We Stink at Marketing

I came across this article recently [actually on my own blog’s news feed]:

http://www.metropolismag.com/pov/20100721/design-without-designers#comments

Now, Roger Black is a renowned magazine guy/designer/re-designer/whatever. He’s made a lot of money. But his introduction of this media-template software must be something that graphic designers are having profanity-laced smoke breaks about.

To me, this looks like a sure fire way to monopolize the magazine industry. Even if the designs in the package are quality designs and good designers can customize them, where is there room for fresh ideas? Can you imagine a building form template which gets ‘customized’ site to site? Oh wait, thats the entire retail building sector in the entire U.S. already, my bad. You can now go virtually no more than 10 miles in any direction, and you can find the exact same 15 stores in the exact same building types! Woohoo! I love it when it no longer matters what town or city I am in because none of them have any identity or sense of place anymore!

Interior designers have long been battling against ‘designers’ who are ‘decorators’ who really just have a ‘good eye’ for things, or so their mother-in-law says. That eats away at the trained designer’s available client base.

Architects have to deal with mediocre residential architects selling their home plans to those Home Depot special magazines, eating away at that client base.

Graphic designers now have one of their own selling them out so that he can sell this template product?

We all have something that is putting our workload in serious jeopardy. Like a poster said in a comment on my first post,

“Until the general public (home and business owners, corporate CEO’s, institutional leaders, etc.) develop a voracious appetite for good architecture and public places, architects and other designers will only serve a minute part of the population.”

So how do we get the general public to want better design? Is it that we have just been poor at it lately, and haven’t shown enough examples of what good design is? A matter of economics? The general public doesn’t know that they know what good design is. We need to help them understand it.

Personally, I think we just stink at marketing.

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