[A]ll the UC logo dissenters remind us of how different designers are from regular people. Designers tend to overvalue differentiation and originality. We are taught this in design school. The best solutions are created ex nihilo, break new ground, resemble nothing else in the world. Everyone wants to stand out, or else what’s the point? But this isn’t true. Most people don’t want to stand out. They want to fit in. More precisely, they want to fit in with the people they like, or want to be like.
Nowadays, the passion of design educators seems to be technology; they fear that computer illiteracy will handicap their graduates. But it’s the broader kind of illiteracy that’s more profoundly troubling. Until educators find a way to expose their students to a meaningful range of culture, graduates will continue to speak in languages that only their classmates understand. And designers, more and more, will end up talking to themselves.
in”Why Designers Can’t Think,” essay # 2 of his excellent Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design
, now out in paperback. An added treat for design nerds – each essay in the book is set in a different typeface that plays on its subject.