Did Hitler have great designers? Can good design be bad design?
Tobias van Schneider

Hello, Tobias!

Thank you for that article. I do agree, that we need to reflect our decisions regarding ethics. But is it right to limit this to our role as designers, or shouldn’t everyone ask herself “Will my decision harm anyone?”

A lot of designers take their role too important in my opinion. Often we are just a small cogwheel, hired to design a small campaign or feature for a big machine. Therefore I think it would be much more important that the CEOs of this world should ask this question to themselves before they take action and pollute our environment or the customer who buys his clothes at Primark or the truck driver who delivers maybe-harmful goods, etc.

I disagree about this whole Hitler-Nazi-Design, too. A lot of those design decisions were made by accident or reflected the contemporary fashion. I can show you posters advertising U.S. war bonds displaying the same aesthetics in a slightly different way, or soviet posters praising the communist party. In fact, at least one of the posters you are showing in your article wasn’t made by Hilter’s propaganda ministry, but it fits perfectly.

I could go on with my thoughts about the uniforms, but then I would lose the initial topic completely and I want to find an end.

The questions everyone should ask herself before she makes a decision should be:

1. Will my decision harm anyone else?
 And if so:
2. How can I live with it?

The questions a designer should ask himself are:

1. What’s the problem?
2. How can I solve it?

And if the result satisfies all stakeholders then it’s good design.

No offence, just my opinion! And I appreciate your thoughts.

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