Monday, 11 October 2010
Emerge 2010 poster
'Emerge', in its second year as part of the London Design Festival, is a 'showcase' of design students handpicked by Pentagram's Dominic Lippa. The resulting posters will be displayed in East London tube stations. What at first sight seems like a great idea, quickly and most unfortunately, loses its way.
Presuming that I have had the correct information on the 'brief' – 'using only Pantone colours 485 and 361 they were to design a poster based on one of the letters or numbers E m e r g e 2 0 1 0.' – this was a missed opportunity, especially it being for recent design graduates.
The above is not really a brief at all. It means the practitioners need think little or nothing of context, audience, purpose or indeed the history of type and typography.
Of course this is not their fault! But for someone of the stature and experience of Dominic Lippa we might have expected better. Free reign is one thing but this is quite another.
It could have been much more of a challenge for both the practitioner and the audience if the poster project played a part in illuminating the design process, instead we are left with mere decoration.
Modernist architect and designer Adolf Loos – author of 'decoration is a crime' – would be spinning in his grave...