Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's 2010. Does anyone need to know who Lou Dorfsman was?



I had a meeting with a young designer this morning. She's designing some creative for me. I said to her, "there should be a playfulness and a tension and a symbiosis in the typography like Lou Dorfsman's CBS wall."

A blank stare.

I understand this designer's point of view.
Dorfman's heyday was many decades ago.
The machinery of his craft is today obsolete.
There are new technologies today that allow you to do things you couldn't do just a few years ago.
There are new, hot designers who are winning all of the new, hot awards.

Do you need to know who Lou Dorfsman was?

Do you need to know Shakespeare?
Do you need to know Welles?
Do you need to know Durer?
Or Michelangelo? Or unknown Greeks.

One of the things I've seen more and more of of late is creatives who go to school for two or four years to become creatives. What are they teaching them if they are not teaching them Dorfsman? And in graduate Marketing curricula, do they teach Dorfsman? Krone? Tesch?

Or is it just trends and pie charts?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Forty years from now, someone will probably be complaining that no one remembers the great pie charts of today.

Ruby Rosamund said...

Hello. I'm a student (in Lincoln, England). I'm not an idiot! I know who Michelangelo and Welles are. I have studied Shakespeare and gone to lectures on Krone.

We are encouraged to immerse ourselves in the history of advertising, but whether we do or not is left up to us... Some do and some don't. There's a lot of stuff vying for our eyes and ears, and a lot of it seems more entertaining, more relevant at first. It's not until you start the process that you can become immersed.

I'm off to read up on this Dorfsman character, and Durer and Tesch. I hope that gives you hope... if not a lot of it.

geo said...

Ruby Rosamund, I didn't mean to imply that students or young people are idiots.

My rant was more pointed at the lack of regard we in the industry pay to past masters.

My reference points are usually old--I am 52--but I feel that good ideas, good design, good communication has a timelessness to it.

Tore Claesson said...

And while we're at it let me remind us all of Stanley Morrison, Jan Tschichold an Alexey Brodovitch....they still wield enormous influence. Often through today's proxys. Fabian Baron, for example, has inspired many a modern art director. And he clearly took most everything Brodovitch did and did it over again.

Marianne said...

No huge surprise. Lou Dorfsman doesn't twitter ;)