The Geometry of Design Makes me Happy

A few weeks ago my colleague, Doug Avery recommended I check out a book that he recently read called the Geometry of Design. The book was incredibly interesting, illustrating how mathematics can enhance design and take it to a whole new level. A whole section of the book showed the geometric foundation behind the design of the Volkswagen Beetle.

Geometry of a Beetle

If you aren’t aware I had a very rocky but passionate obsession with the Volkswagen Beetle from 1986- 2007 and a very intimate relationship with one for about 9 years. Though the car  painfully fell apart one piece at a time, the design always managed to make me Happy. Every day I would walk out my front door and see that beetle and honest to truth (as my grandmother says), that damn car smiled at me. It was the happiest little vehicle in the world despite its laundry-list of mechanical problems. The bubbly round dashboard, the perfectly perky antenna, every inch of that car brought joy to my life.

Stefan Sagmeister does an amazing  Ted Talk about how Design can make you happy. He lists all the times in his life that he can remember design making him happy and in an exercise I decided to repeat for myself I realized more than 80% of my design related memories centered around joyful Volkswagen beetle experiences.

There are more memories than I can name here, but they ranged from staring down at dune a the beach to see that feisty little guy proudly dwarfed by a surfboard strapped to it, to the animated reactions of my high school friend’s faces lighting up the first time I turned on my interior lights to show them the violet blue dashboard controls (which in 1999 was very exciting).

Doug recently wrote a spectacular blog post where he shows how he took what he learned from the book Geometry of Design and used it on a recent logo design for Viget’s new Pointless Corp. The transformation from sketchy hunchback bear to refined geometric bear is inspiring… but what really struck me was the finished product. The final bear logo makes me happy in a way that is only comparable to the way my Volkswagen Beetle made me feel happy. You should check it out.

Doug Avery’s Pointless Corp Logo


  1. Doug Avery

    — February 8, 2009

  2. — February 9, 2009

  3. — March 8, 2009

  4. — March 27, 2009