Many years ago I very nearly did a Maths A level.
I used to love Maths. I was even in the A stream at school. Then late one night in a dark bedroom (I had black ash furniture) I was doing some GCSE maths homework. I had a bit of a moment and I promised myself as soon as I'd finished the compulsory curriculum maths I'd never do any more. That was the A level out the window.
I loved maths because the idea of it was so easy. I don't mean that I'm some Beautiful Mind style genius, what I mean is that it's all just variations of 1+1=2, right? Each and every sum has a definite answer and all you've got to do is find it. Actually, you don't even have to do that, all you have to do is construct the answer using the tools you've been given, + and - and x etc. That easy.
Easy compared to staring at a blank piece of paper every day.
In the design industry you have to come up with totally new concepts, sometimes every day, sometimes three or four a day. Inventing new things - that's hard.
My ex boss had a husband who was Head of Maths at Kings College. Every couple of years he flew out to some conference somewhere and a load of mathematicians worked on solving the world's hardest sum. They had been working on this sum for years. The hardest sum in the world? It can't be that hard, surely? A whole clutch of very clever mathematicians are a lot better at maths than me. So if they think it was a hard sum, then it was obviously a hard sum.
The other day Matt informed me that each sum doesn't have a definite answer, they discovered that in the 30's. So I've accepted that maths is harder than I first thought and now I'll get to the point of this post.
It surprises me how often you use maths in design.
I was hanging some picture frames. So naturally I did a layout in InDesign first. I used maths to work out the spacing for those pictures.
I'm sure there are loads of big heavy books on Design and Maths, but I don't really mean that. I just mean the simple stuff. Working out 6 columns, making 12 indentations in a path and so on. You use maths all the time.
All these pictures are of little scribbles or notes that I've made when I've been designing this week. Loads of maths. Maybe I should have done that Maths A level after all.