For years we have said that clients invariably get the work they deserve. The more effort they put into getting the brief right, the better the work is at the end of the process. Great design doesn’t happen by accident, it takes time, work, training, skill and experience.
It may have only taken me a few minutes to do this particular piece of work, but it took me twenty tears to learn how to do it in a few minutes.
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about a brilliant new t-shirt that had written on the front ‘Graphic designers are full of shit’. I did temper this by saying that I felt it only applied to some of them.
Well, at a star-studded awards presentation on July 8th, the leading magazine for our industry Design Week seems to be trying to prove my point to be just a little bit accurate.
They are showcasing the work of Nottingham Trent University graduate Ruth Ashton who has won the New Designers One Year On award with a ridiculous piece of art.
I asked everyone in our own studio what they thought and it ranged from ‘not my cup of tea’ at the most flattering end, to it being ‘utter shite’ at the other.
I haven’t seen all of Ruth’s work, so it is perhaps unfair of me to comment, but judging by this embroidered penis dragon with wings that allegedly hurts, I’m not sure where the design industry is going. More to the point, I’m worried if this is the type of work our industry elders are judging as the best of the best.
The prize was awarded by the former rector of the Royal College of Art, Professor Sir Christopher Frayling. This is the real problem, we are confusing design with art.
Design for me is work with a potentially commercial purpose to meet and hopefully exceed a brief. Art is an expression of one’s self or of one’s art and never the twain shall meet.