Thursday, 14 June 2007

In defence of design

Working at the edge of the design world - actually at the artisan end in pre-press - the whole 2012 Olympics logo business makes me cringe.

Let's face it the logo is crap. We set the task for some of our apprentice artworkers to see what they could come up with in an afternoon; and their results were all better.

I know that it's supposed to be considered not just as a static printed logo but also in dynamic multi-media form. I also know that the marketing brief, which specifically excluded emphasis on sport or London (?!?), was probably the main culprit in the fiasco. But it's still crap.

We're probably going to have to live with if for five years which is bad enough, but even worse the logo undermines the already fragile status of the public view of the design industry.

This was summed up in the business press when some city-type spoke about 'easy money again for the men who don't wear ties'.

I'm not going to defend the £400k fee, but as wasted money goes this is a drop in the ocean against the Iraq war, bonuses for city fat cats, or cronies in quangos. Even worse, there is the implication that design is really just poncey bollocks that anybody can do.

I know that on a scale of usefulness to society, designers come considerably behind doctors, nurses, fire-fighters, teachers, and social workers, but I would also say considerably ahead of futures traders, private equity consultants , tax advisers and corporate lawyers.

Designers can be guilty of the kind of appalling pretentiousness and bollock-speak that graces pseuds-corner ;although a lot of that comes more from the marketeers and brand strategy consultants than it does from actual designers.

But there's no getting around the fact that unless you live in a wilderness somewhere, every bit of your environment for better or worse, is made up of the work of designers.

And for this reason alone, we don't need to take any shit from city-suits.

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