👓 The worst design of 2016 was also the most effective | Duncan Stephen

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The worst design of 2016 was also the most effective ‚ÄĒ Diana Budds, Fast Company

Why Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again hat, was a wildly successful design, despite being reviled by gatekeepers of good-taste design.

The ‚Äúundesigned‚ÄĚ hat represented this everyman sensibility, while Hillary [Clinton]‚Äôs high-design branding ‚ÄĒ which was disciplined, systematic, and well-executed ‚ÄĒ embodied the establishment narrative that Trump railed against and that Middle America felt had failed them. ‚ÄúThe DIY nature of the hat embodies the wares of a ‚Äėself-made man‚Äô and intentionally distances itself from well-established and unassailable high-design brand systems of Hillary and Obama,‚ÄĚ Young says. ‚ÄúTasteful design becomes suspect‚Ķ The trucker cap is as American as apple pie and baseball.‚ÄĚ

This reminds me of the story that¬†the most ‚Äútasteful‚ÄĚ office spaces are less productive. When given a clean-looking office cubicle, people fill it with garden gnomes.

I don‚Äôt agree with the article‚Äôs premise that this challenges the idea of design thinking. Surely it means that Hillary Clinton‚Äôs designers simply didn‚Äôt do a good enough job at it (because nice typefaces ‚Ȇ design thinking).

But this does provide a challenge to the received wisdom of what good design is, and whether tasteful design is desirable.

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