Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I recently saw this great short 'doc' that features a fantastic editorial rant by designer Aaron Draplin, a man with a real passion about signage in America. A lot of what he discusses in the video really resonated with me, but unfortunately, it's not limited to only the genre of roadside vernacular; it pretty much extends into about 90% of the more disposable consumer goods in the US. Of course, all of this seemed extra poignant while spending the previous week in (visual) Sin City, aka Las Vegas. The city is a disorienting visual nightmare/assault resulting in a groggy, ocular hangover. There are only a few of the classic signs (Frontier, above) remaining along the Strip these days, and there seems to be less and less neon (and more and more horribly animated LED screens). All of which proves to me that poorly-conceived animation is no substitute (or competition) for more straight-foward, well-executed, graphic design.  (I strongly believe that it's one of the moral 'duties' for designers NOT to send more crap out into our visual world). Clearly, many of the sign companies doing business in Las Vegas are contributing this 'Why America is F*cked ....(Graphically at least)" syndrome...

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