To celebrate his 100th birthday, noted graphic designer Paul Rand’s 1947 book “Thoughts on Design” was re-released. While reading it, I was struck by this passage which could easily apply to web designers today:
Consciously or unconsciously, [the designer] analyzes, interprets, formulates. He is aware of the scientific and technological development in his own and kindred fields. He improvises, invents, or discovers new techniques and combinations.
When he wrote that, Rand was referring primarily to the field of print design, but I think this can easily be applied to any medium. Whether you’re working in oils, watercolors, video, print or the web, you’ll produce your Most Unexceptional work if you truly understand the medium.