Archive for April 26th, 2007

More designer bullshit

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Design Week has a brief article (their articles are rarely long, seeing as how the entire magazine appears to be made up of gloating press releases from various companies puffing about something insubstantial, and very little actual analysis) about the long-awaited (like 25 years) rebranding of Morrisons supermarket.

Now even though I’m sort of anti-supermarket (‘sort of’ as in I am currently forced to use them but would gladly not if I had the choice – as someone said on TV last night, the coming Scottish parliamentary elections are pretty much moot as Tesco basically own the whole country) I do have a soft spot for Morrisons, it being the Yorkshire supermarket I grew up with and that for a long time was our smug regional secret.

Their old logo, though, was a bit oppressive. It looks more like a construction firm than a family-run supermarket:

And here’s the new one:

Well, it’s okay. I like it. Keeps a link with the old version while looking much more friendly. I’m not sure what else you can really do, to be honest.

But here’s an example of the sort of designer bullshit that I reckon is more to blame for clients dismissing designers and refusing to pay good money for the job than the usual culprit, the PC and cheap software:

Peter Knapp, creative director at design firm Landor Associates, says: ‘We used yellow in a very dramatic way. It is a colour that Morrisons has ownership of. Lots of people are trading heavily for green, but yellow is relevant. It signifies brightness and freshness’

What exactly is ‘dramatic’ about a yellow circle? It’s a yellow circle, for crying out loud. It was in the old logo too. It’s not dramatic, it’s just familiar. And ‘Lots of people are trading heavily for green’ – what does that mean?
You could have said something less arty, like ‘it suggests the sun’ or something but no, you have to say something that will make most people say ‘Dramatic? I could have done that’ and then laugh at whatever was charged.

Seriously, we need to stop talking gibberish when it comes to design. It’s a nice, clean and bright logo, but it sure ain’t ‘dramatic’. War footage is dramatic, Bush resigning would be dramatic, Shakespeare is dramatic but this… it’s just a logo.