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July 25, 2003

Yet More Elsewhere

Friedrich --

Good god, but I'm in a happy, link-y mood this week. And why fight it, eh?

* Virginia Postrel has been thinking about technology and aesthetics. Her new book on the topic is "The Substance of Style" and is buyable here. (I have a copy but haven't gotten into it yet.) She gives Wired magazine a sample of her thinking here, and I suspect that many 2Blowhards visitors will find her p-o-v attractive:

All of us must give up the cultural baggage we've inherited from the romantics, who set art against tech, and feeling against reason; from the modernists, who treated ornament as crime and commerce as corruption; and from the efficiency experts, who valued function while disdaining form.

You go, cyber-aesthete girl. She includes some interesting facts, too: "The number of graphic designers in the US has grown tenfold in a generation, to an estimated 150,000." You know, there is a heck of a lot of design around these days, isn't there. Link thanks to Arts and Letters Daily, here. And here's a q&a David Womack did with Postrel for Gain magazine.

* David Sucher, who took some time away from his terrific urban-design blog City Comforts in order to put finishing touches on a new edition of his book, announces that he's finally done -- with this edition of the book, anyway. In his I'm-back posting here, he includes a link to a PDF file that'll give you a taste of what the book is like. I recommend the book strongly. It's full of good perceptions and helpful ideas, all of which couldn't be more down to earth.



posted by Michael at July 25, 2003


I am not all surprised that there are 150,000 or 150 million or however many graphic designers. What I really want to know, my baby, is how many of these so-called graphic designers are fit to place a stamp on a postcard, let alone design something.

Posted by: j.c. on July 25, 2003 10:26 PM

Ah, the quality question. Always an interesting one to raise. Funny the way people often scramble the two categories. Watching the Oscars, I sometimes joke that the awards are being given not for "best" but for "most"-- not "best cinematography," but "most cinematography." Not "best editing," but "most editing"...

I've got a word-centric friend who's prone these days to shake his head and say ruefully, "it's an art director's universe these days."

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 26, 2003 12:16 PM

" For instance, the number of manicurists has tripled in a decade, to nearly 350,000, while the number of nail salons doubled. "

I'd suggest Ms. Postrel take a look at immigration figures legal and illegal before she starts singing this hymn.

As for the rise of the art directors, well, Quark and allied programs sort of lowered the bar, don't you think?

Posted by: Van der Leun on July 26, 2003 8:11 PM

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