Sometimes I wonder if online design forums are good or bad. Or are they just like another small town city council meeting gone astray?
CreativePro ran a forum last week about the new logo for the arts and crafts store Michael’s (which replaced their very dated logo). It’s really just a display of the logos, a “what do you think?”, and 48 differing opinions on the logos, ranging from “Much better than the original, but still needs some work” to “Obviously proves my point made many times that design is totally dead.”
(I’ve been into Michaels more times than I’d like to admit, mostly due to children’s school projects, wife’s hobbies, and the Halloween and Christmas holidays, and I believe they need quite a bit more than a new logo. They need to hire more staff to help people figure out where the glitter glue and 8″ styrofoam balls are. But maybe I’m getting off track here…)
The problem is that I’m not sure I’ve seen anything productive come out of design forums. In fact, it flies in the face of what many Designers find is a problem with design today: You cannot design by committee. So when one person says the new logo is too feminine and then the next person says it is not, whose opinion is more trusted? I could say that the whole thing would look better in teal, but I’m not a Designer, per se. (I’d be more likely to say, “Hey, where’s the apostrophe?”)
What I love about the interactivity of the Web is usually more product based. Go to Amazon orTarget.com and you can find out what people who’ve bought the product really think about it. Is it flimsy? Is it powerful, but heavy? Amazon takes the whole rating to the next level by having users rate the raters and/or comment on a rater’s ratings, shows a bar graph of ratings, lists most recent ratings and shows the “most helpful favorable review” and “the most helpful critical review”.
All of which goes well beyond the “he said”, “she said”, scenario.
What I would’ve loved to see on this Michael’s logo debate is the discussion of five well-loved and respected Designers and hearing their likes and dislikes on each.
Doesn’t it just make more sense that if you hear an opinion about something difficult to judge as design, you’d want to hear an opinion from someone you respect?
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(And a hat tip to CreativePro, who really does an outstanding job of covering the creative field.)