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The following text appeared as the conclusion of my Master’s Thesis.

The goal I stated a the beginning of my Master’s Thesis was to see what impact feedback can have on design. So what is my conclusion? What did I learn? To my surprise, I didn’t learn as much from specific feedback as from the whole experience of getting feedback itself. Of course, the detailed feedback gave me evidence where my strengths (Information Design, content, layout) and weaknesses (colors, cover) are; but I guessed this before.

However, I learned something crucial: that design is subjective. That sounds too obvious to be the end statement for a Master’s Thesis – but I feel I learned a great deal while understanding this principle. I learned that there can be a whole world to discover if you go to another »circle of taste« than the one you’re used to. And that this new world is not more or less worth than what your old circle taught you.

I learned that it’s even more important than I thought to understand in which »circle of taste« the user of your design ist. That it is for example important to understand what design objects your user is exposed to in his or her cultural enviroment: He or she will have maybe other ideas about how design in general works based on what he or she knows.

I understood that opinions in design are extreme; far more extreme than I though there are. I learned to understand and appreciate these other opinions; these other designer and users outside of my »taste horizon«. I learned that, when one person or a group of people or all people in your enviroment tell you that your work is bad – then it’s not necessarily bad. Your work is just in the wrong »Circle of Taste«.

Basically, I learned: Eventually, somebody will like it. If you want to live out your desire for hypercomplex or hyperweird or hyperprovocative design, maybe less people will like. But these »less people« will be still enough to form a reasonable »Circle of Taste«. There will be a target group.

Has my horizon been so narrow before my Master’s Thesis that I didn’t understand this before? I would deny this. But I didn’t see the necessity of a wide range of graphic design. Now I do; now I understand designers at the extreme poles of every axis, may it be the axis between complexity and minimalism or between conservative and experimental design.

I learned to never ask this question again: »Who on earth will read this? Who will even like this?«