In recent years, I’ve been concerned I was out of touch. Well, that goes without saying. A common house-cat has more hip-ness than me. But I thought the new generation only cared about working collaboratively, denying the artifact, and deriding more seasoned designers. When I was in my twenties I loved going to a conference and meeting a hero like Milton Glaser. I was thrilled when I received a letter informing me that a book was selected for the AIGA 50 Book show. Over the last two years I’ve come to realize that young designers still care about these things. They want community, recognition, individual vision, and love the beauty of artifacts. I cannot express how happy this makes me. All the hogwash research that painted the next generation as mindless automatons blindly walking down a road of Borg assimilation is wrong.
Which segues, as usual for this blog, into a crazed left turn. This preview book for Walt Disney World is one of my cherished artifacts. I don’t love it because it is about the design of meetings or strategy or collaborative teamwork. I love it because it is wonderful. When can you combine teal, ochre, and baby blue? When people discuss the great American experiment, this is it. The freedom to design a booklet with completely wrong colors and make them work. For me, the WDW preview book is design in a nutshell. It serves a purpose, it creates excitement and joy, it promotes an idea and product, it does this is unexpected ways. It talks to me personally.
So this is my call to action. When you are told that individual vision is irrelevant, or recognition of individual is wrong, or the world no longer needs beauty or heroes, just say no. These are not true. Design can create wonder and joy. Individuals do this, not committees of fifty people.