A World Without Design

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You don’t have to respect designers. You really don’t. The frivolous, superficial productions that designers create are natural to overlook, and even easier to ignore. But whether you know it or not, we’re helping you. Let’s explore what the world would look like if designers weren’t doing their jobs.

If designers weren’t designing…

1. People would die.

  • Ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars would look like regular old vehicles, just in a bigger hurry.
  • Safety diagrams and warning signs would not exist, leading to thousands of needless beverage spills and accidental electrocutions.
  • Interfaces like car dashboards would take hours of concentration to decipher, with no designers to bring simplicity and order to the layout.

2. Information would suffer.

  • Your ability to read books, magazines and newspapers would be gone, as you try to focus your eyes on body text that isn’t properly typeset or laid out, lacks any kind of meaningful explanatory diagrams or photographs, and has no discernable structure throughout the publication.
  • The Internet would be stuck in 1993, with nothing but text-based browsers to help you check email and read websites.
  • You’d never be able to catch the right bus, because all the bus schedules would be gone and there’d be no route numbers on the busses themselves.

3. Decision-making would slow down.

  • When choosing something like a bank or a university, you’d have to rely on your own notes, because you wouldn’t have any brochures or pamphlets to take home with you.
  • When shopping, aisle signage would be absent, and product labels would be cluttered and inconsistent (okay, so that’s not much of a change).
  • When ordering food, menus would be positively disorganized, with photos, prices and descriptions in no reasonable order. You might not even know what restaurant you were in.

4. Life would be uglier.

  • Your favourite music artist would have no album covers. If you’re lucky, they might put a helpful handwritten scotch-tape label on the front. (Same with movies – no posters and no snappy movie logo).
  • Artwork like event posters, wall murals, building signage and public art would be missing, and in its place would be a lonely, heartbreaking void.
  • Countries would have no flags, companies would have no logos and Olympic athletes would have blank uniforms, leading to massive confusion, a worldwide drop in morale and patriotism, and a very colourless, unimaginative planet.

What did we miss? What else would happen if designers weren’t designing? Tell us in the comments below!

  • http://www.rbhealthandsafetyshop.co.uk Lisa

    Your ability to read books, magazines and newspapers would be gone, as you try to focus your eyes on body text that isn’t properly typeset or laid out, lacks any kind of meaningful explanatory diagrams or photographs, and has no discernable structure throughout the publication.

  • http://www.elbowroomdesign.com/musings/457/a-world-without-design/ clarke

    this site has inspired so much! i like how you share your aspiration of graphic design and ‘a world without it’!

  • Maga Azul

    Hi, Could you please recommend me a movie, where designers or graphic design makes part of the plot of the story, I mean in order to find that “object of the desire”, the graphic design is vital? Thanks a lot

  • http://www.elbowroomdesign.com Neil

    I can’t really think of too many that I have seen personally. In “Catch me if you Can” the main character prints counterfeit money but he’s not really shown actually designing the money. The TV show Mad Men is all about design and marketing. Sorry, that’s all I’ve got!

  • http://heliuscreative.com/ UtahRugbyGuy

    Ewen McGregor plays a graphic artist in Beginners from 2010.

    Shopgirl, 2005 – Main character is dating a graphic designer played by Jason Schwartzman

    American Psycho – There’s a scene where they are talking about how awesome their business cards are. A graphic designer made those.

    In Catwoman, Haley Berry’s character is a graphic designer during the day.

    Dark Arc – Obscure movie about a love triangle between a graphic designer and an artist.

    According to imdb there’s a new movie in 2012 where the main character named Tyler, called One of the Girls

    Andy Warhol started his career as a commercial artist, which today is called a graphic designer or graphic artist and most of his artistic style, pop art, was really just graphic art, so basically the whole movie about his life played by Crispin Glover and called Andy QWarhol, was pretty much all about graphic design.

    …and lastly, I can’t remember the name of the movie and I only saw it because a past girlfriend dragged me to it (yes, it was a chick flick) and the main character girl was a graphic designer and I was surprised that they actually spent quite a bit of time dealing with her process that had similarities to my life, so it really stuck with me, about how she did a good job on the initial design but she had to pull an all-nighter (of which I know A LOT about), so she could have the new revised designs the next morning. It was fairly new-ish and it was someone famous, like Reese Witherspoon or someone of that stature.

  • Kk

    Hi everyone. Whoever made this website is awesome! I think you got really interesting facts!

  • katie

    Play Parks for children wouldn’t exist as you need designers to design the apparatus. Cartoons and TV advertising as well as many aspects of TV. Any kind of uniform, wedding dresses, clothing in general would be bland and no one would have a unique style. Gardeners are also designers. Cars, buildings, mirrors, shelving, tevelsions, the list is.endles