Cute, Friendly, and Bad

Second in this essay bonanza is a new piece by Adrian Shaughnessy, “Google and the Tyranny of Good Design” on Design Observer. In it, he talks about, of course, Google’s design work and how well recognized it is, but how not that great it also is, and how it promotes weak design. It’s an interesting take on something so familiar, and, we’re guessing along with him, something that regular folk take to feel epitomizes creative “design.” Here’s a little

Catull’s calligraphic origins are only faintly discernible in the Google logo: the use of a soft-drop shadow, and the chamfer-effect on the letterforms themselves, turns it into a DTP classic: the sort of hybrid creation that tech-heads choose for the front covers of reports. In truth, the logo is weedy, corny and ill-conceived. It’s the same with the Google homepage – a brutal display of functionality. Clearly, no graphic designer has been near it. Compare it to the home pages of other large corporations, and it’s obvious that Google has avoided hiring slick design companies and serious branding consultants. It looks like they’ve just gone and done it themselves.