Coca-cola is one of the unhealthiest, most overhyped products on the planet. I get that. But why is author David Berman complaining about the prevalence and location of Coke ads he saw on his overseas trips? Yes, Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and Albert Einstein understood the potential of the atomic bomb. Who is the author to posit that they probably both died with heavy hearts as a result? Do Good Design is full of these sort of asides and assumptions that everyone in the world wants to get rid of consumerism and sexually suggestive ads because that is the only correct moral path. Maybe the author is on to something but presentation is everything and I was not impressed.
An example. “Tragically, the Nazi party and its use of the swastika represents perhaps the most effective branding campaign of the 20th century. Hitler’s part re-purposed this famous symbol. The swastika has been used for thousands of years by various cultures. Sadly, none of them chose to trademark it.”
Do what now? Is the author really suggesting that Hindus should somehow have laid claim to the symbol and then risen up against Hitler’s subsequent use of it? How does this apply to morally upright design in the 21st century? To say that I don’t get it would be an understatement.
The only part of the book that actually tells you how to “do good” is the final chapter – the “do good” pledge.
Here are the steps as translated into English by the reviewer:
1) When you spread memes, make sure they are morally upright. 2) Make sure you yourself live in a morally upright way. 3) Tithe. At least ten percent of your lifeblood should be put back into making the world a better place.
Nothing to see here people. Move along. This book might be of interest to moral crusaders who also happen to be graphic artists, marketing mavens or otherwise employed in the advertising industry but probably won’t pique anyone else’s interest.