Design Is Not a Commodity

I was surprised to see a new article by Bradford – an experienced entrepreneur, and a designer by training: You’re a designer. Not the CEO.

There were some good points there but overall the piece felt rushed and irresponsible.

“…All humans understand design …It’s art. Art is for everyone. Design, too…”

A statement I agree with wholeheartedly, design is not reserved for designers. It’s a humanistic skill and way of thinking that is part of just about every profession.

“Trust. Trust is a designer’s best friend. And you earn it. You don’t just get it.“

Again –  incredibly true.

However, some of the other points go against a lot of the same humanistic values that Bradford mentioned.

If design is for everything – then it is not a thing / discipline, but rather a set of values, a vector for solving problems, which just doesn’t compute with:

“…You’re support staff just like the receptionist and the general counsel and the facilities manager…“

Highly cynical way of saying that a receptionist can solve problems around her work environment… I think the condensing tone is making it difficult to interpret if the writer thinks that designers values and critique benefit the business.

Design’s value system is one of its biggest benefits.

Art for commerce which now has a very measurable function through digital tools.

Critically learning, teaching and pushing the profession is what makes our cross–over industry so amazing.

Some of the other points that refer to personal style (“Grouchy designers, GO AWAY!”) are hard to relate to without sounding equally harsh.
A lot of young designers produce outstanding work, but have yet to reach the maturity to match their seniority. Valid point, but I doubt that this kind of tone is what going to change the situation.

Humble guidance could work better.


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Typographica Issue Nº 7

I have recently started working with The Lubalin Center – on reissues (newsprints for now, with posters being planned) – the space is free and open to the public (just get in touch here) – but I definitely find myself here more often,... Continue →