UPS: no joy

I found the following gem in the discussion thread related to the Speak Up post about the new UPS logo that I mentioned earlier:

I’m not just sad about this redesign. I’m angry.

Little by little, people that call themselves “designers” (but are in fact no-talent idiots who exist only to perpetuate the ill-conceived agendas of visionless corporate drones) are remaking our visual landscape. All traces of humanity—surprise, humor, charm—eventually get replaced by conformity, slickness, and above all, emptiness.

Here’s a company with an icon etched in the brains of every person in America. Anyone who had ever seen the UPS logo can draw it. And that was worth more than anyone could say. What they had was an integral piece of American visual culture. Now, they have a meaningless, overproduced logo which will no doubt be redesigned again in less than a decade.

When Paul Rand designed the UPS logo 42 years ago, he showed it to his daughter and asked her what it was. “It’s a present, daddy!” was her response. Will anyone (or anyone’s daughter) look at the blight on our culture that FutureBrand has brought upon us and say “that’s synchronized commerce through an efficient supply chain?” I think not.

As designers we have a responsibility to look past the petty concerns of the moment and act not just in our own interests, or those of the client, but to create work that speaks to people and adds something to the world. This new logo says nothing, does nothing, and removes a little bit of joy from the world. And that’s bad for designers, bad for people—and bad for UPS.

Shame on you, FutureBrand.

Posted by Scott on 03.26.2003 at 09:30 PM

Infant Usability

Scott McDaniel wrote A Heuristic Evaluation of the Usability of Infants:

“The infant does not conform to normal industry standards of night and day, and its natural language interface is woefully underdeveloped… Infants have only a single error message, which they use for every error. The user, therefore, is left to diagnose each error with relatively little information. The user must remember previous infant states to see if input is required, and the user must also independently check other routine parameters.”