There’s something I’ve been wanting to get off my chest: Sometimes I think graphic design is useless (please let me explain):
I initially bought a homemade bar of soap from a local farmers market, not because of some elegant product design, but because I tried it, and it just works (and smells really good).
Also, I tried tacos from a Mexican taco truck and loved it, even though they had pixelated photos on their banner-sized menu that appear to have been taken by a flip-phone.
On top of these experiences, I saw a food snack with amazing design work and clever packaging. I gave it a shot purely based on these facts. I ended up throwing away 90% of it (it was disgusting).
I felt betrayed. Ever since then, I’ve felt conflicted by what good graphic design actually means. You can have the most unappealing packaging or menu, but if the product just works or tastes good, I could care less about some pretty packaging (and sometimes prefer it that way because it’s sometimes cheaper due to saved costs from paying some expensive designer/material costs).
I love graphic design, but was wondering if anyone else feels this way? I’m thinking great design work helps people try new things (hence me trying that disgusting snack), but word of mouth, and even poorly designed advertising could do that as well. Also, I believe knowing the basics of graphic design heavily influences the products I check out/purchase. But honestly, I’ve found more things that I like by family or friends’ suggestions than I ever had using the “great design” method.
What are your thoughts?
TL;DR: Poorly designed products sometimes sell better and are more reliable than expensive well designed products. What helps those products succeed and thrive despite lacking great design? (Ex: word of mouth, etc).