On Boxing Day 2009, an article appeared in The Times newspaper about public-sector spending on design. In it, the Conservative MP Greg Hands said that modern software packages make it possible for ‘anyone with an average brain’ to create work as good as, if not better than, that of trained designers.
The article makes valid points that reflect badly on our industry, but design is not wholly to blame.
The real issue is the preoccupation of the public sector becoming part of the ‘brandscape’ – why, for example, does ‘60 years of the NHS’ need a logo? – and whether those entrusted to commission design really understand where and when it is required.
To produce relevant, outstanding work that engages the public, we need visually literate people capable of commissioning the appropriate design consultants for the job.
Modern graphic design software packages do not generate good design – talented designers do.
Mason Wells, Partner, Bibliothèque, by e-mail