Don’t Worry, No One Got Design In 1990 Either


While the old “why don’t we like soccer” articles get kicked around for a few more days, we found some of the comments to be strangely similar to our biggest journalistic dilemma: “Why doesn’t anyone get design?”

In our daze we came across an article from a 1990 New York Times, where writer Andy Grundberg seems similarly perplexed, asking “If It’s Commercial, Is It Really Art?” It’s a review of the famous show “Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History,” curated by Mildred Friedman of the Walker Art Center, and Grundberg predicted it would make quite a splash:

If anyone ever doubted that design extends to virtually all areas of American life, this exhibition should dispel the notion.

But Grundberg, apparently, was also a realist:

Yet for much of the general public, graphic design remains an invisible force. It determines the look of cereal boxes, the shape of signs, even the style of type in the phone book. Part of the mission of the exhibition is to point out that the decisions that determine the visual environment, from magazines and posters to film and television, are made consciously and–in the best of all possible worlds–esthetically.

Oh, my, how far we’ve come.