This series of blog posts about KNOLLING is dedicated to Andrew Kromelow who coined the term ‘knolling’ in 1987 and to Tom Sachs who expanded on the concept of knolling to ‘Always Be Knolling’.
BLOG POSTS REVIEW
My first blog post about knolling was entitled, KNOLLING: Organizational or Graphic Design Layout and Product Branding System?
My second blog post on this topic was about exploring knolling as a practical organizing solution. I sought to answer the question KNOLLING: Can It Help Organize My Vintage Jewelry Collection? The second blog post essential showed that it could.
In reflecting on the points which are detailed in my second blog post and summarized below, I concluded that I had a grasp on knolling and that I had created organizational templates using materials at hand to knoll. My solutions are working very well for my bracelets, decorative pins, earrings, purses and shoe box collections. Where it has not worked as well is due to a lack of space and the proper materials to lay out all my hats. But the system of knolling itself has held up to every one of my challenges. In retrospect, ‘Always Be Knolling’ is a great approach to facing my challenges of organizing my favorite personal items for quick, methodical access.
THE CHALLENGE AND THE SOLUTION
To summarize, my challenge had been to see if knolling, as coined by Andrew Kromelow and defined by Wikipedia, worked. The steps I took worked. They were:
• to design templates with materials on hand that could organize my vintage accessories collections
• to determine if knolling using these templates could solve my fashion accessories challenge by making my collections easily accessible to select what to wear
I feel it is safe to say that it worked. What do you think from observing the photos, or ‘flat lay photographs’ I took to share the results?
KNOLLING, SOCIAL MEDIA AND FLAT LAY PHOTOGRAPHY aka FLAT LAYS
One question remained. Where did ‘flat lay photography’ which came to be known as ‘flatlays’ in the social media world fit into knolling? My next step was:
• to confirm what Andrew Kromelow’s meaning was when he coined the term knolling
• to determine if knolling had other practical uses pre or post Andrew Kromelow’s coining the phrase and to ‘Always Be Knolling’ (ABK), as Tom Sachs suggested
• to find out if ‘flat lay photography’ which came to be known as ‘flat lays’ enhanced knolling the way I had come to understand and use it
ANDREW KROMELOW’S DEFINITION
Andrew confirmed that his coining of the term, knolling was directly attributed to the clean, simple parallel and perpendicular designs of Florence Knoll’s furniture designs. But he added that knolling was a system used for years, as an example, in a medical operating room and other areas where the lay out of tools could make a difference between life and death.
Before moving onto social media and knolling, I would like to provide a few samples of both present day and historical uses of what knolling was coined as, an organizational system. To emphasize, it could even mean the difference between life and death. This concept was emphasized by Andrew Kromelow.
SOCIAL MEDIA TAKES ON KNOLLING
Let’s examine what social media has done with knolling by examining the following samples.
PINTERESTKnolling on Pinterest
TUMBLRTumblr: Things Organized Neatly
BLOG POSTS ABOUT KNOLLING
What Is Knolling? The Overhead Photography Trend Explained
How To Become A Pro At Knolling
Knolling is a technical, even scientific systemization that has a specific dynamic function. On the other hand, unless they are a record of a knolled exercise, flatlays are a static, artistic event that is meant to be pleasing to the eye usually as a commercial tool. These kind of flat lay photos have become very popular in the design layout and products marketing world. Such is the evolution of things.
What started out as a scientific system for ordering tools evolved into something pretty and commercial, in other words, an advertising/marketing tool. That is the nature of invention. It is not bad. One has the choice of using knolling for either or both purposes. In my opinion, the essential element is to remember knolling’s origins and its inventor. Then one can truly enjoy its metamorphosis without forgetting the inventor or limiting the invention.
RESOURCES AND SOURCES