I’m not a big submachine gun person. But when I was given a brochure from the Nevada Pistol Academy, I had to think twice. I wasn’t torn between wanting a submachine gun or not. I couldn’t decide if the design was wonderful or horrible. It used to be so easy. In the 1950s, graphic design was good if it had Helvetica and a Swiss grid. Then the 1960s Fillmore posters and Herb Lubalin shook that all up. When the Cult of the Ugly thing happened in the 90s it was even more confusing. And now the Default Design Dutch-like work has everyone wondering if something is designed or not designed.
Is the Pistol Academy brochure the height of Default Design and irony? It uses naive system font typography, has white boxes on top of images with Japanese characters, and a Times Roman map. If a designer I respected made this would I love it and think the mix of centered and flush left copy was genius? It’s all quite confusing.
Let’s leave it this way: if you love default Dutchy design, this is a work of art. If you don’t, it’s undesigned and bad. Or you could stay somewhere in the middle and wake up at 3am wondering, “Is that Nevada Pistol Academy brochure delightful or disgusting?”