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Cracking Down on Comment Crime

Reviewed Mar. 9, 2009 by Armin

Industry / Education Tags /

Comment Think

I was hoping that I would never have to write this post for Brand New, but the growing flurry of offensive and useless comments in the past few months makes it necessary. Brand New has grown into one of the most popular blogs about identity design and many, many people in the industry around the world — from interns, to creative directors, to principals — turn to us for the latest work. To their (and my own) dismay everyone is consistently disappointed by the ensuing commentary, and while some may actually enjoy the car-wreck aspect of it, it has become, in some instances, too bile and hurtful. This is unacceptable.

Like any person who runs a blog, I enjoy seeing the comment counts rise to 50, 70, 100 and more, but the truth is that no more than a quarter of those comments are worth reading. The main trend in comments is to say “this sucks” or some other alternative mode of pithy, ruthless offense. This stops now. Unless you have a substantiated and thoughtful response to why something, in your mind, “sucks” please do not comment at all. From now on all comments along the lines of “fail,” “this looks like student work,” or “the designer should be fired,” will be deleted at my own discretion without notification or explanation.

Another unacceptable trend is making personal attacks or slurs against any designer or design firm. Whether it’s Landor, Wolf Ollins, Paula Scher or Peter Arnell, calling them names or judging their personal character — specially when, in most likelihood, you don’t even know them in person — is off limits. These comments too will be deleted without notification or explanation.

If I, at any point, have engendered these kind of comments by my writing, I hope that you let me know too in this thread, so that I can, myself, be more careful. I resort to sarcasm and irony more often than not but I believe I attempt to do so with reasoned commentary that does not rely on mere offense.

Anonymous comments are unavoidable I guess, but please understand that this practice is considered cowardly and simply stupid, specially when someone is being offensive. If you can’t back up your words with a real name, handle, e-mail or web site, please don’t bother commenting here, you are not welcome. These comments will be deleted too.

The one thing you need to consider before posting a negative critique is to think how you would feel if someone wrote the exact thing about you and your work. If you can’t handle it, it’s unlikely someone else will enjoy it.

If this post loses Brand New a few hundred comments, visitors and pageviews a month, so be it, I prefer to sacrifice traffic over quality. Thank you for your understanding.



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