Support your peers if you want to change perceptions

So what have we learned from the London 2012 Olympic identity bid? Apparently nothing.

So what have we learned from the London 2012 Olympic identity bid? Apparently nothing.

We persist with the standard small-minded deconstruction of the selected design and we moan about how the outside world doesn’t understand us and does not treat us with the respect we, the design industry, deserve.

I think that we continue to squint through the wrong end of the telescope. We will demonstrate the value of what we do when we all treat it valuably. Too often, when a large branding programme is unveiled, there is a tirade of criticism aimed at the logo. Often, our own spokespeople are prepared to take a public stand and joyfully condemn a piece of work. Think BA, BP, Monday and many more – work, which upon reflection was often at the vanguard of strategic thinking, but was nevertheless a target for the logo bashers.

I am all for constructive critical debate, but for too long the design industry has taken a masochistic pleasure in mindlessly knocking its own. Pause for a minute and think about the last time a scheme was actually celebrated by the industry.

Now think about the last time a project was clumsily criticised. Last week? The week before that?

I suggest we all contribute to a change in collective culture: if you have nothing positive to say, keep it to yourself, we are all good enough to recognise bad work when we see it.

If you see something good: afford some praise, who knows it might be infectious and somebody ‘out there’ may notice? Barbara Cassani maybe?

Peter Knapp

Executive creative director

Landor Associates

London EC1

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