Pretty Appalling?

Alexander White, in the book titled “The Elements of Graphic Design,” refers to establishing “relationships of form.” This has the chief purpose of drawing in viewers, which he likens to “attraction.” Many people grapple with this idea of attraction as an obligatorily beautiful, aesthetically pleasing piece of design.

While this is true in certain circumstances—for example, the marketing communication of a professional services corporation that must at all times maintain a polished appearance—it’s actually not a must for many instances of design. What holds true for art holds true for design in this regard; the shocking, the ugly, and the revolting can have a captivating effect. If the design is emotive, pathos has been successfully employed, and it is no longer of consequence whether the design is “pretty.”

1 thought on “Pretty Appalling?”

  1. It is fascinating how a fine piece of art can have great beauty and yet be esthetically unflattering or ugly to some but appealing to others. It is all about the lenses you look through.

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