We don’t like to think of ourselves as ugly ducklings; no one’s ever called us one to our face, at any rate.
We’re also keen to assert that the websites and apps we design boast beautiful plumage. No, really: no feathers, either stubby or brown, find their way out of our office.
But the other day, we confess, something did find its way in to our design studio: and, happily, it was no ugly ducking … but a glorious swan.
You can picture the scene: we were all hard at work, engrossed in our screens and working every second to produce high-quality work for our clients (OK, one of us was making coffee for everyone else *but still*) … and there came a honk. A sort of strangled quack. You could almost call it a swan-call. Because that’s what it was.
Like finding a hero image in the bottom quadrant of a webpage, something was wrong here. And at first, the human brain struggling with novelty as it does, we sort of didn’t understand what was happening. Because there was a swan. In our studio.
In reality, this isn’t that weird. We’re situated right next to the canal, and swans are known to enjoy bodies of water; it’s pretty hot at the moment, and no one is acting quite right; and, we are told by our swan-fancying friends, it’s around the right time of year for younger swans to be on the prowl.
But you still don’t expect one to be parking next to your Macbook Pro.
Fortunately, one or two of us were aware that it is a total myth that swans can break a human’s arm or leg with a flip of their wing. Although they can be quite defensive around their nests of their young, swans tend not to be overly vicious – and our current visitor was certainly confused.
Some gentle ushering out of the office was easily enough achieved, and we closed the door to prevent further ingress. The swan, however, didn’t leave. It just sat outside the door, as if it had rather liked our company.
We considered adopting it as the office pet, but it eventually chose to leave. By that time, though, we’d grown sort of fond of it. One or two of us were left with empty nest syndrome after it ultimately went on its way. You learn to love these animals over a lunch hour.
Now, at this point we should close with a wry comment about how, in design, everything should be in its proper place; or that, in mythology, the swan is a symbol of the sort of beauty and grace we strive to achieve in our work every day.
But honestly? This is a blog literally about the swan that came to stay. We just wanted to share that. We’ll offer our top tips for the best WordPress widgets or something next time. For now, we’re watching the skies (and the canals) …
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