The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

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The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

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Some friends of mine decided to get married last year and all the various tasks associated with organising a wedding were laid before them. Jonathan Smith, who is the groom to be, has had an interest in various kinds of computer geekery including computer programming from an early age! playing on the family BBC microcomputer back in the mid eighties.

To solve the challenge of inviting the various guests coming to the wedding, we decided to approach this job slightly differently to the usual hand crafted, paper invites with all the trimmings like confetti, pretty, colourful beads or foil blocking, nice as these objects usually are.

A Wedding Website

Jonny has programmed extensively in his career as a scientist, creating web site applications that can read and write to databases.

He decided to create an email to each potential wedding guest and then generate a unique link to the wedding website within the body of the email. When the link was visited, the user would therefore be taken to and presented with a personalised website. Their name would feature on the front landing page of the wedding website and any information harvested from the site would be associated with them.

Building on past knowledge

The information that the guest could add to the RSVP form on the front page included whether they would be able to attend, if they would require parking at the church and whether there was any special dietary requirements. All these bits of info were collected in a database that could be read by a spreadsheet programme. Naomi, the bride to be was given the task of monitoring the incoming invites!

Marrying up some skills

In my career as a graphic designer, I have encountered many people like Jonny Smith who have dabbled with computer graphics, have pretty good taste and know what they like in terms of style, tone of voice and layout when they see it but haven’t built up the necessary skills in layout, typography and handling the creative process. These are skills that can only be learned through plenty of practice, trial and error. When the policeman was asked by a tourist, how to get to Carnegie Hall, he replied, “practice”.

I was happy to help Jonny build the front end for this website since his programming skills (which I am still learning from) have been very helpful to me in past projects. After the successful conclusion of a fairly long session of front end designing and coding with Jonny contributing, Jonny mentioned a well known phrase, “The Whole is Greater Than The Sum of the Parts” which I since found out was supposed to have been spoken by Aristotle, the Greek philospher.

Solving problems within teams

No one person can know everything and in my steep learning curve of figuring out how to create responsive websites run by WordPress, its clear that we need to lean on others. There is so much to know. Good practices in web design can become ancient very quickly.

People need others around them to bring complex ideas to reality. A fresh brain on the problem and a basically decent bunch of like minded people who you can talk straight with will really pay dividends in the realm of digital web development or any working environment really. People with varying skills will be needed to build a complex, bespoke web application that not only looks really professional and polished but has all the functionality working as it should behind the scenes. Individuals who can do many of the jobs associated with web development by themselves usually owe a great deal to the hard work of others when they do a search on the internet to solve a problem they have encountered or if they need to phone a friend!

Graphic designers use all kinds of suppliers, contacts and resources to get things done. If you need the services of a well rounded, graphic design and digital design professional with the ability to integrate and adapt with existing teams, then please get in touch.

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