Better Than New

Don’t Mistake Artistic Validity for Corporate Rush in Graphic Art by morepete
June 11, 2007, 11:43 am
Filed under: Context for Innovation, Design Tensions

By Pete Mortensen

Helen Walters wonders whether a current boom in the art world for the fine work of subversive graphic artists might portend a graphic turn in the business world. It’s an interesting notion, but there’s always a tension between success in the art world and the under-pinnings of a new booming industry.

However much I love their work, no one with any sense will ever hire Banksy or Stanley Donwood to do corporate identity work for them. They’re simply too subversive, and they would find a way to undermine and make ironic the output. It would be Nike ID running up against shoes with the word “Sweatshop” printed on it all over again.

As well-intentioned as business people are sometimes, they will always value very different outcomes than any pure artists they might hire. And Donwood and Banksy are quite different from the folks over at Pentagram. We are appreciated graphic art and design as fine art now. Will this translate to the business world more than it already has? I wouldn’t bet on it.


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