Graphic designers encounter a fair amount of eye-rollingâ€”some of it deservedâ€”when they champion the necessity of their work outside their professional choir. Passionately defending color palettes, rattling off obscure rules of proper typographyâ€”these things often come off as superficial and fussy to the unconverted. On the other side, graphic designers who find their skilled attention to aesthetic detail dismissed as frivolous are all too prone to grumble about middlebrow taste and lowest common denominators. But, but, but â€¦ intelligent application of type, line and color does provide a service beyond visual appeal. It can clarify complexity. And I can prove it.
Look no further than the new book “Design for Democracy: Ballot + Election Design,” by Marcia Lausen, an elegant examination of how to improve the utility of our nation’s variedâ€”and, in some cases, shockingly badâ€”voter materials.