Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hyperbolic Rant Series: Simple is overrated

Everybody just wants to “keep it simple.” Everyone says “Let's just do a simple design.” All designers think “simple” is always the best answer. It is usually assumed that among all solutions, the “simple” and “minimal” one is the best. Simple is a buzzword. Simple is a trend. Simple is a pretentious, elitist clique.

I am coming out and saying it right now—I hate simple. Simple is boring. Simple is a default. Simple kills ideas. If the simplicity bandwagon continues to pick up followers, every publication, website, graphic, product, piece of furniture, and article of clothing in the world will look exactly the same. Have you noticed that most graphic designers all like the same stuff? Ever noticed how the majority of creative types use and espouse the same brands of fashion, furniture, products, cars, music and clothing? Chances are all those German brands and designer items were designed by the same small group, which, coincidentally, espouses absolute simplicity for everything. It’s especially apparent at large conventions for designers, like AIGA events. I never feel so homogeneous as I do at a large gathering of graphic designers. Ever seen “THX 1138”? That's where we’re headed. Most of us already have the hair.

I knew we were pointed down a dead end when I saw the horrendous failure of industrial design and technology that was the Porche-designed LaCie Hard Drive (not to mention the Neil Poulton hard drive) There are only so many ways you can design a rectangle. Reductionist thinking is a finite path. When will the path come to a dead end?

Now, I’m not saying that “simple” is never the answer. It just might be the answer. But put a little thought into it! Consider all the options! Simplicity is not the only beauty. Let the revolution start today!

I'll stop now before they come barging through the door and take away my designer’s membership card (which has a very simple design, BTW.)

Oh, what's that?

Why yes, I am writing this post on my minimalistic MacBookPro, with an attached simple aluminum-case Apple Cinema Display, on top of a simple plywood-slab table with simple straight cylinder unfinished metal legs, which stands on the simple concrete floor, in my office with minimal white walls, while listening to minimalistic electronic ambient music. Just a disclaimer.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

For Shame

I was just reading that blog post I made four months ago wherein I resolved to start writing more often.
I should have known at the time that that would guarantee that the postings would come to a screeching halt. Actually, there were quite a few after that fateful “Piglet Boots” post, but then...
I have no excuses. But I've heard that a lot of people are starting to have blogs these days, and I figured I'd better be on the cutting edge of technology and keep this thing up, so I can be known as one of the first to have a blog.

Who needs the apocalypse when you've got football?

Last Monday, when the stock market had its near 800 point drop, and my bank, Washington Mutual, failed (the largest bank failure in the history of the USA—Woo Hoo™indeed!), I was pretty sure the world was coming to an end in the next two weeks. My brother came over to our house on Monday night to talk to us about preparing for a major possible future event, and getting our food storage stocked up. I thought briefly about buying a gun to fend off the starving , rabid hoodlums that would inevitably come to my window and try to steal my dry-pack oats. People are losing their retirements. It's bedlam!

That is why I get so wrapped up in college football. It's just fun! Mascots, national rankings, going to the stadium every other Saturday, screaming until you can't talk anymore; I much prefer all of these things to listening to the economic news and watching Sarah Palin call Barack Obama a terrorist's best friend. There are some things that you just shouldn't try to deal with or solve. It is much better to go to a large sporting event, surrounded by 64,000 people and listen to BYU's marching band play "Fire" by Jimmy Hendrix. (What the? Hendrix?)

Anyway, there is a simple answer. Don't buy a 7,500 sq foot home when you make $30,000 a year. You are going to be part of the problem when you forclose and the national economy fails. And to the banks, don't wonder what went wrong when all those thousands of unqualified people you gave loans to can't pay you back. Its YOUR fault! Woo Hoo!