What Have You Seen of the Shadow World?

The Design of Shadows

In any journey, the question is never just
what is on the surface,
but what lies behind and beneath.
It’s never about what you see in clarity alone,
but what lies behind the Light.

And what
the Light offers in its long cast —
is another marking of itself:
the shadow.

Certainty is never assured in anything; everything is changing, all the time. Brands move, undulate, flex and shift as they must.
As a designer, when I’m working on a design project, or a photo shoot, or perhaps a story, a piece of writing,
I watch for the Light, the bright side of things — the glowing, the renewal, the rejuvenating.
Yet I know, behind the Light there is a shadow.

The Design of Shadows

Behind everything, there is a shadow, a reflection, a movement that is past the Light, it’s the substrate, it’s the mystery, it’s the hidden side of things, the prismatic index, the marvel-making mystery — the soulful spirit of things.

The Design of Shadows

In studying the design of anything, it’s never about the obvious, it’s about what lies behind,
just passed,
beyond and inside the Light.
Design is clearly emotional, certainly —
but there is thinking.
There is a feeling way
to thinking through
the signing of design,
the signature of experience-made.
The Design of Shadows
But in the end, to evaluate any degree of design, in strategy, emotional response holds sway. Design thoughtfulness is relevant and pointed as a conclusion — but the sway
will be the feeling of wow.
Objectivism is one index of formal study —
but the power of beauty, in spectacle,
doesn’t hold up well in
the construct of objective analyses,
it’s more about “how does it feel?”
Feeling is at the heart of emotional intelligence.

Thinking through emotional intelligence isn’t only about how we treat people, but how we think through the journey of thoughtful engagement and appreciative framing of understanding. Understanding, as a word, is more about inner standing — how closely we stand in; in our link to our community, the relating and the carrying through of ideas and notations of living, our relationships will be about that —
how well do we

share our knowing
with others.
That means, in the context of designing well,
we must inter-stand, inner-stand,
our emotional sphere should be open wide to listening, leaning-in to absorb more, acknowledging well and seeing not only that which is on the surface but that which lies with-in, beneath, behind, below and beyond.

In decades of design work – passing now four of them —
I’ve seen a lot.
I’ve seen science,
I’ve seen art,
I’ve seen stories,
I’ve seen thoughtless promotions
and mindless, soul-less enterprises;
and I’ve stood close to beauty,
holistic artfulness,
robustly integrated and wondrous ideas
about how to do the busy-ness of business.
Seeing that, sensing cultures
one learns how to see-in deeper.
There you can find the truth.

The Design of Shadows

What’s right?
And what can be righted,
and what writ can come of it?
To that exploration, you — anyone — must know
the Light field — luminous strategies,
and the shadow world, the realm beneath and behind —
and so too: the Light world that creates it.

The Design of Shadows

To any social media strategy, the character will be what is true, and the light at the center of that story, and what shadow lingers behind the metaphor of objects, archetypes that emerge in the review and study of these realms.

Grow up, go in, deep.