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I have to admit to being bemused by the Gap logo ‘outrage’ or ‘Gapgate’. Frankly, it’s not that bad. Not compared to many logos or design that assault our senses day in day out. No-one was harmed. No-one was misled. Or lied to. It was just a boring logo. A single poor judgment. It got more press than it deserved.

But that’s not the reason for posting. What is really worrying is the harm bad design does to the profession. The ONLY time design gets in the press is when it’s bad. Or expensive. Or both. Design seems to have become a bad word. A pretentious word. A tag for objects that may be beautiful but don’t work. Frank Gehry was known earlier in his career for buildings that leaked ‘but they looked nice’. Somehow ‘designer’ has become a byword for making ordinary things expensive, a meaningless term that is used to con people into spending too much money on something worth less than it’s true value, that they don’t need and very probably won’t use.

And in many respects people are right.

Especially when marketing teams get designers to paint a lie like BP did:

Perhaps we all need to think more about the consequences of our actions.

Perhaps we designers need to find better, more deserving clients.