This month: the way things look (and the way we look at things).
I’m sure we all like to think that we prize substance over style. Now and then, however, style does matter — in some cases, one might argue, style blurs the line with substance, or at least influences it.
An example? More than one awaits in this issue, as it turns out. One feature looks at the need to take the next step in CAD/BIM content from a PEX design standpoint. The design work is still the design work, but better modeling can make a practical difference well beyond sharply rendered imagery.
In a bit of serendipity, Howard McKew’s last-page column puts his own spin on the modeling for the hydraulic elements of a design. In particular, he lays out an interesting case for the ways a good CAD drawing can save time and effort, rippling through the entire process from original design through facility management — if the professionals along the way realize how to make the most of it.
The issue’s most prominent example of some recent design work, of course, is our own redesign. Anna Dorsey, the art director who joined us a few months ago, is rolling out our new look just in time for spring. The aesthetic retrofit touches just about every page of editorial, from the feature articles to the clean, refined look of our monthly columns. Illustrations, spacing, colors … we really like the fruits of her labor and we hope you will, too.
Our redesign does influence the substance, as well — I can tend toward the wordy side, as you may have noticed, but this redesign looks best when the lengths of headlines and subheadlines (we call them decks) lean toward being, well, lean. There’s also Shakespeare’s great line about brevity and wit, so I’ll shed a few words where I can. HVAC may not quite be Hamlet, but we do like to keep your experience streamlined.
THE TRUMP EFFECT
We didn’t have room last month to squeeze in more about my recent blog entry, reporting on press breakfast comments in Las Vegas by Mark Menzer, Danfoss’ Director of Public Affairs in North America. Find the ES Insights blog under the Columns tab on the homepage. Here’s a little sample.
“With the inauguration of President Trump, ‘uncharted territory’ seemed to be the most succinct phrase to sum up the outlook. Menzer was glad then-nominee Scott Pruitt had gone on record saying that climate change is real and that humans influence it. However, in recent days, the new EPA administrator has revealed that he does not believe CO2 contributes significantly to climate change and nor do humans.
“Regarding trade agreements, Trump made clear his disdain for deals like NAFTA during the campaign, and Menzer concurs that it needs changes, although ‘around the edges.’ Menzer also noted that the president has more leeway than one might expect when it comes to tariffs.”
Which reminds me of another old unattributed quotation floating around about leaders and their (wait for it) designs on the future: “Just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”
Until next month, thanks for reading, and drop me a note at email@example.com to tell us if you like the new look. ES
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