Chapter 6. When Aesthetics Aren’t Attractive

TO BE CLEAR, I love beautiful things. And I love the idea that a skilled designer can make the world a more beautiful place, one ligature or pleasing color palette at a time. But I need to clarify something.

Up until this point, I’ve used the words aesthetics and attractiveness interchangeably. However, aesthetics encompass more than just beauty or any of beauty’s siblings: good, pleasant, pretty, or nice. Recall that aesthetics are concerned with how we perceive and interpret the world through our senses. In this regard, aesthetics are as much about our response to a beautiful woman as our response to an ugly duckling. Aesthetics are concerned with those things that elicit a response, even if that ...

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