Silence in design makes sense sometimes.
So when I make a chart for a federal client’s report, it’s not me speaking. So most likely, I should not be seen in the design. In these instances you would not recognize my work. It’s just clean and minimalist with colors based on the project.
But there are also many times where I am purposefully visible throughout my design. That doesn’t stop it from being design, from having a purpose or from being effective.
In a digital world where our personalities are masked by long distances and a screen, a style is a signature. And a signature is not only about taking credit, it’s also about taking responsibility and presenting yourself as a human being. Not some invisible data visualization machine.
In other words, I don’t agree with Stephen Few.
From Stephen Few’s blog post: Design vs. Art
The product of our efforts should show no visible sign of ourselves, though it is born of our imagination. Perhaps this is a fundamental difference between art and design: the former an act of self-expression, often beautiful; the latter an act of integration and resolution, no less beautiful, but assessed differently. As designers, we speak in silence, but our voices, though anonymous whispers, are no less heard. Silently, we change the world.