Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

When Truth Hurts—or the long hand of "legal action"

August 30, 2008, 5:01 PM

The “well-dug-in-the-ground-reaching-for-help” Bruce

Illustrator Martijn Rijven wrote several weeks ago about his involvment in redrawing Akzo Nobel’s “Bruce” during the rebranding project started by Saffron and finished by Pentagram. It was a beautifuly-written article about ups and lows in the design process, about the final version proposed by Saffron and the final-final version approved by Akzo under Pentragram’s watch (probably a “design-by-comitee” solution) and its short-comings. A rare-to-read insight in the development of large rebranding projects.

Unfortunately, Akzo (or Pentagram, who knows) felt that the article was not the kind of PR their new logo needed so they brought in the big-mean-law-guns and forced Mr. Rijven to censor the article completely. It’s a real shame. I can understand commercial interests, hell, we are working with them in mind on daily basis, but freedom of speech and design ethics should not be trampled under feet. In the end, we’re graphic designers, it’s not like we’re saving lives every day, we just make people’s lives a bit easier and more pleasant—or, if you prefer the empty side of the glass, we just help sell things people don’t really need.

But I guess nothing else matters when big money is involved.
It’s the cold, chilling truth.



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