Clear is better than cool, if cool is all you got.
I’ve gotten lost, plenty of times, in a sea of cool type treatments, aggressive tension and bold colour palettes. I’ve done layouts that I started at 10 in the morning, and snapped out of it around 1:30am, realizing that other than coffee …I’ve not left my desk – I was too into it. But, my most explosive creations, in which I pushed my work to new, weird places (often to see what was out there, what my limits were, or out of some strange, concentrated surge of inspiration), usually, or always, ended up on the office floor. Unused.
It’s important to try things – I do it all the time, and like my other post about taking your work to new levels, I also endorse it as an amazing learning tool and for creating opportunity. Just understand this following principle, as you proceed: if the communication isn’t clear to others, it’s just an exercise.
Graphic design’s FIRST, and PRIMARY reason for existing, is to clarify communication. The copy line, “Wednesday afternoon at 2pm. Bring your own lunch.” may not be a sexy design element to work with (though, that’s up to you to change that), it is absolutely imperative that your audience get’s the message, and it’s up to you to communicate it on your client’s behalf. Most people take advertising and design in stride. It’s serves the purpose of informing them where they can get their morning coffee – clever design …that’s a real distant second. The real magic, is when you can combine cool, with clear. If you only chase one dragon today, chase that one.