As part of the digital design showcase we are running with Represent, we interviewed Marc Kremers and found him in an unflinching mood as he detailed some of the issues he felt were affecting the industry. Such was the reaction to Marc’s piece both on the microsite and social media, we have decided (with his permission) to republish an excerpt of his interview here. You can add your thoughts using the comment thread below, and check out the dedicated digital design showcase here.
I think what sets us apart from most is the attitude and subtle subversiveness baked into our products. We’re allergic to the rampant conformism in our industry. Too many sites are just exercises in good, generically appealing taste. Anyone can do that. It’s super boring.
I think designers naturally just want to fit in, have a nice, cute life, do nice, cute things. Work hard, be nice to people. Read Kinfolk. Raw denim. Beards. Flat Whites. Nice fonts, nice illustrations, nice design. Go with the flow. Just good, tasteful things, experiences and activities. And before you know it, your life is an Instagram feed, literally indistinguishable to any other designer’s nice Instagram feed. You melted into the digital soup. I don’t know if this rant makes any sense, but I guess my awareness or fear of this singularity is just naturally percolating in my work.
Syndex was born out of my own needs and tastes. You can’t compromise or make a mistake if you’re making things for yourself, or a core group of people whose needs you deeply understand. The digital moodboard is nothing new either, there were already very influential sites like aaa-feed and haw-lin, but there was no easy way to make your own one. I think great design goes beyond just making something nice, tasteful, even useful, it needs to have an opinion and an attitude about its role and purpose.
So many digital agencies comprise of a bunch of straight, white bros with a female producer here and there for good measure. It’s unacceptable. Why would the biggest social revolution of the last 25 years be controlled by the same people as every revolution before?