Don’t be too quick to dismiss red top designs

In response to Mike Dempsey’s letter regarding red tops (DW 8 May), I would like to take issue with his dismissal of their visual revamp being labelled ‘design’.

I personally do not read the red tops, and I am not attracted by their style of reportage. However, all of us in the design industry are required to conceive design which is appropriate for its purpose and appeals to the target audience that a particular client is trying to reach – whether we consider this to be ‘good’ design or not.

Love them or loathe them, there are people out there who you may consider to be ‘the lowest common denominator’, and they have the same right to make choices as you and me.

Design and branding have long been associated with advertising, and for an equally long time there has been an ethical debate over the use of clever design to sell products or services that may or may not truly be of benefit to the public.

The upshot is that we must all make a personal moral choice when deciding whether to take on clients from within certain industries, but beyond that I don’t think there is any right or wrong path.

For example, it is clear that not all British designers have boycotted the Olympic Games, but surely there are more serious political issues surrounding the events in Beijing than there are the red tops.

Adriaan van Marle, Creative director, Brilliant, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire CM21 9QA

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