I’m fascinated by words. Word origins and derivations reveal an essential meaning often missed in common usage.
Take the word design.
I love design. What it is, how it is done, what it produces, and what it contributes. As a designer, the origins of the words design and designer tell me who I am.
Design first appeared as an English verb in the 1540s from Latin designare – meaning to designate, devise, appoint. The Latin designare is a mashup of signare “to mark” with the prefix de, meaning “out.” Mark out.
Why did we only get a word for the way we create the world 500 years ago, when we’ve been doing it since the beginning of time. What does design have to do with designation and marking out? [Read more…]