Monday, August 21, 2006

An important idea has been discussed at the excellent design blog ideasonideas, and it's one that doesn't just apply to those working in the commercial art world. (Also articulated far better than I could have managed).
When designers speak of “bad design”, they are generally referring to visual treatments which are displeasing, the haphazard output of a poorly trained designer, or at most, design solutions which simply do not work. By design that “doesn’t work”, I mean to imply: design with messages that do not reach the viewer, and products that do not function as intended.

Most designers who refer to “bad clients” are referencing those who are bullies, heavy-handed, or simply unaware, yet unwilling to trust in the insights of professionals. Sure, we call them bad, but this is a misnomer. Overwhelmingly, we mean that they are difficult to work with, or that the designer/client experience was less than pleasurable.

If we accept that our general barometer for “bad” is primarily superficial and personal in nature – as it is in the above examples – it leads us to consider that which truly is bad. I ask whether we should redefine bad design as: work that causes harm or helps support the efforts of clients who do damaging things.

And today's Writer and the Monkey:

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