Spring 2001

Self 2: Self-navigating

Ask a search engine for graphic design and you end up with branding. A trawl that throws up Future Farmers, Interbrand, Landor, Pittard Sullivan, R/GA, 72 Hour Logo Design, etc

Be afraid. Be very afraid. In cyberspace, no-one can hear you scream. Well at least no-one can hear you scream ‘graphic design’. If potential clients were to type out the term in a search engine such as Yahoo, they would be sent on a route that goes from ‘Business and Economy’ via ‘Business to Business’ and ‘Design’ and eventually ‘Graphic Design’. A similar trawl by Eye’s crack team of researchers yielded an extensive alphabetical list from which the examples shown in these pages are drawn. Many sites don’t mention ‘graphic design’ at all, preferring to talk of ‘strategic customer focus’ or boasting business expertise such as ‘branding’ (the favourite and most lucrative form of practice). Case histories are often buried deep behind pages of company mission statements, market reports and figures that prove how their last job increased ‘awareness’, sent sales soaring and profits rocketing.

John O’Reilly, writer, London

First published in Eye no. 39 vol. 10, 2001

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.