell me that he does.

I've learned to hate Comic Sans because of the little bit I know about design. In areas that I don't know, I have learned to trust the opinions of those that do. Whether I can see the minor details or not, I know that paying attention to them will end in a better product. Besides, the computer isn't doing anything else all night long. It might as well be working for me.