Sunday, 26 March 2017

Things I Hate: Designing for nobody

In my eyes, design is something initiated by a problem—design itself being a solution. It drives me nuts when I see things created for nobody, no reason, effectively no problem.



There seems to be a big culture of designing for nobody spinning around the outer layers of the industry, the 'pre-made logo' sales being the sore thumb sticking up towards me. As I line up my hammer to bluntly extinguish the existence of this metaphorical meat prosthetic, I can see in it's sweaty reflection how it's cheapening the industry—allowing the general public to believe that design is a space to simply facilitate their identity through convenience rather than the problem solving task it really is.

Come get your 90's .com logos, only $400!

Above displayed is a poisonous leech, misleading people to believe that they could just buy design as an item rather than a creative process, it's design's answer to the worn in the entrance to the Labyrinth. Ironically if you look at the prices of this small snippet of generic icons, you'll see for the most part a student could be happily paid half these prices to produce something much better. 

Though I cannot find the quote I believe a big cheese designer once said something along the lines of "Bad design costs more than good design"; which seems rather poignant here. For these look nice(ish) but they are bad design not because of their aesthetics but instead because of their poor suitability, their irrelevance to the actual brand—they were made for nobody, so work for nobody.


It's not just a small isolated problem of one or two websites selling the utopian ideal of buying the perfect logo—I find social media to be full of these annoying bloody things.
See above; it's a juicy stake of what every lazy corporate business person desires. It looks modern, minimal and it's animated; how could you ever be so lucky! 

"I get this logo and place it on my website this afternoon, just above my heavily copy-written 'company mantra', that'd be great!"

"Wait a minute, it's for sale. I can just spend money and now I've got the perfect logo. Wow isn't design great—those agencies are such rip-off merchants. I've saved so much money!"


Though it's a rife problem, as always there are exceptions to the rule—let me introduce you to Logo Pizza. A studio poking fun at the pre-made model but all the while making it a profitable experiment.
Logo pizza was a self initiated project from Metafizzy in which 50 pre-made logo were up for sale, though as one sold the price of the next logo would be $20 more expensive; meaning the faster you snapped one up, the cheaper it would be. Now, after a couple months of existence, it's developed a stalemate at a sizable $820 per logo—which isn't too bad for a little side project.


At the end of the day, I'll still rest my head on the pillow with a seething hatred for the 'pre-made' design culture—I imagine it's the same cheapening factor that fans of Slayer feel when they see a hoodie in Topshop, but it doesn't distract from the fact in both cases, they are very profitable for the humans who have consciouses in a different disposition.

Designing for nobody, I hate you; you can do it sort of right but it still doesn't make any sense to me. You are the lazy-man's branding solution and you are the punching bag of trends, clich├ęs and irrelevance alike. I hope you're proud of yourself.

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