Summer 2006

Door-to-door designer mimicry

Letter from Julian Curtis

Thank you for publishing the thoughtful review of Inclusive Design (Eye no. 58 vol. 15). My elderly mother is partially sighted, and the experience of helping her with bank statements, bills, letters, newspapers and other reading matter has forced me to re-think my own tastes and prejudices in typography and layout. She has magnifying glasses and an electronic scanner to help her read, but poor type design, particularly wide measures, make her life more difficult.

And it is disturbing to realise that this is one area in which graphic designers can do harm. One particularly pernicious development in marketing is the item of junk mail that appears at first sight to be an official letter, invoice or financial statement. My mum often gets into a complete panic after receiving one of these scary documents, covered in rules and logos, that turns out to be an impostor, a piece of delinquent junk mail.
The ethos of such visual communications is no better than that of the dodgy door-to-door salesman who masquerades as a council official.


First published in Eye no. 60 vol. 15 2006


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