With regard to Pamela Buxton’s piece on design clichÃ©s (DW 7 March), creativity and originality don’t always move hand in hand. A few designers managed to make them synonymous; maybe every designer does once in a lifetime. But most of the time, for most of our clients, we’re really being paid to get a message across. Imagination and flair yes – creativity? Well maybe, sometimes.
And in an age where you listen to the radio via your computer, send text messages through your telephone, fly across the world at the speed of a bullet and load movies into the slot where the CDs used to go – something’s got to give, if we are to understand each other.
‘International’ images of people shaking hands neatly presented in metallic duo tones and a PhotoShop blur do have a value. Because they are clichÃ©s.
They, along with many of the many other ‘clichÃ©s’, help signpost the Spanish-speaking businessman to the city in Mandarin-speaking Asia, where he can get his microwaves built.
ClichÃ©s help the Russian speaking shopper, browsing a mall in downtown Los Angeles work out if the premium English brand aerosol is deodorant or fabric freshener.
Personally, I always buy the cat food that features the cat most resembling mine.
OK, so this doesn’t mean designers have to present all the clichÃ©s in exactly the same way time after time. Isn’t that where imagination comes in to save us all from mediocrity.
Symbols, visual language, icons, style clues, idioms, messages – dare I add clichÃ©s – aren’t they the lifeblood of our profession?