The ever-salient kids over at Design Observer have totally finger-pulsed on the culturescape with a piece on design competitions. We’ve always been all psyched about our logo contest. And all the competitions we tell you about. And encourage you to enter. Thinking it will make you famous and then, one day, some upstart blogger will interview you and ask “What were your inspirations?” and you’ll say “You know, it’s funny, but we really owe our phenomenal career to a little blog that could. We forgot its name. But we’re pretty sure it was really integral.”
The saving grace of design competitions, even at their most superficial and cosmetic, is that they return a bit of attention to something that’s become easy to ignore: the design artifact. Our work, in the end, isn’t about making manifestos or strategies or ideologies. All those things are important, but only in that they help make a real piece of graphic design that real people can experience. And those real pieces of graphic design, as empheral as they are, don’t have many homes other than these much-derided design annuals.
In short, it’s a historical design record.
I have no doubt that 50 years ago there were people who felt that the 34th Annual Competition of the Art Directors Club was silly, trivial, an empty exercise in self-congratulation. But because of that seemingly trivial exercise, today we have a record of what design was like then. If that’s not good for us, what is?
Explains a lot. About Spugbucket.