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By Christoph Ono, builder at GBKS, and tweetable at @GBKS.

Designer bullshit backfire. (How designers have created a monster)


Recently SomeOne’s Hudl brand for Tesco had a rationale that was called out as ‘Designer Jargon Bullshit’ on the Creative Review blog. This struck me as entirely unfair and a clear example of bullshit backfire. The line the commenter took issue with was as follows: “[The star] is a solar system metaphor that reflects Hudl being at the centre of a digital orbit, and of family life” …Which might sound a bit overstated and outlandish, sure. But it’s the idea. Of course it’ll sound like bullshit. If you told someone Yahoo! was all about adventure, it’d sound like bullshit too. But it’s just the starting idea. It’s designers talking to other designers about where the idea came from. That’s the bit they leave out when pitching to clients for fear of sounding like a twat. Or leave in to sound incredibly artistic and insightful and blow smoke up the clients’ arses depending on how they operate. Either way, it’s the patently overblown starting point for a lot of rational decision making later on. If you start off with something really rational, you’re going to end up with a real fucking grind of a project once you’ve re-rationalised everything in a really rational way. Start with something that sounds mental and you’ve a much stronger chance of ending up with something interesting afterwards. So don’t call it bullshit. I know it certainly sounds like bullshit, but it’s actually much more delicate than that. It’s the concept made to look like bullshit so the client won’t hate it.