Are pizza flyers good design? Don’t ask a design intellectual.

I would take issue with the idea that it is the role of the visually literate to impose their values on those they see as the visually illiterate. And I would question anyone who thinks that effective design, no matter how it looks, is not in some way good design. Design criticism, and design history, rarely enter TRW (the real world), preferring instead to inhabit a cozy province where everything looks lovely and no designer ever has to hear the dreaded words “That’s all very nice, but could you make the type a bit bigger and all capitals?” The fact that graphic designers have to make money and work for other people should no longer be our profession’s dirty little secret. And nor should the fact that graphic design is an essentially multilingual activity in which we should, must, be willing to use the same language as the people with whom we are communicating.

Ignoring the invisible visual communication around us, and the powerful effects it has, and looking down our noses at the 99% of designers who operate in that economy risks [our] producing a generation of designers who shun work they see as beneath them and insist on speaking a visual language only they understand. No wonder the vacuum is being filled with amateurs.

Design criticism: The biggest fraud since poststructuralism.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2013.07.07 10:20. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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