Insights / Mediocrity In Design


I’ve been wondering, are we just contributing to mediocrity or do we have the permission to break through?

“The challenge becomes not just to exceed this new watermark of mediocrity but to go way beyond it. ” 

After last week’s deep dive into #antidesign and some interesting conversations, I’ve been mulling over the current state of #creativity. It’s surely a fascinating time where #mediocrity has been elevated, resetting the benchmarks for what constitutes #greatwork.


And there’s a double-edged sword of this era for creative accessibility. Platforms like #Canva, #Midjourney and ChatGPT are #democratizingcreativity, but there’s a catch. This newfound accessibility has paradoxically elevated the baseline, improving the level of mediocrity across everything. It’s an ‘illusion of expertise’—because now everyone can create something that looks or sounds “good enough,” raising the bar for truly great work.

This “Dumbing up” of mediocrity introduces new definitions of excellence and sets a new challenge for creatives.

In this sea of “good enough,” how do we make a real contribution? George Lois famously said, “This is the brief.” The challenge becomes not just to exceed this new watermark of mediocrity but to go way beyond it. The upside of this elevated baseline is that it pushes the industry as a whole to strive for greater heights.

We have endless possibilities with the world’s collective knowledge at our fingertips. So, how do we leverage this to contribute, rather than merely take? I’m a believer in creative research and referencing to make something new and meaningful. But it can’t simply be about rehashing the past. You can see how #GeorgeLois did it brilliantly with his Muhammad Ali Esquire Cover, and that was long before Google.

And It’s possible today, I’m loving Jessica Walsh’s work. She’s nailing the current #zeitgeist, characterized by a craving for #authenticity and tactile experiences. She takes what could easily be dull—think educational content or annual reports—and infuses it with color, form, typography, tone and voice. In doing so, she elevates the mundane to the extraordinary.

So, I’m challenging my clients and my team to be #bolder. I want my clients to be #braver, to give us the permission to break through this ceiling of mediocrity. We’re not just here to take; we’re here to contribute something meaningful.

Because, this is the brief.
#Creative #Designthinking #uberbrand #thisisthebreif #creativity uberbrand


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