I was talking with a friend this past week and he asked me what I thought of a particular comic book artist. This artist does all of his rendering in the computer (bear with me, I’m getting there). What struck me in the moment was my immediate reaction of dislike to the piece without anything specific to say, and this brings me to my point this week (see, here it comes).
I believe as designers it is important to be able to articulate what we like or dislike about a piece. This skill not only helps us communicate with clients and other designers, but also allows us to learn. Last year I had a graphic narrative class where the professor consistently used the word “awesome” to describe a particular work he liked. I hated the class, thought the teacher was not very good, and came to hate the word “Awesome”, because nothing can be learned from such generalities as “Awesome” or any number of adjectives. One thing I value about talking with the friend mentioned above is that he does articulate his opinion of something and in doing so allows me to learn, or the very least understand, from his comments. If I can articulate a like or dislike of something, I stand a much better chance for learning how to improve my own work. For example, The UPS logo. I love Rand’s logo and despise what they did to it (see below). I know why I hate and can learn from articulating that dislike. The same goes for the AT&T logo redesign from Saul Bass’s creation, and finally, yes, I will admit it. I do not like the new Starbuck’s logo (There, I said it).