My wife does a bit of photography. She's really good at it, and she really enjoys it. She enjoys it so much that she can get caught up in the moment and forget to pay attention to all of the many details of the shot. There is nothing more frustrating to her than coming in from a shoot, rushing to the computer to take a look at her handy work, finding the "money shot" (as we call it) and discovering that though the lighting, framing and composition were perfect, the subject (somewhere along the way) had gone out of focus.
Out of focus has a very negative ring to it, but it's not always bad when things are out of focus. A lot of times it's a very good thing—when the right thing is in focus.
The office needed some new furniture, so Kristen and I went shopping. We tend to prefer the antiquated to the contemporary so we went to a couple of our favorite antique stores. That's when we saw it. A hot pink (like burn-your-retina-hot pink) chair with a vibrant pineapple carved into the back. And, guess what! It was part of a set—table and all! It was perhaps the most overwhelming thing I've ever seen in my entire life. But, was it bad design?
One lesson that every (successful) designer must learn is that you can't always be an artist (at least not in everything that you do). This is a lesson that I had to learn and one that Kristen is learning now. In recent days, she has designed some of the best logos I have ever seen. None of them was chosen by the clients. In one of the cases, we had to produce exactly what the client had dreamed up—little did he realize that his dream was our nightmare. This lead to an interesting discussion.