With reference to your news item, Design Bridge drops Hooch fruit cartoons (DW 22 November), I was struck by the implication on the future of design by what I see as an increasingly degraded political culture in the UK today.
While we may congratulate Design Bridge for its opportunism as well as its design skills, alcopops are but one of many moral issues facing designers, and they are indicative of a broader problem that threatens the creative integrity of the industry. We are in danger of giving in to a design brief based on Nineties’ political moralism.
We may argue that it is not within the scope of design to challenge any given moral framework, but if designers are to operate under the banner of moralism, we can surely expect a dampening of professional creativity. If alcopops were the only example of this, then we could see the funny side, but increasingly within the design profession, new ideas and creativity are forced to operate within a framework that pays too much attention to irrational fears of the unknown and yields to an unhealthy obsession with exaggerated risk.
We have a responsibility to push against the tide of regulation, restriction and censorship that is gaining a wider hold on the design profession.
The premise that young people buy Hooch because it has cartoons on the label is absurd. Young people drink alcohol because they want to be adults, and in this instance they drink what is most palatable to their uninitiated tastebuds.