There are more forums for conversation than ever before—Podcasts! Social media! Slack! Secret Slack!—and while it’s great that everyone is getting all limbered up by regularly exercising their freedom of speech, sometimes it can feel like maybe some of us should take a rest day. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t speak up just because someone (or many) might find you obnoxious (I mean, maybe consider it); the point is, the room is big and it can get very loud, so we’re here to cut through the noise on Design Twitter, because for all the half-baked ideas, nonsensical logo-bashing threads, “criticism,” and other dumb comments literally no one is asking anyone to make, there is actually—sometimes—a real design discussion taking place, if you know where to look. We don’t expect you to comb through your feed to find it (for your own sanity, we advise against it), but it’s already part of our job, so let us forge the path and bring you a rundown of what happened on Design Twitter this week.
• DESIGNERS: UGLY& DUMB DESIGN, COMMODIFICATION OF PROTEST
• AMATEUR: IMMACULATE TYPOGRAPHY, NO-NONSENSE pic.twitter.com/fkeNVGlvjj
— neuroticarsehole (@neuroticarsehol) October 12, 2019
If you only read one tweet this week, make it this one. It’s a perfect summation of how capital-D Design failed in the face of actual news, side-by-side with the kind of thread you’ve no doubt become inured to at this point: a bunch of designers ganging up on a basic bit of design that is actually perfectly fine.
— It’s Nice That (@itsnicethat) October 11, 2019
But more on that first point. This week we were all accosted by a “font” that’s “inspired” by the handwriting of the world’s only hope, Greta Thunberg. Of course, designers would take one look at the climate crisis and think, “I know just what to do!” Give a designer a problem, and if they can’t solve it with a logo, they’ll solve with a new typeface or a poster. This time we got a two-fer.
Right on cue, they chimed in with their environmentally conscious font critiques, namely how the large x-height will require more ink to print and is therefore more wasteful:
Oh no. This is a horrible font – it’s gonna be used everywhere now.
As it seems to be all caps, it therefore has a large x-height, and actually environmentally damaging as it’ll take more ink to print it out.
Don’t do it! Your planet needs you.
— Ryder Design (@RyderDesignS8) October 12, 2019
Thankfully, not everyone’s head was stuck in the ground:
opportunistic, unnecessary, completely tone deaf. the fucking planet is on fire, we don’t need more fonts.
— ryan (@ryantroyford) October 11, 2019
And while we’re on the topic of font critiques that don’t need to exist, we bring you this from the sparkling social media mind of Erik Spiekermann—because the most egregious thing about this Brexit warning is that the font used to display it isn’t British:
— erik spiekermann (@espiekermann) October 11, 2019
For more fonts-in-use nitpicking, American singer/songwriter Tinashe felt the wrath of Design Twitter this week after posting her homespun flyer for a London listening party, causing many to *scream in graphic designer*:
I can make shitty posters too.
I’m one DM away. pic.twitter.com/naCGLYJ316
— GoldenBoy (@HakimParker) October 12, 2019
An onslaught of “graphic design is my passion” memes naturally ensued, causing a bemused Tinashe to invite her followers to design her next flyer for her:
OK TWITTER! since y’all are so amazing at graphic design heres the info for my next flyer:
“Songs For You” Listening party #2
THURSDAY Oct 17
8PM @ Mama Lion 💕
601 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005
….reposting the best 😂🙏🏽😘
— TINASHE (@Tinashe) October 14, 2019
Turns out Twitter’s not such a bad place for calls for spec work:
Though many saw the tweet as a chance for more memes:
— 🌙🧙🏽♀️ Practical, Tragic 🧹🔮 (@DiscreetLatino) October 15, 2019
And others as a reminder of the importance of fair compensation over the promise of exposure:
Graphic designers PLEASEEE!!! You are GREAT and deserve to be paid! Please watermark and send your invoice. To be taken seriously you must take yourselves seriously.
Love you down girl, but reposting is NOT compensation. https://t.co/VTQTwqzy5z
— ashleyjanelle (@theashleyjanell) October 14, 2019
Meanwhile, we’re wondering who got paid to design the Mitt Merch that nobody—not even Mitt Romney—wanted. Famously short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci launched MittRomney2020.org in an apparent attempt to cyber-bully Romney into running for president. Scaramucci’s selling T-shirts on the site to “test demand” and, um, the graphic design is not bad.
everyone is shitting on this but not acknowledging that this is the best graphic design a republican has had since like 1984 https://t.co/vm8FVZtX86
— kate wagner (haunted) (@mcmansionhell) October 13, 2019
Or maybe even further back…
Best since Nixon 72 and you know how that turned out
— Michael Bierut (@michaelbierut) October 14, 2019
But let’s not split hairs. The point is, the concept is well-thought out, the design meticulously executed.
Except this one, which gives me the giggles. Civility and Decency are each 2 up on Romney, who is yet to score. pic.twitter.com/rQjPf5ymj8
— Hamish Smyth (@hamishsmyth) October 13, 2019
And the copy is on point.
romney vision pic.twitter.com/PM0EnisG1X
— um (@wonderbitchin) October 14, 2019
But yes, it’s better than what we’ve got.