Dana Kim


me, photo
Not going to lie, getting too into graphic design has left me to be a cynical bastard. I'm about to graduate and I hate everything and I feel like whatever I do will be heavily criticized by critical design assholes. Graphic design is no longer a safe place, rather it has become a platform for ridicule. How do you feel about the pessimistic culture and atmosphere surrounding design? At what point does it become a disservice?


There’s snobs in every subculture and industry and it’s unavoidable. There’s also always bullies within well-intentioned ideological communities.  If they’re not paying your bills or contributing to your happiness then fuck them and their opinions and take comfort in the fact that a lot of snobs are corny-as-fuck charlatans who can’t live up to their own standards without the help of public arts funding or mommy-and-daddy.

That being said, I don’t think it’s as overblown as you describe. Despite the impression that the echo chamber existing in ManyTwitterStuff land, these people are also still the minority but the majority is just as bad at times. This pessimistic attitude that you speak of came as a necessary reaction to the misplaced and often irresponsible optimism that still by-and-large dominates and represents our field. Amidst a financial crisis, large unemployment, the (mostly unwanted) intrusion of the startup world, the exploitation of privilege, and the widening gap of the have’s and have-not’s, a quick survey of our field suggests that most of us think the answer to the problems in this world is a letterpress poster telling us to work harder be nice to people, and perhaps start a web-series. No matter what it wouldn’t have taken long for a few people to find this at the very least to be obnoxious and search for alternative communities.

For the most part, opposition is healthy and it helps start important conversations. But yes, naturally, you’ll get a range of attitudes: from overzealousness, to apathy, which sometimes goes as far as bullying. But still, it’s healthy to hold people accountable, I mean—I’ve been called out a few times. I still get hate messages sent to this Tumblr. I mean, whatever man.

It does bother me, but I know it causes me to think about the consequences of my actions so it helps me grow. After reflection, I just have to keep doing what I believe in. It’s just the name of the game. I generally publicly hate on things in design that exploit people, employ racism/sexism or are simply insufferable. Other than that, I try not to pick on people’s choice of paper stock or client list and other shit like that because I think it’s petty. I try my best to answer e-mails and to hang out with as many different types of designers as I can and not be an asshole. With that in mind, I’d like to think that I generally an optimistic practitioner and believe in the goodness of design and the goodness of my peers and try to be helpful to others. It’s just about balance and self-honesty. It becomes a disservice when you contribute to dismantling the things that shouldn’t be dismantled. You have to build and break. You can’t just break and you can’t just build. If you only do one and not the other, you either construct a false facade of a world around you or you have nothing.

I don’t think graphic design is a platform of ridicule. Maybe change who you surround yourself with and what you read.

Hope this helps.


Japanese Publication: Idea Ink 08. Leslie Kee, Super Photographer. Groovisions. 2013


Hans M. Wingler - The Bauhaus. Weimar, Dessau, Berlin, Chicago, 1962



Brilliant design work from Brooklyn based NY studio willworkforgood.org

Karisa Senavitis of Will Work For Good

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New Order - Leave Me Alone


Anonymous, Ficciones Typografika 333 (24”x36”). Installed on March 30, 2014. More on Ficciones Typografika.


Library Paper

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Flyer arrived! Netzpolitik Daily, eine politische Internet-Vermittlungszentrale #pivz @ LOTTE 25.April-17.Mai 2014 #Stuttgart #exhibition #internet #graphicdesign

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Seen in MCAD’s Furniture and Sculpture studios. A donut sculpture by Andy Sandberg. (at Minneapolis College of Art & Design)

View our Instagram here.

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Wolfgang Tillmans

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I stole my face



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