Friday, January 27, 2006

Heller and Lupton Debate Over Democracy in Design
The January 24th issue of Voice: The AIGA Journal of Design contains a debate over the democratization of graphic design tools. Steven Heller argues that making graphic design hardware and software accessible to the general public diminishes the profession. Ellen Lupton states that bad design has always existed, and that democratization helps people gain an appreciation of the work graphic designers do.

I feel that democratization is a good thing as long as people are given the theory and disciplines as well as the tools and skills. Make them think, "why does my invitation look so crowded? Why does my small business brochure look so unorganized? Why does this flyer not command attention?" To me, graphic design is as much about thought and consideration as it is about putting images in print. Creativity is inside everyone. Books, like Lupton's DIY: Design it Yourself, help readers understand the "whys" as well as the "hows."

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