Dowdy and Dandy

A confession: I like kitsch. There, I’ve come out. Kitsch is usually the antithesis of what we strive for in graphic design. Graphic designers are looking for cool, right? Hip ideas, sharp new looks…

But look, there is often something bright and innocent in kitsch that feels like a balm in our harsh economic climate. It is sweet nostalgia that harkens to a simpler time. Light-hearted and welcoming. Cool visuals are alluring because they portray products that we are programmed to lust after but can’t afford – the playthings of the rich. Homey (or homely!) designs have no such pretensions.

The thing is, today’s cool is tomorrow’s kitsch. In five (or ten, of twenty) years’ time, we will giggle at today’s slick and fashionable images, and retro styles move to forefront almost like clockwork. The dowdy and the dandy go around and around. So while the wheels of visual coolness turn, why not just go with what really fits… and why not have a little fun?

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