You'll Love This Download If
- You realize that looking at bad graphic design can be quite entertaining
- You want to see Michèle Champagne's analysis of this design
This feature from is a travelogue through lands of crappy graphics, written by Michèle Champagne.
Ever since the early 20th century, when the Swiss art critic Heinrich Wölfflin began formulating principles of classification, creatives and their chroniclers have pollinated the myth of progress with a succession of styles. Subsequently, understanding the look of art and design has demanded framing work inside an evolving stylistic system. And apparently, the same applies to trash graphics— those deliciously bad, ugly, discarded, or recycled contemporary visuals. From neo-Baroque complexity to the New Aesthetic, style upon style is summoned to brave a cold and chaotic reality, huddled in a false affiliation of progressive history. Until they can no longer be strung together, that is.
Your guide on these misadventures in Trashland is not a style-herding guru but an unnamed traveler who wanders aimlessly across creative fields. The traveler encounters trash graphics—from Arial adoration to favela chic—as disconnected artifacts and attempts to reconstruct the societies that gave birth to them. For this traveler, connections among trash graphics are hard to discern. No single aesthetic, intent, or political view seems to link them all. Some seek new forms of beauty. Others are bent on ugliness. Some are strategic; others intuitive. Computers can be a factor, but are not always. Here, a small selection of trash specimens, one by one. Sometimes with connections. Sometimes none.