Speaking graphically, we are not amused

You recently ran a cover feature exhorting designers to entertain with “merriment or sarky visual quips” and an editorial calling for more humour in graphics (DW 24 March). Why so?

You wouldn’t wear a baseball cap with an arm coming out of the top holding a hammer, or a T-shirt saying “I’m with stupid” unless you wanted people to deduce, reasonably enough, that you were a tasteless twit.

So why should graphics be such an excellent place for obvious jokes and childish puns? Mother was right, it’s not big or clever.

The English design establishment spends so much time patting itself on the head for producing “nice little ideas” that it ignores intelligence and sophistication, or dismisses them as surface styling.

Does Grapus Group giggle over a logo, or Octavo howl over Helvetica? Did Brodovitch belly-laugh at layouts?

So Design Week may bemoan the fact that “so little wit shone through” at the Design Week Awards, but it cheers me that the winner, BBC Bristol Graphics’ work for Poems on the Box, is a gag-free hymn to elegant integrity.

Whatever next, a moratorium on friendly cartoon animals, whizz marks and visual puns?

Simon Carter

Creative director, Literature

Ingleton Thomas

London SW11

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