There’s one thing that I hate about being a designer and that’s the snobbery. Most, if not all, designers are a little bit guilty of looking down on other people’s work. Comments such as “Pah! They used Comic Sans” or “Ergh! Don’t they know reflections are so out of date now?”
These are comments I’m 100% guilty of saying, but I think the problem is the outlet. If it’s a quick chatter between friends then there’s not much lost except making yourself look like a bit of an arse, but start broadcasting these harsh judgements to the world and you’ll rapidly give the impression of a big ego, huge mouth and tiny brain.
I’ve been feeling the need to unfollow people recently, when their Dribbble ego has been massively over-inflated. Dribbble is an exclusive community in its nature of being invite-only. However, far too many people see it as owning an invite means you are in some way superior to anybody that doesn’t have an invite. As seen on Twitter:
Hey everybody, I’ve got a Dribbble invite. Send me a link to your portfolio and I’ll give my invite away to the best one.
What baffles me is that not many other people seem to think this is wrong.
What’s the point in a community of elite designers?
To sit and caress each other’s egos, posting shots mimicking each other and establishing trends, and to gawk at ‘weblebrities’ and instantly hit ‘Like’ on anything they produce without even looking at it first.
Unfortunately, this is what a large part of Dribbble has become, partly due to the attitudes of those that send out tweets like above. There’s no value in a community where everybody is doing the same thing, adhering to the same rules and spending all day telling people how lovely they are. The best and most useful comments on Dribbble are those that offer constructive criticism. The most interesting shots are from previously unheard-of people because we’re being introduced to a new way of thinking, not the same old rut that the ‘weblebrities’ are stuck in.
And who are you to judge?
One of the things that irritates upsets me the most is that the aforementioned tweet comes with the assumption that the tweeter is better than those who are sending them their portfolios. Who are they to judge the quality of somebody’s work?
And even if the work is undeniably poor. Who are you to prevent these people from growing? One of the premises of the Dribbble community that really appealed to me was sharing criticisms with people you don’t know. Having your work critiqued by somebody else helps you learn how other people see your work, introduces you to alternatives that you may never consider, and occasionally gives you a boost in self-confidence.
It works the other way round too. By constructively criticising other people’s work, you challenge your own perspective on design. By trying to come up with helpful suggestions and interpretations, you’re learning to understand more than ‘like this,’ ‘hate that.’ This is how designers grow. Whether the criticism comes from clients or other designers, it’s all of value, and who is the tweeter above to deny other people the opportunity to indulge in such creative and useful practices.
The Gap Logo
Late last night the furore over the Gap logo redesign came about.
Scrivs puts it way better than I could but it seems like madness. The logo isn’t that bad. It’s average, and thus an improvement on 99% of logos in the world. Get some perspective!
So quick to be rude about other people’s work
Matt coined a great term for these type of people, ‘keyboard heroes.’ The kind of people who are all full of bravado and aggression when they’re hiding behind a keyboard, but would stay quiet when talking to somebody’s face.
Again, we’re all guilty of this from time to time. Twitter is perfect for getting your snap judgements out there and having 140 character tantrums. None of these tweets said “it would look better if they’d put some spacing between the letters” or “a solid blue square would have tied in better with the old branding.” It was straight to spitting vitriol.
Could you do any better?
This is the classic. That the majority of people slating the Gap logo could certainly not do any better. How do you know what the brief was and whether the logo fits it? These people don’t understand the context so it would be very difficult to understand whether it delivers the desired effect. I don’t think it’s a great logo, but I don’t think I could do much better without knowing what Gap were going for. I believe that unless you can do better, then maybe you should use your keen eye to help improve your own work.