Design Meets Democracy

Texas license plate

The state of Texas recently held an “e-vote” to choose a new license plate design. There were five designs in the running, and over 450,000 people cast their vote for the worst one. Just my opinion, but Design Observer agrees with me.

This always seems to happen when design meets democracy. Letting the masses into the design process always leads to cluttered, overdone hodgepodge or bland, predictable treacle.

But there’s an obvious paradox here. Namely, if we are designing for these same masses, then who are we to say their opinion is wrong? On what basis can we defend what we consider to be good design?

One Reply to “Design Meets Democracy”

  1. Being a designer and a Texan I prefer the simplest one, which just says TEXAS and looks like something an old timey sheriff would wear. Texas did a nice job on their state quarter, which just has Texas, a star, and some rope. It’s way better than California trying to fit in John Muir, Yosemite, a condor, and a redwood when they should have just picked the golden gate bridge or the hollywood sign.

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