Wednesday, December 9, 2009

This blog is not an island (or at least it shouldn't be)

Yesterday I noticed a comment on Monday’s post, that initially had me a bit irritated. The comment reads “C’mon, I know you can do better.” Nothing like a little vague criticism to get one’s ire up. After all, I work really hard on this blog, and yes, maybe some posts are better than others, but I do my best.

Anyway, after my ire went down, I thought, “Ok, fine. How do I make it better?”

So I’m asking you, dear readers, how can I make this blog better? What would make it more enjoyable, more informative, more challenging, more whatever it is you want and expect from it?

From my perspective, I’ve always hoped that it wouldn’t just be me contributing. That may sound lazy, but really it has more to do with expanding the scope and reach of the design work I feature here. The largest limitation to this blog is that my life only reaches so far. If I don’t see it on TV, or the web, or during my daily commute, it won’t end up on this blog. Frankly I’m surprised I’ve managed to generate nearly 100 posts, published every weekday without fail since the blog’s inception, featuring content largely collected by myself.

To those of you that have contributed, Thank you! Please keep it up. And to those of you that wish you were seeing different or more work here, please send it my way. The contact link is in the sidebar, and I always credit the contributors.

Otherwise, leave me some comments. Let me know what you think. This blog is all about opinions, so why not share yours?


  1. I think you're doing a fantastic job. I always look forward to a new post while I'm at work, and while I've disagreed with your opinion a handful of times I still love the reviews. If anything, I would like to see more posts, but I would rather see only one post a day instead of a slew of halfhearted ones.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Don't let that one comment get to you, you're doing awesome, especially since it's just you. Everyday when I wake up I check my email, facebook and whatnot, but then I come here to see the latest entry. You're opinion mostly lines up with mine, though obviously every once in a while I don't agree with you, but that's how design is. Anyway, keep it up man, and I'll be on the look out for stuff that's appropriate for the blog.

  3. I think you are doing a great job as well! My only comment would be that the design of the site isn't the best. I get what the brown and pink is trying to signify, but on a white background it all looks a little sparse and not very attractive. But otherwise, keep it up!

  4. I just discovered your blog via Quipsologies and am bookmarking it now. Clever concept and I have thoroughly enjoyed looking through the last few pages at both your snarky remarks and the poor design itself on the sh*tty selections.

    This isn't really constructive criticism so to speak, but I've enjoyed what I've seen!

  5. I think one of the main reasons many people, myself included are conflicted about this blog is the straight opinion that is posted in the blog for the most part. I love to see the comparisons of what is pr*tty and what is sh*tty to you, and sometimes I agree and sometimes I don't, that doesn't matter very much. Where I think the downfall occurs is in the body copy on each post. Sure you can have an opinion on why a design is good and bad, but there is little justification on why you think this way. It may be clear to you, but it might not be clear to others, judging by the amount of people that commented that they agree sometimes with you but disagree at others.
    This was most apparent to me in Monday's post and perhaps is why the comment was written. The post literally said, I just hate the design. There was no written basis or reason why, and to those who like the logo, it becomes quickly offensive and a generally baseless comment.
    Don't get me wrong, I love the blog and it's concept, but I think you need to have a little more meat to why you chose what you chose.

  6. Don't be discouraged from giving your opinion. I enjoy this site because of it!

  7. Note: I'm reposting this comment because I needed to make an edit.

    Thanks for the comments everyone. I'm most glad to see some dissent in Andre's comment. But please, allow me to retort.

    Firstly, I never claimed this blog would delve into thorough scholarly criticism. In fact, I've only ever maintained that it's an expression of my opinion, which I've invited the readers to disagree with in the hopes of fostering a conversation.

    Secondly, I think it's unfair to say I don't offer justification for why I choose the things I choose. I think I do a pretty decent job of keeping the tone light and snarky, while outlining reasons why things are either good or bad. That said, sometimes I just love or hate something in my gut with no specific rationale to articulate... not unlike anybody else who has an opinion.

    Lastly, in defense of Monday's post, I'm entirely resolute in my opinion that the Under Armour logo sucks ass. It's an ugly, juvenile mark that attempts to be clever by having a U shape intersect with a mirrored version of itself to make an A, resulting in unattractive letterforms. I could also point out a few ways it's badly drawn... look closely and you'll see some sloppy bezier curves. It wants to look aggressive and badass but strikes me as being lame and poorly thought out.

    If you like this logo, that's cool. But I think my comments about it being like a pop song are valid. I would suggest many people like this logo because they see it so much they're used to it. I could just as easily say this about the Nike logo, which is a fairly dumb mark when you think about it, but is now imbibed with all kinds of brand equity.

    Either way, if my opinion of the Under Armour logo offends you, then defend it... tell me why I'm wrong. Again, I want to foster that kind of discussion. But I also gotta ask, are you truly personally offended by my indictment of that logo? Do you really care that much about that brand? Or is it offensive because you see your own work being of a similar style as that logo, and therefore an indictment of it is an indictment of you?

  8. I love the site! I just found it today through Digg (open letter to Papyrus... hilarious), and I've been reading through your old posts to get a feel for it.

    I agree with your critiques overwhelmingly, and there were only a couple that I disagreed with (Jamba Juice and that beaver on the van). On a few occasions, I couldn't identify the problem with a particular design myself, but then I'd read your critique, and my brain would zero in on the offensive element(s), and I'd find myself completely agreeing.

    My point is, don't lose your confidence. You know what you're talking about, and the snarkiness is pitch perfect. You're almost providing an educational service: helping bad designers become better designers and reminding good designers to stay good designers and not succumb to the pressure of "more-ing it up."

    That being said, my one bit of constructive criticism is that I wish you'd add a poll when doing "Pr*tty or Sh*tty?" so that readers can vote and see instantaneous results. Easier for those who read through quickly (like me), who don't always feel like delving into comments to find out what people think. And a vote one way or the other might make delving into comments more relevant/interesting/enticing.