1 min read

Graphic Design: Criticism as a Spectator Sport

Not that long ago, were a company to change its packaging, no one would really care. These days, it can lead to protests and subsequent backpedalling by the company.

Michael Beirut notes how much things have changed in the world of graphic design. However, while this can validate designers’ work, it can conversely lead to an echo chamber of designers making mountains out of molehills (or a new logotype).

He also makes an important point about today’s outcry about logos being changed: a group of consumers may love a brand but have no say over the new logo. When faced with a rapid crowd, he suggests from experience that the best thing is to acknowledge that these people are the ambassador, and engage them rather than backpedal. (I hold one example of this as the London 2012 logo: while people hated it at its unveiling, the branding worked particularly well in context and especially for the volunteer uniforms).

Finally, I was heartened to see that the article on Design Observer had a healthy discussion going on in the comments. With the advent of Twitter and Facebook, it sometimes appears that the age of the great design discussions in the spirit of Speakup are over, but perhaps we’re not quite there yet.