"Applied good taste is a mark of good citizenship. Ugliness is a form of anarchy…ugly cities, ugly advertising, ugly lives produce bad citizens"
- Lester Beall
The above quote really struck a chord with me at this stage of my life because I feel very interested in good taste, style and all that is visual, and I agree wholeheartedly that ugliness negatively affects citizens. I realise that beauty and ugliness are very subjective ideas, but I propose that, in essence, they are not. Rather, most people can agree that some things are essentially ugly or essentially beautiful.
For example, consider attending a school where all of the classrooms have paint peeling off the walls and the outside of each grey building shows random graffiti (not the artistic kind, the amateur texta-tag kind). There are no trees and no grass, just concrete and dirt. How would you feel about attending school? About learning? About life? Even imagining this sort of ugliness makes me feel trapped, hopeless, angry – emotions that make my life appear to be pointless, not ones that would create good citizens.
The same applies to our current capitalist environment that is filled with advertisements and limitless examples of graphic design in action. If we are going to be surrounded by these examples constantly, those responsible for creating and designing them have an obligation to make them visually appealing.
Every day, good graphic designers enter into a fight – a fight against ugliness. In this way, they seek to creatively contribute to improving the mood and emotions of the masses, making the world a more beautiful place to live.