Nothing is new under the sun

Historian Will Durant wrote, “Nothing is new except arrangement.” Do you believe this to be true? Is nothing really new under the sun? Is every designer just stealing and hiding their sources (as great designers do).

In 1759, Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote, “The trade of advertising is now so near to perfection that it is not easy to propose any improvement.”

Inspiration for this post from the great book “Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This.” Which is no doubt, my favorite book on advertising copywriting. It’s really cheap at Amazon, too. I suggest you buy a copy and share with your friends.

7 responses to “Nothing is new under the sun”

  1. I totally agree. To an extent. There are new implementation of ideas. But i dont believe that anything is completely original when it comes to design. Even if it is completely original to you, someone else has done something similar elsewhere. And if they haven’t done it they have thought of it.

    It could be depressing if you dwelled on it. I choose to just be content dishing out the work that i do. I find joy in the fact that its MY creation. Like building a doghouse. There are lots of doghouses but the sense of accomplishment when fnishing yours is what makes it worthwhile.

  2. I wonder if anyone can pinpoint the exact moment in time when nothing new was created and everything hence was just a new implementation of something already in existence.

    I mean, there had to be some point where absolutely everything was orignal — right?

  3. I disagree. It may not happen regularly, but there are innovators out there. Take the Absolut vodka ads, for example. At some point the first Absolut ad with the bottle in the shape of some cool landmark was created, and that was new. And I don’t buy that that was just re-arrangement. It was new thinking and new imagery. I’m not coming up with tons of examples at the moment, but they’re out there. Novelty happens.

  4. Define “new idea”.

    Can we independently form a concept without any prior input, or are we nothing more than complex input/output devices controlled by the eddies of chance?

    I think that new *discoveries* happen every day. Give the same real-life problem to 100 different people and each person produces a different solution, based upon their life experience and their knowledge.

    Each one of the solutions might accomplish the task and some might do it better than others. But they are all original and “new” ideas.

    Once we’ve discovered how to cure every disease, live forever, manipulate gravity, map the entire surface of every planet in the universe, and solve the problem of entropy… Well, maybe then we can start blabbing about having discovered everything…

  5. No I am not going to be able to make it to Creative Connect. I was planning on it and I just came home to get ready to leave and found that my wife is feeling quite under the weather (to put it mildly) and so I have to stay home tonight and baby her and watch the child.

    I actually really want to go but I will have to wait for next time.

    If you still go have a good time.

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